Dog is My Trainer

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My chocolate Lab, Nessie, has just told me the secret to establishing a regular daily exercise regime: Walk the dog!

If you're lucky enough to have a household companion that needs to get out of the house, you can use this “chore” to help you get the exercise you know you need but that your busy lifestyle is keeping you from getting.

Our pets often try to tell us how to live better lives. I know that my dog needs to get in at least an hour or so of good exercise each day to stay sweet and sleepy. Missed exercise makes her mischievous and maudlin. She does things she shouldn’t do then feels bad afterwards. Does this sound familiar?

Dogs can be great motivators to get out and take a walk each day. They are good company and a constant reminder to stay on task. Walking is an all around good exercise for any age and fitness level. Studies have found that just 30 minutes of moderate walking each day can help lower blood pressure, reduce weight, and improve overall health.

A 2007 study at the University of Western Australia found that adult dog owners were nearly twice as likely as non–dog owners owners to complete 150 minutes of physical activity each week. New dog owners were found to increase their walking by an average of 48 minutes each week.

Fit as Fido is a website dedicated to help people “follow your dog to better health.” They offer a free monthly checklist to encourage you and your dog to stick to your walking routine.

And what it you don’t have a dog? Ask a friend who has one if you can get into the walk rotation. Your friend will thank you and so will the dog.


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