dog_owners_fit.jpgIf you're a dog owner, you probably spend time each week walking your dog and keeping him active for his benefit, but you may not realize that you're also promoting a more active lifestyle for yourself. According to studies examined by Dr. Sandra McCune, animal behaviorist and co-editor of The Health Benefits of Dog Walking for People and Pets, dog walkers fulfill their daily quota of exercise better than other people.

In one such study commissioned by Mars Petcare, they surveyed 1,011 adults and found out that 66 percent of people who took walks every week did so because of their dogs. Twenty-five percent of those who had children and pets also went to parks for their dogs, and even 44 percent of dog owners aged 65 and above exercised weekly for the same reason.

McCune stresses that dogs give you more than just exercise; they help you socialize too. "If people go out with a dog, they're more likely to have a conversation," she is quoted as saying on

Shirley Archer, fitness instructor and American Council on Exercise spokesperson, says bonding with your doggie is important. "Frisbee tossing, ball throwing, agility competitions, dog and human boot camps, are great opportunities to be active." She reminds owners to take care of their pets. "If they ride with you on a bicycle, they need to be trained to stay close. Keep them hydrated. Check their paws. Don't let them run right after they eat."

Keep this in mind the next time your doggie is bugging you for a walk outside. Think of it as working out with your furry pal as your buddy--it's beneficial for both of you in the end.

Find out what other benefits you can get from owning a pet by reading these:
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(Photo by if u draw i want to photograph your work! via Flickr Creative Commons)

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