Hello. This is Acorn, reporting this week’s Notes from the Trail to you. I am a veteran sled dog. I am 12 years old and I have raced on Frank Moe’s dogsled team for most of my life. I am a lead dog, which means I am very smart. I know all the commands. Sometimes Dave and Amy tell me that I seem to know what they are thinking. What can I say? I’m a smart dog. I am a healthy dog too. That is what I am going to tell you about this week: fitness and exercise.
Did you know that sled dogs are very fit athletes? Training is important for us. Sled dogs who race need to train even more than we are right now. When I would race, we ran long distances pulling a light sled on a groomed trail. Sled dog race training is kind of like a person training for a marathon. When traveling with Dave and Amy, we pull heavier toboggans in deep snow for shorter distances. This is similar to a person lifting weights.
Do you think that you are as fit as a sled dog? Why or why not?
People need to exercise just like us sled dogs need to exercise. You probably don’t need to pull a sled for miles and miles to exercise though. Maybe you walk to school or ride your bike or play soccer? Whatever form of exercise you do, I hope you do it for at least an hour every day.
Exercise helps dogs and people stay healthy and strong. There are three main elements of fitness: endurance, strength and flexibility. Below are some examples of the different forms of fitness.
1. Endurance for dogs would be running in the Iditarod or Beargrease races. Endurance for people would be running a marathon or even running away from the kid who’s “it” in a game of tag.
2. Strength for dogs is pulling a heavy sled in deep snow. Strength for people is crossing the monkey bars on the playground.
3. Flexibility for dogs is using our hind leg to scratch our ear. Flexibility for people is bending down to tie your shoes.
Can you come up with your own endurance, strength, and flexibility activities?
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that people get at least 1 hour of aerobic exercise every day. Tank, Tina and I often exercise for 4 to 8 hours each day. Dave and Amy do too, with skis on their feet.
How much exercise do you get on an average day?
Here is a project you can do as a class: Record the amount of exercise you get each day for a week. Then post the results below to let me know how much exercise students in your class get. Since I am a dog, I would also like to know what the most common forms of exercise are for you and your classmates.
Exercise is an important part of our lives, for both dogs and people. I hope that you enjoy exercising as much as us sled dogs do. I also hope that you can exercise for at least 1 hour every day!
Student Response Worksheets