Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Owning a Dog Can Help You Lose Your Belly Pooch

Who among us has the energy to lace up our runners and hit the pavement when we get home each day? Especially now, in this weather? It's a rare occurrence, but it does happen. Now imaging coming home to find Fido thrilled to see you and he just so happens to need to go for a walk. How's that for motivation? It's far more likely you'll lace up your runners and hit the pavement.

The same can be true on weekends. Instead of staying in or strolling around the mall, owning a dog gives people a reason to enjoy the great outdoors and spend time with their beloved Fido. Studies have actually found that owning a dog is like owning a piece of exercise equipment; those with dogs get roughly the same amount of calories as those with exercise machines! In fact, it has also been found that the simple act of petting a dog is a potent stress-buster.

To add to the many, many benefits of owning a dog, it also turns out that teens who have a dog in the family are more active than their pooch-less counterparts, for the same reasons noted above. The difference in this particular study wasn't major, however, on the whole, any extra bit of physical activity or decrease in stress makes a difference on health.

Less stress and more physical activity? Wow - dogs sure sound like the friendliest and funnest cross-trainers I've ever heard of!