The power of an exercise companion

By Kathy Tandy, RN, BSN, 
Healthy Edge/Mission: Health, Team Coordinator, Optima Health

I had been fighting getting a dog for years! I had every excuse you can have not to get a dog!

Kathy Tandy and her dog Roxy.

Last year at the holidays, my daughter came to me and said, “You’re a terrible mother, you didn’t get anything on Shane’s Christmas list…not even the dog!”

Well, that was the day that I took my 20-year-old and 19-year-old to an animal rescue foster home and we came home with Roxy! It was like having another baby. I already have five children and believe me I didn’t need another!

Today, I can say that Roxy has been one of the best things that ever happened to me. Every day she looks at me with those big brown eyes, just begging me to take her for a walk. We walk three times a day, a mile each time. Whether it is raining, snowing or windy…we walk. It forces me to get up and get moving and I feel great when we are done.

I enjoy the exercise, and the therapy I get from Roxy is priceless. I can be mad at my kids or my husband, or have had a really challenging day at work, but Roxy will listen to me. She does not judge me and will just give me that look of “you go girl” or “that’s right, you’ll show them.” It is the best therapy in the world for my heart and body, but also for my soul.

My point here is that working with a partner makes all the difference in the world and it does not have to be a dog. If you are accountable to a friend, family member or health coach, and committed to getting some type of exercise everyday, it sometimes gives you the push you need to follow through. If you don’t feel like getting the exercise on a particular day you are not only letting yourself down, but your partner too!

Having a partner is good for the body, mind and soul.


Chelsie Williams

I am the Foundation Specialist at the Sentara Health Foundation. I graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2012 with a double major in communications with an emphasis in public relations and pyschology. I have been with the Foundation since July 2012 and with Sentara since June 2011. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, reading and spending time with my family and friends.

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