Getting in Shape with Your Dog

As we get older, our body’s metabolism slows down. To add to that, we engage is less physical activity as we move from playing to studying to working. By the time we graduate from college, most of our time will be spent at the office and almost no time doing physical activity.

Of course you can go get a gym membership or buy expensive workout equipment. But exercise need not be limited to the traditional ‘working out’.

In its most simple form getting in shape and going back to fitness can be as little as getting daily brisk walks or running. You won’t need any equipment making it cost effective.

A more fun and rewarding way is to get a dog. Yes, dogs aren’t just companions but they’re also great for our health.

Exercise with Your DogLike dogs we need regular exercise, you can run, jump or just walk with your dog. They need the exercise and so do we too. Plus, we have a much more fun time getting in the exercise compared to just running on the treadmill for hours.

You don’t need to do a lot of very intensive exercises. Simple walks around the neighborhood blocks regularly does the job. In fact medical researchers have proved that dog owners who took their dogs out for walks covered more walking distance regularly compared to those who didn’t own dogs.

There’s no need to do anything like P90X or Vert Shock jumping which are both high intensity workouts for athletes, regular walks and playing with them covers more than what we need. Plus, they’re more fun.

Walking Your Dog

The great thing about walking your dog is that they are natural energy boosters and act as your cheerleaders. They motivate you to go further because they like to enjoy the outdoors.

Aim for 20 minutes daily. You can mix up the walking pace, the distances and where you walk.

Walking is a great way to burn calories and can burn as much as 300 calories. This makes for a nice way to get yourself fit.

Playing with Your Dog

Physical activity need not be limited to walking your dog. You can play with them, run, jump or play catch. A quick game of catch is also one of my favorites this not only lets them use their burst of speed but also builds your relationship with them.

Exercise Tips with You Pet

1. Keep hydrated. Don’t forget to drink fluids, specially water. Both you and your dog need to be well hydrated. The hotter the weather the more you need to make sure you get enough water to combat dehydration.

2. Choose the right type of exercise. Always be safe. This again, goes for both pet and owner. Don’t play or do activities in terrain that may be slippery or jagged. This may hurt one or both of you. Choose somewhere that’s pet friendly so they don’t get hurt.

3. Lastly, be sure to go by the vet before doing any strenuous exercise with you pet. Know what type of exercise your breed is made for. Some breeds are great for big outdoor spaces while others feel better in smaller areas. Don’t forget to have the vet check your pet too. This is just a safety check to rule out any heart conditions or joint issues that may get in the way or get aggravated. When you get the go signal from your vet, then you’re go to go.

4 Reasons Dogs Make You Healthier

DogsOwning a dog is one of the biggest responsibilities you could have. They’re like your own children that you nurture and take care of.

In return they give you love that is unconditional and become your lifelong companion through the best of times and even the worst of times.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in life but one thing I can always say, my dogs have always been there and they never fail to help bring a smile to my face.

It may seem like the most common thing that we note about owning a dog is their companionship. But in reality there’s a lot more to them. They do offer many health benefits that go beyond companionship and science has proven a good number of these health benefits to be true.

Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

They Help You Get More Exercise

This is one of the the most common things that I see dogs help with their owners. Most of us spend our days seated behind a desk. As we get older, we get less and less exercise which eventually becomes harmful for our health.

Dogs are known to be active creatures. They are playful, love to run and walk around. They are very curious so they like going to new places too.

One of the things I quickly notice with new dog owners is they get more exercise with their dogs. This can come in the form of just regular walks with their pets, or playing with them. I even see a lot of people bring their dogs as workout companions when they exercise outdoors.

Owning a Dog Helps Improve Our Heart

Thanks to the added physical activity and companionship, our bodies see a number of benefits in the long term. One of the biggest things that have been medically proven is that dog owners have improved heart health.

Studies have revealed that those who owned dogs had better heart health, and low risks of heart disease and stroke over the long term. This may be in fact thanks to the extra exercise we get when we own a dog.

The added physical activity also helps improve other health issues. Owning a dog has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and also triglycerides. Compared to non-dog owners, those who had at least one dog in the household also had lower blood pressure.

Dogs Help Us Get More Social (and Away from Isolation)

People are meant to be social beings. But in the digital lifestyle that’s common nowadays, we see more and more of us step away from social engagements and just deal with people digitally.

This can be in the form of email, chat or social networks. Gone are the days when we go out and interact with people.

Dogs help increase our social interactivity. Whether you’re an introvert who isn’t good at engaging with others in public or just don’t know how to meet other people, dogs offer a quick and easy way to get acquainted with others.

Simply walking your dog or going to the park with them you’ll be able to meet new people and strike up a conversation with them.

They Help Our Immune System

The human immune system is a dynamic structure that adapts to what it meets. Dogs help boost our immunity to allergies, asthma and help strengthen its immune response.

Kids who grew up in households that owned dogs were shown to have less allergy problems and asthma as they grew up. Scientists believe that being exposed to the pets an earlier age allowed the children and their immune systems to adapt to the allergens and overcome them.

This helped them become stronger as they grew up becoming immune to them.