There are amazing health benefits to having a dog! I know for me its the comfort of having my pooch near me, especially at night.
Here are nine other benefits:
1. Get Sick Less!
2. Resistance to Allergies!
3. Be Happier!
4. Better Heart Health!
5. More Exercise!
6. A More Active Social Life!
7. Cancer Detection!
8. A Reflection of Your Personality!
9. Lower Stress at Work!
Women’s Health Magazine published an article on exercising with your dog and they shared great reasons as to why dogs are wonderful workout partners!
You Move, You Lose
Research shows that dog owners often log in double workouts–they don’t see taking the dog out as a sweat session, so they still spin and lift. But don’t discount those walks. If you keep a moderate pace, you can burn up to 68 calories in 20 minutes. Indeed, a study from the University of Missouri found that overweight participants who walked dogs for 20 minutes five days a week for a year lost an average of 14 pounds. Throw in some high-energy games of chase, tug-of-war, and Frisbee, and you’ll stoke your metabolism even more, says Gregory Florez, a certified athletic trainer in Salt Lake City.
You’ll never find anyone who loves to exercise more (Richard Simmons included). And that enthusiasm can be contagious. One Australian study found that dog owners felt more resilient to exercise barriers such as a busy work schedule or social life and felt more confident that they could find time for exercise regardless of other commitments. “A dog is always ready and willing to go,” explains dog trainer J.T. Clough, author of 5K Training Guide: Running with Dogs. Plus, unlike a neighbor or your most dependable coworker, an ever-eager pup “never cancels on you at the last minute, complains about being tired, or backs down from rain or snow.”
Follow His Lead
Have a race goal? You’ve just found your coach. Dogs are creatures of habit, and they’ll help you stick to a training plan.
Once your pup gets into the routine of a morning run, you won’t need an alarm clock–the wet nose in your face will work. And his steady tempo can also make you a legit speedster. “We don’t realize how much our thoughts slow us down,” says Clough. “A dog has a one-track mind; he’ll push the pace.”
Plus, if you’re feeling tired or bored, you can feed off your companion’s uppity demeanor, which can be a pick-me-up and take your mind off the miles, says Clough. And thanks to dog-friendly events (like Athens Run for the Dogs in Georgia, and Race for the Rescues in Pasadena, California, both being held this fall), you can even cross the finish line together.
Romp and Roam
There’s no need to limit yourself (and your pooch) to walks around the block or runs in the park. Dogs crave adventure, and many breeds are perfect hiking, biking, in-line skating, or swimming buddies, says Clough. A word of caution: If your dog has a love of squirrel chases–and you have a dislike of wipeouts–rethink cycling and skating, or practice first in a parking lot where you can sharpen training cues.
You can also try a dog-friendly boot-camp class (there are several across the country). Leash Your Fitness in San Diego starts with a warm-up followed by cardio circuits. “Sprinting alongside your dog can help you step out of your comfort zone and increase your speed,” says athletic trainer Dawn Celapino, who runs the program. Then, while your panting pal practices obedience commands (“Sit! Stay!”), you knock out a series of muscle-building moves like pushups and lunges. The workout wraps up with–what else?–downward-facing dog, a “doga” (yoga for dogs) pose.
If you are thinking about getting a dog, please visit your local animal shelter. There are some great dogs and cats there that need a home. This is the local SPCA near me.
This is my dog Porkchop.
He is doing a trick in this picture. Can you guess what it is?
He is showing me his “junk”. LOL!