Quit the Gym – Get a Dog!

We’re supposed to get about two and a half hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week. Sure, some folks set an alarm clock and hustle off to the gym but according to research at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Veterinary Science there’s a much better way to get those required steps: get a dog!

The researchers surveyed about 700 people, some with dogs and some without, and determined that people with dogs were more than 4 times more likely to reach the 2.5-hour target. In fact, those with a dog spent an average of 222 minutes, almost 4 hours, a week walking their dog. Also, those out walking their dogs didn’t cut back on other forms of physical activity. The net result: having a dog in your life significantly increased the amount of physical activity per week.

But wait there’s more! Kids benefited from having a dog too! Just walking a dog once or twice daily resulted in the kids with dogs getting an extra hour and 20 minutes of exercise compared to their dog-less piers.

Now we’re not saying that walking a dog is the only physical activity you need. You can also add playing fetch for bicep and shoulder exercise, maybe include a little poop-scooping to stretch the hammies, buy a slightly bigger bag of food and carry it out of the store for more some upper bodywork, and strengthen the core with a little – yea, no idea what you can do with your dog to strengthen your core. But you get the idea, hanging with your dog is good for your physical health AND we already knew it was good for your mental health.

So, quit the gym and get a few more hours of sleep in the morning; your dog has your exercise needs covered.

Thanks for reading.

Source: “Your Dog,” Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, August 2019.

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