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Health Benefits Of Including Your Dog In Fitness Workouts

Studies have continually shown that working out with a partner increases your motivation and the likelihood that you will actually stick to your training program. But finding a reliable, training partner who’ll motivate you consistently and never cancel is a challenge.  We know of a partner who will never come to you with “I’m tired”, “I’m busy”, “I’m not feeling well”… and that’s your very best friend – the family dog!

 

Here are the “Health Benefits Of Including Your Dog In Fitness Workouts” from HFR team and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic

 

  • You’re healthier for owning a dog:  Studies are now proving that dog owners are more likely to exercise regularly and to be fitter and healthier than their pooch-free peers. New research from Michigan State University reports that people with canine companions are 34% more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week than are folks with either other pets or none at all.
  • Dogs can do more for you than a treadmill: A big part of motivation is that when you interact with your dog, endorphins rise and stress levels fall. This emotional connection definitely gives an extra boost to your workout.
  • You’re more active because of your dog: Research shows that dog owners often log in twice as many workouts—they don’t see taking the dog out as a sweat session, so they still spin and lift.  A University of Missouri study found that overweight participants who walked dogs for 20 minutes five days a week for a year lost an average of 14 pounds.  If you include some light jogging, frisbee throwing, and tug of war, you can rev your metabolism up even more!
  • Your pooch will push you: You will never find anyone more excited to workout than your dog- so much so that studies reported that people who walked with their dogs increased their speed by 28 percent over 12 weeks, while those who strolled with a human friend got only 4 percent faster.  Your dog will never complain or be discouraged!
  • Dogs will keep you on a routine: Dogs are creatures of habit- which means that even if you try and forget to go on a regular morning run, you’re dog won’t, he will let you know in his way that it’s time to get off the couch.
  • Try new activities: Dogs love adventure, many will love to hike, bike, swim, or even watch you while you do bootcamp!
  • Borrow a dog: Even if you can’t own a dog because of where you live, or don’t want the responsibility, you can still get the health and emotional benefits by volunteering at a shelter and walking/playing with the dogs and fostering them on the weekends.
  • Listen to your dog: Some breeds are more active than others so it’s important to watch for sign of exhaustion in your dog and listen to his needs.  Try not to run on very hot black pavement and make sure he stays hydrated and happy!

 

Top 10 Health Benefits of Owning A Dog

There’s a reason why dogs are called man’s best friend. A good friend is loyal, will be there to pick you up when you’re down, will keep you on track to reach your goals, and will just be there for you as a companion. And that’s exactly what a dog can do for its owner. The mental, physical and social benefits of caring for a dog – or any pet, for that matter – are numerous.

Here are the Top 10 health benefits of owning a dog from HFR team and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:

Keep you active: Dogs are naturally high-energy companions and love to play and exercise. As a result, dog owners are often inspired toward an active lifestyle to satisfy their dog’s needs. Research conducted by the American Heart Association revealed that dog owners were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than non-dog owners.

Make you happier: Studies show that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression and have increased levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are “feel good” neurotransmitters, responsible for emotional stability and pleasure.

Live longer: Owning a dog leads to many heart-healthy benefits, such as a decrease in blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, overall decreasing the risk for heart disease. One study showed that non-dog owners who had survived a heart attack were more likely to die within a year than dog-owners were.

Boost immunity: Though dogs are often known for being the messiest in the family, getting accustomed to exposure to fur and pet dander decreases the risk of allergies and asthma in children.

Feeling calmer: Dogs provide a calming, familiar presence that decreases stress and anxiety levels. One study revealed that Alzheimer’s patients who owned dogs had fewer anxiety-induced outbursts than Alzheimer’s patients without dogs.

Promotes social interaction: Dogs provide a natural connection with other people and are great conversation starters. Common questions and comments from dog lovers, owners and social butterflies include, “What breed are they?”, “How long have you had them?” and “They’re so cute!” These conversation starters cue an instant social connection.

Provides safety and peace of mind: Many times, dogs are adopted for their territorial qualities, providing many people with a sense of security. Dogs also provide a sense of security in terms of health, such as detecting low blood sugar levels and oncoming seizures even before the person recognizes them.

Rehabilitation: Dogs encourage owners to be more active, boosting mental fortitude for recovery.

Provides companionship: The renowned excitability of the beloved canine companion provides an irreplaceable bond between a dog and its owner, thus decreasing loneliness.

Teaches responsibility: Dog ownership enables many – from adults to young children – to learn basic responsibility. From refilling the food bowl to giving the dog a bath, dog owning coaches responsibility because a dog fully relies on its owner for attention, meals and cleanliness.

Here are a few items you might want to get if you have a dog. Click on the pictures to check them out on Amazon!

Read more of articles on dogs here:

  • How Fido Can Improve Your Mental Health
  • Human Foods that are Good for Fido
  • Hey Fido… What’s for Dinner?
  • Fitness with Fido (Dogs)

To see more of our Top 10 lists, click here.