The best time of day for me is the early evening. I have an evening ritual where after dinner I love walking with my dog Max in our neighborhood. Walking with your dog is one of the easiest and best forms of exercise that you can get. We both love being out and about in the fresh air. It is one of the many benefits of living in a place where the weather is mild all year around. Not only do we get exercise but it is a chance to stop and chat with all of our neighbors. We live in a neighborhood where many dogs make their homes and Max and I know most of their names. The dog names mind you, I seem to have an easier time remembering the dog names versus the people names. I have discovered that this is more normal than I thought. I wonder why the dogs are easier to remember than the people. I am glad I am not the only person that feels this way and most dog people understand this and are never offended when we address their dogs and not them by name (maybe the creep of old age has something to do with this as well!).
Our evening walk also has the effect for me of calming the mind. It is when I wind down from the day and think about what has happened and what still needs to be done. I often have my best ideas when I am walking Max at night. The only downside is that I often have to mentally chant my ideas all the way home so as to not forget my current flash of brilliance. I really need to start walking with a device to record these thoughts because I am sure I have a rather peculiar look on my face as I am reciting these thoughts to myself. So if you see me in the neighborhood with a distant look on my face, know that I am focused on a remembering specific thought not ignoring you! The physical health benefits of having a dog have been well documented but I believe the mental benefits are equally as important.
To recap, the evening walk with the dog yields the following benefits: exercise for you and the dog, a social outlet with your neighbors and the time to mentally unwind from the day. Bonding time for you and your dog with no downside in sight – Excellent!
There is one problem however now that daylight savings time is in effect it gets dark before 5pm so Max and I have changed our walk from evening to morning. Not quite the same but it will have to do until the spring comes around again. We look forward to seeing you on our next walk!