A new study by Michigan State University found that people who exercise with their dog have improved health outcomes.
The findings showed that dog owners were 34% more likely to achieve the recommended minimum levels of exercise, which is benchmarked at 150 minutes per week (although there is a growing body of evidence suggesting this should be 210 minutes or half an hour per day).
The study used information gathered from a 2005 Michigan behavioral risk factor survey that was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Department of Community Health.
The study found that people who owned dogs were more likely to participate in some form of physical activity for at least one hour longer per week than non-dog owners. Of the 41% of the 5,902 participants in the survey who owned a dog, 61% said they walked their dog for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Owning a pet was also found to have other therapeutic benefits including improvements in mental health which is why it is quite often recommended that elderly people be given a pet as a form of companionship.
The motivating factor for dog owners to get more exercise as opposed to sitting on the couch is that it is their responsibility to walk the dog on a regular basis.
The most interesting fact to come from this study is that dog owners were almost 70% more involved in some sort of physical activity as opposed to people not owning a dog. But it’s also a little disturbing that the study also revealed that a large part of the population was not meeting the minimum guidelines of hundred 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
Interestingly the size of the dog also determined the duration of the walk ie larger dogs required significantly longer walks when compared to smaller dogs.
Many of our clients attending our boot camps bring their dog along to the session so both the dog and the owner receive a work out.
If you have a dog and it loves a good romp, why not bring them along to your next Fitstyler session. Or if you’re looking at improving the level of intensity or for something different that will improve and increase your exercise regime with your dog generally, here are a few
ideas to help you get started.