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Fit Tip: Get a Dog Exercise Buddy

Feel like you're not walking enough each day? Then you maybe want to get a dog.

Recent research has found that dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes per week whereas folks without dogs only walk around 168 minutes. Being accountable to someone else, even if it's a dog, makes us feel more motivated so I totally believe these findings. For me, I always take my dog on a long walk before I leave in the morning and when I get home because I feel bad that he's in the house while I am at work. He loves it and I know that I'm burning calories — everyone wins!

I'm curious about you guys. If you have a dog, do you feel like you walk more because of him?

Fit's Tip: I do want to add that a dog is a lot more responsibility than just having an exercise buddy. Be sure to do your research before you make the commitment.

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onestopmom onestopmom 7 years
Yes, I think I get more exercise because I walk my dog. I walk her in the morning and if I have time, in the evening as well. It's great to have the fresh air and see how happy the dog is when we walk. However, because of lack of time, I think I work out less on my elliptical machine at home which is a more strenuous exercise for me when I go on so many walks. I did see a show on Oprah years ago which I think said something to the effect that dog owners live seven years longer, probably due to all the walking.
tucker-mom tucker-mom 7 years
I'd had collies for years.The last two had serious health problems, so I decided to change breeds and "downsized" to an Australian Shepherd. Down in size maybe, but way up in energy. I, too, followed the Dog Whisperer's advice and starting walking Tucker 45 minutes almost every morning. It has made a great difference in him. But I needed to do weight exercises for my back and I was giving up my gym time because of the commitment I had made to Tucker. (I absolutely agree that dog ownership is a serious commitment!) My trainer devised a plan where I can do my exercises WHILE I walk Tucker. We're both winners. And Tucker is a great motivator - he seldom takes "no" for an answer. (The Sensible Dog tells more of our story.)
nikodarling nikodarling 7 years
I would never get out as much as I do if I didn't have 60-pounds of crazy locked up in my house all day. I have to take her out every morning and again in the evening, no avoiding it or I will be punished. But it is a huge responsibility. Basically you are agreeing to take on a perpetual toddler for 10-plus years. Please do not jump in unless you are prepared to spend several hours a day and several thousand dollars a year taking care of something that relies on you to meet its every need.
nikodarling nikodarling 7 years
I would never get out as much as I do if I didn't have 60-pounds of crazy locked up in my house all day. I have to take her out every morning and again in the evening, no avoiding it or I will be punished. But it is a huge responsibility. Basically you are agreeing to take on a perpetual toddler for 10-plus years. Please do not jump in unless you are prepared to spend several hours a day and several thousand dollars a year taking care of something that relies on you to meet its every need.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 7 years
As much as I love to take my dog out for walks, I find that if I try to exercise with her she actually slows me down a bit. When we start out she's practically dragging me down the street...but after the 1st mile I'm trying to get her to keep up with me. (Not to mention she wants to stop and piddle ever 5 blocks or so!) But I do love my doggie. :)
NatureMadeLisa NatureMadeLisa 7 years
I believe it. Dogs can be a great source of staying in shape.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 7 years
Eep eep, beagles! I have to walk my dog every morning because I think it tires her out so she doesn't get too crazy while I'm out and because she eats constantly, so I don't want her to be overweight. Walking her is pretty much the only exercise I get these days.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 7 years
It's good to look for volunteer opportunities at local shelters...some of them look for extra people to walk dogs and play with them. Plus it brightens the dog's day too!
kia kia 7 years
I want a dog so bad just to take care of a dog. At last we are not ready. We are prepping to foster soon though. Well my husband will since he works at home and I'm gone 1/2 the time. Somewhere between mid-summer and early fall. We are going through the steps now with a greyhound rescue group.
Zero_Cool Zero_Cool 7 years
Of course I get out more for my dog! Except, I'm like MondayMoos in the weather department! I'd love to go out longer, but seeing as I have a boxer, he doesn't do eat very well! Luckily we are moving to a cooler climate in about 2 months! Also, my parents dog (Jake) is a huge motivator to go walking. If someone even SAYS the word walk, you better be prepared to go, otherwise you won't get Jake to shut up!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 7 years
I used to take my dog for walks when I lived with my parents. It was a lot of fun and she'd make me keep up a faster pace. Not so fun when we came face to face with a moose though, luckily she didn't notice and start barking cause I don't know what would have happened.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I walk my dog for about 45 minutes a day and it's definitely a good thing. When she was younger, she used to run with me but now that she's 11, she's a little slower. She still LOVES to walk though and if I didn't walk her every day, she wouldn't sleep as well at night and she wouldn't be so well behaved. As Cesar Milan always says: "Exercise, Discipline, Affection".
pugglelover pugglelover 7 years
For sure I get more exercise because of my dogs. I go to the gym before work and after I take them out for a walk and trust me it has to be a long walk w/ some running. I end up walking/running almost 6 miles everyday!
mondaymoos mondaymoos 7 years
I feel bad for my puppy right now because I don't take her on walks as often as I'd like... it's just so damn hot outside right now and she hasn't learned to not trip me when we walk yet, so taking her at night isn't an option. :(
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