Obesity in both humans and dogs is one of the biggest causes of health-related problems. The prevalence of obesity in U.S. adults exceeds 30% in thirty of the country’s states. Meanwhile, VCA Hospitals reports that 25-30% of all canines are obese. Have you tried working out with a dog? Therefore, exercising with your four-legged friend is the perfect way to get fit, lose weight, increase your bond and reduce the risk of obesity-related illnesses.
LOSE POUNDS BY WORKING OUT WITH DOG
Combating the physical signs of aging is vital, and it’s common to experience muscle wastage during later life. One study, conducted by Dr. James Brown, likened walking to a ‘magic pill’ that could reduce the chances of a hip fracture by 40% and lower arthritic pain by 50% – just by walking for 30 minutes each day. So why not work out with your dog?
Walking and staying active prevents muscle loss, and it’s an enjoyable way to exercise. Even the smallest of dogs need walking daily; they’re a great companion to tempt you to up your daily step count. Muscle wastage also affects dogs and is a direct result of being overweight or obese. Therefore, it’s vital that seniors and their hounds stay active to delay this process.
MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS FOR OWNER AND POOCH
After reviewing multiple pet and mental health studies, Dr. Helen Louise Brook concluded that pets help individuals with mental health conditions too. Additionally, they were found to provide a distraction from negative thoughts.
When you exercise, feel-good endorphins are released which interact with your brain and trigger positive emotions that make you, well, feel good! On top of losing weight and looking better, exercise will improve your mood, And your attention span and memory will increase as physical activity can grow the size of the brain’s hippocampus, according to the University of British Columbia.
These are vital mental health benefits that your dog will experience. A dog stuck in the house all day will grow bored, which can lead to harmful behaviors, such as destruction, as well as an inability to know how to socialize and react around others. But, when he feels good and energized, your pooch’s overall mood will be reflected in his behavior.
BONUS! CEMENT YOUR BOND WITH EACH OTHER
Gallup reports that American adults who work full-time clock up 47 hours in the office every week. When you factor in the commute to and from work, that’s a lot of time where your dog is home alone or with a dog sitter. As a result, you may find your pooch has a stronger bond with other individuals which can make training difficult.
Dogs find exercise fun, and it’s a great way to build and boost your bond. Whether it’s a long walk in the woods, a game of chase in the park or an enjoyable swim together, your health and your relationship will benefit from doing it as a duo.
There are many benefits in working out with your dog. With such a high proportion of both American adults and the country’s dog population classed as obese, exercising together is a great way to shed inches off your waistlines, enhance your mental health and build the bond between pooch and owner.
Written by: Jane Sandwood