Thursday, September 29, 2011

Want to stay fit ? walk a dog

Personally I can say it is quite true ...

walking a dog

When it comes to getting fit a person's best friend just might be a four-legged one.

Experts say studies show dog owners walk more, walk faster, and are more likely to enjoy an active lifestyle because of their companion animal.

"I'm fascinated by what a great motivator dogs can be," said Dr. Sandra McCune, co-editor of the book, "The Health Benefits of Dog Walking for People and Pets."

McCune, an animal behaviorist based in Leicestershire, England, said studies show if you're a dog walker, you're more likely to meet the guidelines for daily activities.

Dogs are the reason behind two-thirds, 66 percent, of the walks their owners take each week, according to a recent survey of more than 1,011 adults commissioned by pet food company Mars Petcare.

One-quarter of people with children and pets regularly visit parks and other outdoor spaces because of their dog.

"Personally, I have a Labrador," McCune said. "When it's dark, when it's raining, the dog needs a walk, every day."

She said dog walking also strengthens social and communal ties.

"If people go out with a dog, they're more likely to have a conversation," she explained.

According to the poll some 44 percent of dog owners aged 65 and older exercise on a weekly basis because of their dog.

"Dogs are strong drivers of social capital," said McCune, explaining that social capital is a sociological term which she defined as the value of all relationships.

"Dog ownership benefits the entire community," she said.

This fall YMCAs in several U.S. cities are hosting their version of dog days. Called the Power of Pets, the programs include dog run/walks, dog yoga and other dog fair activities.

"It's a chance to get the community together," Katy Leclair, executive director of the Lake View, Illinois YMCA said of the program. "Families with dogs tend to be more active."

As workout partners, canines can offer energy, enthusiasm, and the social support so crucial to sticking with an exercise program, according to Shirley Archer, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.

"Dogs can provide that companionship," said Archer, a Florida-based fitness instructor. "Frisbee tossing, ball throwing, agility competitions, dog and human boot camps, are great opportunities to be active," she said. "But obedience training is a must."

She cautions that as living creatures dogs need to be taken care of.

"If they ride with you on a bicycle, they need to be trained to stay close," she said. "Keep them hydrated. Check their paws. Don't let them run right after they eat."

Laura Cartwright Hardy, a grandmother and full-time graduate student living in Little Rock, Arkansas, has two huge German Shepherds.

"I've had big dogs since I was 20 and that's definitely been part of the reason I've always been fit," said Hardy, who started lifting weights in her 30s so she could carry 40-pound (18.14-kg) bags of dog food with ease.

"They certainly keep you honest about walking," she said. "Those big brown eyes make it impossible to say no."

She added that every human walking partner she has had, except her sister and her husband, quit because she went too fast.

"My dogs (all girls) have been steadfast," she said.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dog Heroes

No words since a image can sometimes worth a 1000 words, and this one, not only recalls the tragedy, but also the 4 leg heroes that together with the 2 legs, saved, many times paying with their life's, dozens of people !


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Dog no longer man’s best friend

Scary ... but in a way makes sense in our world ...

If you take your dog for a walk this evening consider this: Is Rover your best friend or has your love for your laptop surpassed your canine friend?

A survey conducted by YouGov suggests that the everyday computer has taken over the top spot for man’s best friend. Almost two thirds of those who took part in the survey consider their computer "a more constant companion than a dog".

This is more prevalent in younger dog owners, the survey suggests. This stunning discovery comes as more and more people spend more time on their computers then with their dog.

Internet browsing, online shopping, watching YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and consuming news online is more sought-after then running around with little Rex.

Only 6 per cent of those questioned said that Rex and Rover were their best friends,this minority believing that "most people rely more on their dog than they do on their PC".

A spokesperson for Computeractive, the people who commissioned the study with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said, "These days you can even take your PC for a walk, provided you have a laptop or tablet."

With these statistics in mind, we would like to remind you all that laptops aren’t just for Christmas. Now go give that dog a bone instead of watching someone get boned on the internet.