Doggone It: Take a Walk!

19 September, 2012

Dog owners may walk as much as 2 hours more a week than people without a furry friend. Makes sense. When Fido needs to get out and stretch his legs, he lets you know, and on go your walking shoes. Can't have a dog? Here's another way to get walking.

Staying Fit with Fido

Are you a dog lover? Find out how healthy your pooch is with the DogAge Test. Can't have a dog? Walk a friend's dog, or volunteer to walk dogs at the local animal shelter. The bonus: Furry friends are natural stress reducers.

Contingency Plans

Of course, if you're not an animal lover, having a pet you don't like isn't a boon to your stress-less plans. But not to worry. There are plenty of other ways to motivate yourself to walk more:

  1. Make a walking date with a friend (It's much harder to talk yourself out of it once you've committed to someone else.)
  2. Find a virtual exercise buddy on the RealAge community boards, and report your walking activities to him or her each day.
  3. Splurge on a virtual trainer. They've now got wristwatch-sized GPS devices that do everything from measuring speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate to letting you know when your pace has slacked off.
  4. Register for a charity walk.
  5. Remind yourself of the benefits.

SOURCES: Relationships among dog ownership and leisure-time walking in Western Canadian adults. Brown, S. G., Rhodes, R. E., American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2006 Feb;30(2):131-136.

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