Walk Your Dog To Better Health
At the start of a new year, people always think about what they need to do for a better year and developing healthy habits always tops the list. While people often make plans to start a regular exercise program, icy sidewalks, crisp mornings, and shorter winter daylight provide easy excuses for forgetting your resolution. You don’t need a gym membership or elaborate equipment to help get you on track. Research consistently shows that people are most likely to exercise when they make dog walking their exercise of choice. Time with Fido can be a great way to burn calories. For example, you’ll burn about 125 calories on a 30-minute dog walk.
The World Health Organization recommends adults get a total of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise each week. The good news is that the health benefits you get from exercise are usually better if you break your exercise into short sessions rather than trying to fit in one or two long exercise sessions a week. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that people instructed to break exercise into 10 to 15 minute segments logged more exercise hours, were more likely to stick with their exercise, and lost more weight than those trying to do longer exercise sessions.
Dog walking can be a great way to fulfill your 2013 exercise resolution. Here’s all you need:
Plan to walk a total of 30 minutes five days each week. You can take three 10-minute walks, two 15-minute walks, or any combination that totals 150 minutes per week. Once you get comfortable with your walking, try picking up your pace or adding some hills to your daily walks for an added exercise boost. Use the diary below to help you keep track of your progress.
Diary reproduced from Fit As Fido: Follow Your Dog to Better Health by Dawn A. Marcus, MD