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'Ruff' Exercise is Good for You

By HERWriter
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Fitness related image Photo: Getty Images

I love dogs and cannot wait to get one. I had one when I was younger and realized that we can learn a lot from them. Most dogs are always so excited to run, jump and of course go for a walk. A new study gives me another good reason to get another dog. I want to preface this by stating it is about doing the right thing for the dog and not just me. But, my reasoning coincides with the findings of a new study which displayed that by walking your dog, you will reap many benefits. The study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health showed that dog owners are 34 percent more likely than non-owners to get the exercise they need.

When I hike on the weekends, I notice that more people are with dogs than without as they head up and down the mountain. The dogs are in their glory and their owners are getting a tremendous workout as well. I also notice a great deal of dog parks popping up in many neighborhoods. Many of which are modeled to have a canine playground or obstacle course.

The above mentioned study focused on the prior data from the 2005 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. In that study, experts tracked the exercise habits of nearly 6,000 people, with more than 2,000 of them owning dogs. Their findings were positive for the dog owners who took the time to walk their pets. The results were that 60 percent of them met the minimum federal requirements for moderate or vigorous exercise. The walks averaged about 10 minutes long each. The study found that among those who did not have dogs, only a third exercised regularly.

The dog owners also fancied other forms of exercise such as dancing, gardening and leisure sports. The findings reported an average of 30 minutes more exercise a week. Matthew Reeves, the study researcher, stated "Obviously you would expect dog walkers to walk more, but we found people who walked their dog also had higher overall levels of both moderate and vigorous physical activities."

Still, not everyone who owns a dog actively walks with their dogs. The study found that many will just let them out in the yard. I think you can be both a leader and teacher to your dog and not just a master.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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