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Looking For An Fitness Program? Get A Dog

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

To me, it’s kind of funny. I fall in to this category. I won’t go out and get a gym pass or go for a walk on my own, but I will take the dog for a walk. Projecting myself into the dog.

Experts say studies show dog owners walk more, walk faster, and are more likely to enjoy an active lifestyle because of their companion animal.

“I’m fascinated by what a great motivator dogs can be,” said Dr. Sandra McCune, co-editor of the book, “The Health Benefits of Dog Walking for People and Pets.”

McCune, an animal behaviorist based in Leicestershire, England, said studies show if you’re a dog walker, you’re more likely to meet the guidelines for daily activities.

Dogs are the reason behind two-thirds, 66 percent, of the walks their owners take each week, according to a recent survey of more than 1,011 adults commissioned by pet food company Mars Petcare.

One-quarter of people with children and pets regularly visit parks and other outdoor spaces because of their dog.

“Personally, I have a Labrador,” McCune said. “When it’s dark, when it’s raining, the dog needs a walk, every day.”

She said dog walking also strengthens social and communal ties.

Looking for a fitness buddy? Get a dog


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