Dog walking, does it count as an exercise?

I’ve been on and off exercise for quite some time now and not because I’m busy but because I prioritize other things. But lately, I made it a point that I should walk my dog, Nymeria, everyday during weekdays. Surely you would agree that dog walking would count as an exercise but if you were like me who used to count calories in the past would probably doubt it’s effectiveness as an exercise. To me, I define exercise as something that subtracts calories from my body in relation to my food intake. So if my regular consumption of calories a day is at 2000, I should be losing weight if I burn some of those calories.

In my particular situation, I do dog walking for 30 minutes in a distance of less than a kilometer. This activity can burn around 100 calories (ngek). In essence, if I consume 2000 calories a day minus 100 calories for walking my dog, then I get 1900 calories. If I continue to do this for the whole year, I will lose a few pounds but not significantly that I will look like your average matinee idol. In short, if this is my strategy for losing weight, this is an inefficient one. I can walk farther to extend my time walking Nymeria but that would probably stress my dog.

How to really lose weight?

If I really want to lose weight, I would have to do a lot of exercises and more importantly should focus on my eating habits. I have done this before and I have lost more than 20 kilos (44 lbs) in just under 3 months. That’s more or less 3 lbs a week which can be considered dangerous for some. What I did back then was to walk 8 kilometers everyday and made sure I consume a specific amount of calories in a day (I think I did 1500 calories if my memory serves me right).  I did this in the most natural way possible and without the help of weight-loss pills or any other methods. It’s just simply exercise and calorie-counting. I found this to be more effective than going to the gym and lift weights as I also did that before and it took me 9 months before I lost 20 kilos.

Walking 8 kilometers a day with constant pace is a really great exercise and good for the heart. I wish I can do that again but this time with my dog Nymeria which happens to be a short-haired Saint Bernard I got from Caliraya in Quezon. She was given to me by a customer who turned out to be the Inquirer columnist, Peter Wallace.

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