By LAN HOÀNG
Even if all hopes are lost on your weight loss journey, the furry ball by your side might be just the aid you need.
According to a study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, over 60 percent of Americans are overweight. The study also showed that over 60 percent of pets were overweight.
To fight against this overweight trend, the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago collaborated with Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a U.S based pet food company that pioneered the field of veterinary clinical nutrition, to research if people could employ their dogs as weight loss accelerators.
The buddy system, their study showed, created some wonderful results.
Psychologically speaking, dogs tend to make people open up and lower down their defenses. With a dog, humans are more receptive to training and other positive advises in general. Legendary dog trainer, Cesar Millan, for example, has always said that dogs could be used to rehabilitate humans.
The way one treats his pet is similar to the way he treats himself, says a study by Princeton University. As one adopts a dog, he will carry a responsibility to treat the dog well and provide the exercise that the dog needs. In this way, the person will also start to treat his body better and give up the excuses that might otherwise obstruct his exercise regime.
More than often, it’s the fun that keeps people going on walks with their dogs. Once you begin, try to establish an exercise routine with your dog. The more consistent this routine is, the more your dog will be disciplined. In days that you don’t feel like getting out of bed, your dog will nudge, beg and pull you until you give up and get on your shoes. This partner will not give you any mercy for laziness.
A lot of dog breeds are highly active, which means that they can make perfect sports partners. In fact, many athletes adopt salukis, greyhounds or doberman-pinschers to help them train. These dogs, with the aid of the best dry Greyhound dog foods in town are capable of running up to to 45 mph.
Once your dog becomes your coach, it’s time to create a program to train yourself with these principles: excercises, disciplines, affection and positive reinforcements.
Here’s a checklist to help keep things going:
- Check with your physician to determine the amount of exercise you need. Also, check with the vet to know the appropriate amount of exercise for your dog. It’s important that you match your dog breed and energy with your exercise program.
- Establish a balanced diet for you and your dog.
- Some activities you can do: running, fetching, hill climbing, rollerblading, jogging, etc.
- Set a daily routine to walk or run at the same time every day with your dog. Mornings are more recommended because you and your dog will be able to disperse the pent up energy that has accumulated in the night.
- Set milestones. The buddy effect between you and your dog will make you more likely to stick to the plan.
- Keep the fun: if things get too boring or tiring, fetching games or toy hunting can still be good.
- Lastly, remember to treat your body the way you treat your dog: with respect.
LAN HOÀNG is a guest contributor for The Buzz Insider and is a dog enthusiast from dogstolove.com. She mainly blogs about the scientific sides of dog care, dog health, dog training and the best dry dog food.
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