Dogs not only boost your mood and give you something to look forward to when you get home, they can also be a key component to losing weight and staying in shape! Studies have shown that dog owners, on average, get more exercise than people who have a gym membership.
There are a variety of ways your dog can contribute to your fitness goals. In this article we will discuss how owning a dog helps you lose weight.
Dogs are perfect running partners
If you’ve ever tried to stick to a regular running routine, you know how hard it can be to stay motivated. Even if you have a friend who runs with you or a gym buddy, they can also be equally unmotivated to workout at certain times.
On the contrary, you’ve probably never gotten a “no” when asking your dog if they want to go for a run. My dog can’t wait to get outside and explore and this always makes it much easier for me to get moving.
Usually running with your dog is only possible if they are a medium to large breed. Huskies, Labradors, and Australian Shepherds are some examples of breeds who make good running partners. Depending on your level of fitness you might find that your dog can outpace you, which is great motivation to keep training!
Not into running? How about a walk?
If you aren’t interested in running or your dog is too small to keep up with you at that pace, you can always go for a walk. You can stay in shape and lose weight without over-exerting yourself and your dog by taking regular walks.
Getting up from sitting all day is good motivation for you to stay healthy even if you aren’t sweating and out of breath by the end. Any amount of exercise is progress towards your goals!
Losing weight isn’t all about physical exercise
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you must also focus on your mental health. If your mind is healthy, it’s easier for your body to be healthy. Good mental health starts with low levels of anxiety and stress.
It has been proven that dogs help to reduce your stress levels. Being around your dog and petting or playing with them helps release the brain chemical oxytocin, which helps to lower stress and anxiety.
People who are mentally fit have an easier time sticking to a workout routine and eating healthy. Both of these factors increase the likelihood of success for your weight loss goals.
Maintaining your dog’s weight helps you maintain your weight
Your weight loss goals are important to you and your dog’s size and weight should also be important. If you’re focused on maintaining a healthy diet and weight for your dog, it will be easier to follow suit for yourself.
No matter what your goals are, your dog will help!
Whether you want to lose, 10, 20 or 100 pounds, having a dog to motivate you to get off the couch will increase your chance of success. Not only does your four-legged companion provide that extra boost of motivation, they also help you relax mentally so you will maintain a positive mood.
If you don’t currently have a dog, fostering or adopting one that needs to lose weight would be a good idea to kickstart your weight loss plans.