Your BEST Workout Buddy!

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Studies show that people who workout with a “buddy” are 50% more successful in achieving their health & fitness goals.  Not so easy to find a buddy??  Who said that your workout buddy had to be in the human form???  I am a personal trainer, energy worker, and animal LOVER!  Most of my workouts include my animals.  I walk & run with my dogs and ride my horse three times a week.  These workouts keep me fit, trim, healthy, and happy!  It also keeps my animals happy and healthy too.

Exercise is essential for our pets’ health (physical & emotional). If you watch the Dog Whisperer, then you realize that dogs NEED to be exercised.  Most large breeds will suffer greatly health wise if they become overweight.  In addition to the many health issues caused in animals by obesity, they are prone to joint issues.  Emotionally, dogs (and horses) are most happy when they have a job to do within the family.  Most behavioral problems come from inactivity.  If a dog is walked/exercised daily, you will see an immediate difference in their behavior.

I believe there is a societal belief that says that it is honorable to put everyone else in our lives ahead of ourselves.  Lack of self-care is an issue in our world!  We do for everyone else and not for ourselves even though there is hard science that PROVES that we are better parents, employees, employers, spouses, and people when we are healthy and fit.  So, if you feel selfish making time to workout every day, blame it on your dog!  You need to be a responsible and loving owner to this animal that is dependent on YOU.  Your dog needs you!  If your dog is fit, it will be more healthy (less trips to the vet), it will destroy less of your stuff (less frustration and clean up on your part), and it will live longer – more unconditional love for you! This is a two way street – it is a win-win situation!

While you are helping your dog, you will be helping yourself.  30 minutes of cardiovascular work each day meets the daily minimum requirements to be a healthy individual.  Cardiovascular benefits are:  lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, lower triglycerides (blood fats), lower uric acid levels (can lead to gout), less stress, less anxiety, a more efficient and healthy heart, digestive system, and body as a whole!

At a recent  ACSM Medical Conference a study was presented that included over 900 people who either had dogs and didn’t walk them, or had dogs and did walk them (over 100 didn’t have a dog as a pet).  Here are some of the findings:

When matched against people who didn’t own a dog, the dog walkers:

  • Were 11% less likely to use tobacco products.
  • Had about one-third the risk of diabetes .
  • Were about 15% less likely to have high blood pressure and about 30% less likely to have high cholesterol.
  • Were about 35% less likely to have symptoms of depression

AHA spokesman Barry Franklin, PhD, director of preventive cardiology at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., tells WebMD that several studies have shown that heart disease patients who have dogs have a better prognosis.

Go to WebMD for more information on this study!

Workout buddies come in all shapes and forms – including canine!  Do your dog a favor – feed them a healthy, nutritional diet and exercise them daily.  You will benefit in the process!