A furry friend can help you achieve exercise goals
Would a dog get you off the couch and outside?
According to a study published in the Journal of Activity and Health, the answer is yes. Researchers found dog owners are 34% more likely to achieve the CDC's recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week than those who don't own dogs.
I am a new dog owner, and this finding doesn't surprise me, even a teensy bit. On Dcember 21st, my family and I adopted a Shih-Tzu named Buddy. Buddy is a sweet, loving dog. He's a perfect family dog. And he requires frequent walks: four walks each day, to be precise.
And so, in addition to my regular workouts, I'm out pounding the pavement with Buddy, often. Yes, sometimes it feels like a nuisance. But it's also a great way to ensure I step away from the computer and move my body at regular intervals, an action scientists are finding increasingly important to long-term health.
I've also grown to look forward to these walks. I love the crisp air this time of year, a refreshing way to get energized as I begin the day. I look forward to the afternoon walks with my children, as I have their undivided attention for 20 minutes, and they tell me all about what they did at school. I enjoy the solitary after dinner walks, which provide quiet opportunities to unwind before sinking into my warm bed for the night. And, hey, who can say no to this face? It can pull at the heart strings in a way that an elliptical never could. You know what I mean?