1. They Motivate You
In a study by researchers at Purdue University, when subjects received emails about the benefits of taking your dog for a walk, they increased their walks from an average of 10 minutes to 80 minutes per week. What researchers found was that the participant’s own health concerns were second to their pooch’s.“When we were surveying why they increased their walking, most of them reported that it was for their dog’s benefit, instead of focusing on the health benefits they were getting themselves for increasing their activity,” head researcher Elizabeth Richards said to JConline.
Using your dog as motivation to take a walk is a great way to get outside more. Plus, it’s a win-win for both you and your pup, who will come home exhausted and ready to cuddle up for a post-walk nap.
2. They Don’t Cancel On You
Unlike your friend who you (try to) go to spinning class with on Sundays, your dog can’t call to tell you that she can’t make it this week. And having a workout buddy is another great motivator – many studies like this one have shown that having a workout buddy that relies on you to do well can influence you to push harder.
3. They Never Complain
Aside from the occasional whimper from a tired pup who really doesn’t want to take a walk, your dog is going to be thrilled at your newfound desire to take him outside. Science proves that emotions are contagious, including your dog’s tail-wagging enthusiasm to hit the pavement.
4. You’ll Get Fresh Air
Doing lunges in a crowded, sweaty gym may be effective for your glutes, but it also makes you want to jump into the shower and never leave. Throwing the frisbee outside with your dog is not only a great way to escape the confines of the gym, but natural scents like lavender and jasmine can also reduce stress levels and elevate your mood. Plus, this is a great way to get bronze for those of us too antsy to sit still and tan.
5. It Doesn’t Feel Like A Workout
There’s no sugar coating 30 minutes on the elliptical – it looks, smells and feels like a strenuous workout. Playing catch with your dog, however, feels more like playtime than sculpting time. By distracting yourself and not thinking about working out, you won’t be constantly checking your watch to see when that 30 minutes is up. A workout with your dog just flies by like a tennis ball whooshing through the air!
6. It’s Free
What’s great about our pups is that they don’t care what you throw- a stick, a water bottle, your shoe- they’re still happy to run and retrieve it. Working out with your dog saves money on gym memberships and weekly Zumba classes. Instead of spending money, you’ll be paid in slobbery kisses!
**Before you end up dragging your dog unwillingly down the street, make sure your pup isn’t facing any health problems by increasing his activity levels.**