Woman running with dog Obesity is an ever-growing problem -- for both humans and their dogs. The most recent figures show that 35.7% of U.S. adults and a whopping 53% of the nation's dogs are overweight. The bottom line is we all need to eat better and get in shape -- so why not do it together?
"There's an old saying,'' said Andrea Metcalf, a fitness expert in Chicago, "if your dog is getting fat, you're not getting enough exercise. Unfortunately, a lot of people think they don't have the time to get it in -- for themselves or their animals.''
How to spice up your dog's exercise routine
Metcalf said that even a 10-minute walk in the morning and evening, combined with an appropriate diet, can be meaningful. As you and your pet get stronger, she recommends going for longer walks on the weekend, hiking, biking, and even running. "Getting in shape is a win-win for everyone,'' she said. And not just in terms of losing weight, but making a commitment to do exercise together. "Pets can play a huge role in helping us stay with it.''
Motivate each other
Dogs are great motivators, especially when you consider that they need to go outside to use the facilities, and are creatures of routine.
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"If you play, walk, or exercise at a certain time each day, chances are your dog will be standing in front of you holding the leash when that time comes,'' said Chicago veterinarian Dr. Tony Kremer, "and you'd better be ready.'' In that sense, he and others agree: Your dog is the most reliable workout buddy you could ever ask for.
Monitor your fitness
Want to discover exactly how beneficial a simple walk with your dog can be? The Weather Channel has a calculator that allows you to plug in the details of your walk -- and presents you with the amount of calories burned! Check it out here!
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