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Making a Habit of Getting Outside

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that change is constant. Sometimes, daily routines and habits can help us feel grounded and a bit more secure while navigating life’s unpredictable journey. Yet, other times, such structure can feel limiting, like being stuck. 

Our dogs will be the first to remind us that getting outside each day is a great idea. And whether you’re looking to create some good daily habits or seeking to mix up your routine, making a little more time for your furry companion while getting some fresh air together is a guaranteed win-win. 

Bernie & Liz walk along fall trail.

With that in mind, we asked the Ruffwear Pack for ideas, inspiration, and tips for making the outdoors part of everyday life. See what they had to say, and be sure to add your own stories and tips in the comments below. 

Adventuring During the Workweek

Getting out for a run or walk is one of the most popular activities among the Ruffwear Pack. For some of us, it’s as easy as a lap around the block. For others, it’s a sunrise trail run in the mountains near town or a jaunt along the river after finishing the workday. 

Other favorites include beating the heat of summer with a pre-work mountain bike ride or going stand-up paddle boarding in the evening. During winter, this becomes morning ski laps or skijoring with our dogs. Sometimes, a simple game of fetch, practicing recall with high-value treats, or a romp at the dog park is just the thing we need. Although we all have our favorites, what matters most is sharing quality time with our dogs.

Dog jumps into air to catch hydro plane.

Our Best Tips

It can be challenging to build adventures into the week, but it’s always worth it. Sometimes it means sacrificing a couple hours of sleep or opting for a quick & easy meal instead of something more elaborate. To make it easier to get out the door, the Ruffwear Pack has these tips:

Plan Ahead. Have your gear ready in advance and go! Whether you’re setting an alarm to catch the sunrise or heading outside after work, if you’re ready to go and keep moving, you’ll be less likely to get distracted or lose motivation. One Ruffwear pack member even sleeps in her running clothes so she can literally roll out of bed, leash up her dog, and get going!

Dani & Vilas go for a run using the Front Range Harness & Leash.

Try Something New. Exploring a new trail, trying a new activity (such as running or hiking instead of walking), or even mixing up the normal route and going a different way is a great way to keep things fresh, interesting, and fun. 

Keep It Simple. Remember, your canine companion is stoked to get outside with you. Whether it’s a 20-minute walk, a few extra rounds of fetch, or getting up earlier than usual to go for a hike, your dog will be happy no matter what. 

Dog in stumptown jacket walks with woman in city.

Make It A Habit. It’s much easier to hit the snooze button, roll over, and get a little more sleep. It’s also surprisingly easy to work through lunch or fill the evening with errands or chores. Yet, you’ll never regret sharing a quiet morning, catching the sunrise, or watching the full moon come up with your dog. You won’t mind the gratifying feeling of seeing your tired pup dozing off as you begin your workday, the invigorating boost of creative energy to your post-exercise brain, or finishing a busy day with some outdoor playtime. Once you get going, it’s always worth it. That snooze button will always be a little tempting, but once you make it a habit, it does get easier. No motivation required – just go!

Bernie jumps for a stick on a walk with Liz.