Saturday, November 8, 2014

Man’s best friend is also man’s best work-out buddy

Man’s best friend is also man’s best work-out buddy

Every day on my morning walk with my human mom, we meet at least 5 other dogs and their human parents walking.  The others who walk on their own look at us with envy (at least most of them). 'I wish I had a dog who would walk me me, run with me in the morning.'

It is no surprise that we dogs love our walks, runs and play time. As creatures

that are primarily born to work for survival or to earn our keep, we often get

bored of just sitting around all day with not much stimulation and exercise.

This, I’ve noticed is a problem with our human companions as well. All this

sitting around often makes both dog and human overweight, unhealthy, stressed

out and frustrated. Additionally, a dog that is not able to use his mental and

physical energies effectively, will often become destructive, depressed, hyper-
active, attention seeking and be termed a ‘bad dog’. Little do those who are

bestowing this label realise, that the dog isn’t being ‘bad’ but is just attempting

to blow off some pent up steam. The good news is that just a few extra walks or

runs a week can easily change this. 

Even just an extra 30 minute walk a day can do wonders for both pet and owner.

Just ask Abhijeet Thakur. Abhijeet met my friend and fellow therapy dog

Scotty at the Pune Marathon and shared this inspiring story- After spending

a particularly uneventful year sitting on the couch with his pet Labrador and

finding that there was less and less space available on said couch, what with

both of them simultaneously expanding and all; Abhijeet and his dog decided to

do something about it. Now nearly a year later, they have lost a combined 35-40

kilos between the two of them, are healthier, happier, and Abhijeet even ran in a

marathon this year! Something he would have not even thought was possible.

I’ve often heard Minal say that a healthy owner often translates into a happy,

healthy dog. This is true. Research on the subject has proven that humans who

have furry companions are more likely to be fitter than those who don’t and

that those who exercise with their dogs are more likely to stick to their exercise

routines. Exercising with your dog also increases the mood-boosting benefits

of exercise even further. Exercise releases endorphins, a feel-good hormone

that contributes to a feeling of joy and well-being; interactions with dogs also

release endorphins. Now just imagine how beneficial that big double dose will

be for both dog and owner when the two activities are combined..!

So what are you waiting for? Call out to your four-legged friend and get moving

today, set up an exercise routine for the two of you. Both your dog and your

waistline will be eternally thankful..

Inputs from Prerna Singh
To know more about me and my team of therapy dogs, log on to our website or visit our facebook page

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