Monday, 19 May 2008

Get fit with Fido

Want an easy trick to keep fit? Buy a dog. Not only are dogs wonderful companions, but responsible dog owners are said to reap multiple health benefits from their relationship to their furry friends. How do they help? Let me count the ways:

  1. Dog owners are more fit, in general, than non-owners. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Western Australia, dog owners are at least 50 percent more apt to achieve adequate levels of physical activity, as opposed to non-owners.
  2. Dog walking, according to the University of Portsmouth, helps prevent depression and lonliness in many dog owners in the UK.
  3. Petting a dog may help lower blood pressure, and could possibly reduce the effects of stress on the body and mind.
  4. You've heard of the whole "single man buying a puppy to attract women" ploy, but actually, owning a dog can help people make friends. Dog owners are generally perceived as friendly. Plus, dog lovers tend to flock together. Find a playmate for your dog and a friend, or even, yes, a date!
For very active people, a dog can be a great companion for long runs and hikes in the woods. Dogs can be amazing atheletes as well and can challange their owners with agility competitions. There are large networks of doggy agility enthusiasts in the UK. Many events operate outside of London, but training can be done anywhere.

Considering owning a dog? Think about doggy adoption. Here is a great website illustrating everything you need to know about choosing and owning a dog.

Some Londoners don't have the space, time, or money for a dog. In such a case, maybe you have a friend who is a dog owner, and perhaps you can opt to help take the dog out to the park once or twice a week. Or, consider a side job as a dog walker. Not only will you earn some extra money, but you will keep fit as well.

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