Looking for fitness buddy? Get a dog

  • Reuters, New York
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 27, 2011 00:49 IST

When it comes to getting fit a person's best friend just might be a four-legged one.

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."

 

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