The Secret to Fitness? Get a Dog!

Posted May 17, 2011 | Posted in Fitness & Nutrition

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Besides being everyone’s favorite furry friends, dogs can actually benefit your health and well-being. Walking your dog is a great excuse to get outside and get moving. A recent study led by Michigan State University found that people who own and walk dogs are 34 percent more likely to meet federal benchmarks for physical activity. Those who walked their dogs walked about an hour longer per week and also had higher overall levels of both moderate and vigorous physical activities than people who owned dogs but didn’t walk them.

Walking offers a number of health benefits, including improved circulation, reduced risk of heart disease, and a stronger immune system.  Walking is especially valuable for older adults, as it is a low-impact exercise suited towards those with aging knees.  For these adults, walking can help fight osteoporosis, prevent and control diabetes, and bolster the immune system.  Walking can aid anyone of any age in their weight loss goals.

Walking is an easy and convenient form of exercise and you can do it just about anywhere.
“Dogs really are nature’s personal trainers,” said Dr. Dawn Marcus. “They model fitness behaviors, and behaviors for eating and socializing, too.” Need that extra push to get out the door? Dogs are always eager to go for walks. They might even help you meet people and develop healthy human interactions when they stop to socialize with other dogs. So put on your tennis shoes and take your dog for a stroll–your body, and your dog, will thank you!

Source: http://www2.cambridgema.gov/cdd/et/ped/ped_hlth.html

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