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October 26, 2013: The Importance of Exercise

This is not a finger shaking dispatch. This is because those who don’t exercise won’t read this. So I’m preaching to the choir. Yes, exercise IS important. It strengthens muscles and bones, and enables one to keep their weight down. Exercise also promotes all-over good health and improves one’s mental attitude. We know this, and yet . . . it often takes a back seat to other activities. This is because exercise takes time and is hard work.

I have always known this. We all know this. But I’m actually seeing the overall good effects of exercise, mainly in the animals. My new routine now involves actively exercising the dogs, in addition to the horses. Since arriving home

October 1, I’ve been getting the dogs out for at least one hour of vigorous exercise every day. And I do mean vigorous. I’m running alongside them a great deal of the time.

This summer’s trip prompted this. Before our trip, Rainbow was slightly out of shape and sleeping quite a bit. On the trip she got into good shape. So I decided that I wanted to keep her this way. We acquired Ryder on the trip itself. She was in good shape then, and I decided that I wanted to keep her this way. Also, I discovered that exercising her tires her out, making her less of a pest when indoors. After the trip, Jenna came home out of shape. The first few hikes we did together she ambled along like an older dog.

All dogs have gotten three weeks plus of consistent exercise. All are looking really good. They all are of a good weight, and their coats are shiny, their eyes bright. When out on the trail, all, including Jenna, run about, checking things out. I can see the difference.

I’ve also been getting the horses out. Raudi and Signy came home in good shape, and I’m trying hard to keep them that way. Tinni and Hrimmi came home out of shape. I’m seeing a rather dramatic change in Hrimmi, who today, on her outing with Signy, was racing along the wooded trails. I have been getting Tinni out, but I need to get him out even more. It really is too bad – he was doing so well when I left. Now he just shuffles along like an old man with a cane.

The goats are getting yard time. They do a good job of exercising themselves.

And then there’s me. Tending to animals takes a great deal of time. And every one a person takes on takes up that much more time. I’m now exercising all the animals, the primary goal being to get them in shape, and the secondary goal being to get me in shape. I am losing weight. My coat is shiny and my eyes are bright. I don’t know what I’m going to do when the snow flies. It won’t be possible to then get all the animals out on the trails. Somehow, I will keep in shape.

Next: 214: 10/27/13: Tolting the Divide Trip Log II