One wonders how they thought of this, but studies are unequivocal about it – if you are looking for an easy way to lose weight, you may want to consider a running machine. No, not a treadmill, but something that feels such pure joy in running, it infects you with its enthusiasm for it.
It’s a happy pooch, of course. If you have ever looked closely at a running dog, it’s pretty easy to feel that running is what a dog was born to do. It’s just pure, unadulterated involvement. Did you ever notice that roping a friend in for your exercise schedule can often be about the most powerful way to get yourself to never skip a day? Consider a happy pet dog as that friend that never will miss a day – come rain, shine, snow or sleet.
Certainly, anyone who owns a dog is in general more likely to go on walks on a regular basis. Much more so than anyone who just wants an easy way to lose weight but can’t commit to anything like it. New studies show that dog owners happen to just be more active overall. It even works with older people who need to take long walks for their health.
Who is it walking whom, one wonders. Both dog and master need that walk just as much as the other. The study took up thousands of dog owners to talk to who were really regular in the way they took the dogs out. And the researchers found that for more than half of them, there was no more exercise that they needed to meet federal criteria for daiy brisk exercise. Among those who don’t own dogs, only about half as many people get any regular exercise.
Another study took up 6000 people in Michigan – half of them dog owners, the other half, dogless. They found that not only did two out of three of these people walk their dogs regularly, they found that these dogs make their owners take up all kinds of other physical activity too.
Dog owners find themselves in better physical shape overall; they partake of other kinds of activity – sports and the like – far more than non-dog owners as well. Come to think of it, this is hardly surprising. This is what we always needed – a constant affectionate tug at our heartstrings to get ourselves up and out the door no matter what the time of day. No human could actually get anyone to go out for a walk in the middle of the night, could they?
Unless you are someone who hires a dog walker, the writing on the wall is this – dog ownership turns out to be such an easy way to lose weight.