Exercise Has Gone to the Dogs

fidoMaybe you have trouble getting out the door when it’s time to go exercise, citing a myriad of reasons to put it off until tomorrow. Nearly everyone does better with a work out partner; someone who expects us to show up and participate. Well imagine if you could have your own personal exercise buddy that doubled as a personal trainer. You can. Man or woman’s best friend is available 24/7 and is always eager to get outside.

Unknown ObjectScience backs up the notion that people with K9 companions live longer healthier lives. If at first it isn’t glaringly apparent, think about it. What do dog owners do more than anyone else? They go for walks! Whether you’re hiking, biking or swimming, dogs are eager, joyful friends that are always up for a good time outside.

In a 12-month study, experts at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago demonstrated that both people and pets were more successful in staying with a weight loss program when they did it together. (Besides, you know how Fido hates to go to the gym alone!)

biking with dogsBoth people and their pets were placed on a balanced, low-calorie diet and given a 30-minute moderate activity plan to do together, three times a week. When compared to dogs only and people only, the combined people-pet group lost the most weight — the people, an average of 11 pounds, the dogs, 12 pounds.

Interesting that the dogs lost more than the humans!  It shows that consistent moderate activity and controlled diet lead to weight loss. Now go grab your hikers and Fido’s leash and get out there.

Source: People and Pets Exercising Together presentation, North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) annual scientific meeting, November 2004, Las Vegas.