Your Canine May Be Your Best Motivator for Exercise reports Care 4 My Dog
(EMAILWIRE.COM, November 15, 2012 ) San Francisco, CA -- For those who need to find ways to be motivated into working out, perhaps bringing along your four-legged friend can help. A pet not only needs the workout for itself, but also can get you into shape, experts say.
For those who find themselves falling into a couch potato funk, one way to find new inspiration to working out is to bring along your pet. New research has indicated that children from dog-owning families exercise more than those who do not have canine pets.
The American Journal of Public Health has published a study stating that kids who own a dog spend an average of 325 minutes of physical activity per day. That is 11 times more than those without dogs. While the direct study is not completed on adults yet, it would stand to reason that adults could find the same benefit with their pets turned physical-activity activists.
The study mentions that dog owners meet cardio exercise requirements three times per week on average.
"Though walking with the dog can be rejuvenating, it's not really a full-cardio workout. However, if you're running with the dog it can reach the fat-burning range, which you need. What is advisable is to keep a heart rate monitor with you which shows if you are in the target heart rate zone," says fitness expert Althea Shah.
The biggest advantage of the outdoor workouts, compared to gym-goers who are inside air-conditioned gyms, is that dog walkers/runners are able to enjoy fresh air. "That would be true; you feel invigorated as it's the outdoors," says Shah.
Walking/running outdoors also provides a more efficient workout as the rebound off dirt trails and sand is lesser than modern treadmills and thus allows one to burn more energy when running.
Another distinct advantage is that dog walking allows one to find new surroundings to explore. In fact, the dogs themselves will sometimes find new paths and interesting natural patches of land that those in gyms would never see. This keeps the workouts from feeling like a droning chore, like gym workouts can sometimes feel like.
Says fitness expert Jivesh Shetty "What happens is everybody doesn't have the same goals and passions, soon an 'X' amount of gym hours coupled with needing to eat correctly, becomes a strain. A pet can be a good start-up to the gym; they are playful so you don't realise the amount of time you spend with them. It's also relaxing, a lot of workouts are stressful in the beginning, but being with a pet is like being with family. Plus, you can't always have a partner, or too many friends, so a dog can help. Evenings and early mornings give you a good hour of training. All said, in Mumbai there are only a few places where you can run with your dog. For building muscle, you need weight training."
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