This time of year, a lot of people make the resolution to get fit. But instead of navigating crowded gyms with complicated equipment or struggling through workout videos at home, how about trying another way to lose weight that you’ll actually enjoy? It’s as simple as walking your dog.
Your dog needs the exercise as much as you do.
“In general, even a leisurely walk is good for your dog, both mentally and physically,” Bay Area based veterinary dermatologist Dr. Nicole Eckholm says.
That’s because many health problems can arise from sitting still.
“Weight gain is the biggest factor with sedentary dogs, which leads to joint issues and arthritis later in life,” Dr. Eckholm says. “Exercise is good for everybody!”
That includes you! A brisk 45-minute walk a day can burn up to 300 calories or even more, depending on the speed and incline. If you up the ante and go for a jog, you can burn even more! Try this calculator to see how walking or jogging can really burn the calories and help kick-start your weight-loss program.
Of course if you really want to go for it, you can bike with your dog or even take him on a hike. Make sure you protect your dog’s paws if you are headed off a well-maintained trail. Paw pads are not shoes and cannot withstand major impact from difficult terrain.
Best of all, exercising with your dog is free! Gym memberships can run up to $100 for a family, but walking the dog at the beach, around the neighborhood or at the park is a free and fun family activity.
Here’s to getting fit with Fido in 2015!