Are dog owners typically more physically fit than non-owners?
Consider the results of this 2011 study from researchers at Michigan State University. They determined that on average, half of dog owners achieve the recommended 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on a daily basis.
This constitutes a significant improvement over the study subjects who don’t own dogs.
This study and several others have found irrefutable connections between dog ownership and the amount of exercise you undertake as part of your daily routine. Dogs thrive on the energy release made possible through physical activity, and it’s customary for their owners to spend substantial amounts of time trying to accommodate these needs. There’s no doubt – dogs are terrific motivators to get us off the couch, out the door and on the move.
But the daily stroll around the neighborhood or park doesn’t have to be the only exercise you share with your pet. Here are a few ideas for additional activities you might both find fun and beneficial.
Cycling: If you struggle to keep the pace with your dog while walking the lake, try accompanying them on a bike instead. This is a great way to burn off that excess energy, and significant calories for both you and your pet.
Rollerblading: if you’re good on rollerblades, and your dog is comfortable and behaves while running alongside of you, then you might consider mixing things up with this popular form of exercise.
Doga: That’s right, there really is such a thing as yoga for dogs. Not only does this practice result in greater flexibility and strength, but it also nourishes the bonds between dogs and their owners.
These activities can be just the beginning. You can go on a hike or a kayaking trip with your dog. Involve your dog in a swim or make your own obstacle course in your back yard. Even a simple game of fetch can reap real benefits for both you and your pet.
In addition, there are a variety of boot camps, physical agility classes, and even charity running events, which are tailored towards dog owners and their furry loved ones.