In light of bone-chilling temperatures in Kamloops, my husband and I have guiltily skipped the odd walk or two with our puppy.
As a result, the pup will race around the house like she drank a Red Bull and is more likely do something naughty, like pee on the floor.
Last Sunday afternoon, while cleaning up one such undesirable puddle, it occurred to me that the link between physical exercise and mental health is as simple as my dog’s need for a walk — exercise results in good behaviour, while missed exercise leads to all-out chaos.
This year, for the third time, I joined Kamloops This Week’s Press Time team, which is participating in the Y Strong Kids Challenge to promote healthy living among youngsters.
I support the initiative because I know physical exercise provides myriad health benefits for canines and humans alike.
In addition to physical health impacts — preventing chronic diseases and building strength — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research states physical exercise can reduce likelihood of depression, anxiety and other mental-health complications.
It apparently even rivals most treatments in reducing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
I have found that the simple act of a short walk each day with my dog has resulted in increased energy, improved mood and decreased stress.
Exercise is undoubtedly beneficial, but it is not always easy to lace up the running shoes.
The key to staying motivated is finding something you like to do. It can be anything — dancing, bowling, soccer, running, biking and, yes, taking the dog for a walk.
There will always be days when the mercury is at -20 C, but it will be much easier to remain physically active when you actually enjoy the activity.
As for the frosty days, I try to remind myself that bundling up is markedly better than cleaning up — and take the dog for a walk.
If you would like to support Press Time’s fundraising drive to raise $5,500 for kids programs through the YMCA-YWCA, click right here.
Press Time will also be hosting a car wash fundraiser and hot dog sale at City Centre Auto Service, 963 Victoria St., on Saturday, March 30, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
— Jessica Wallace penned this second instalment for Press Time. Fellow members will chronicle their experiences in the Y Strong Kids Campaign in future print editions of KTW and online at kamloopsthisweek.com.