So it might sound like an odd thought, but the little lady pictured below is a remarkable piece of fitness equipment...
So why would I include a dog here?
Plain and simple from a fitness perspective, a dog is an expensive, but effective bit of kit and more. Let's list a few reasons why
- Regular exercise is a must - whether you walk or run with your dog, they suddenly become a workout partner, you can't let them down, you need to get off your butt and exercise.
- They rapidly improve their fitness compared to you - if you're just starting out with fitness your dog will probably get fitter than you very quickly, if you're like me you'll want to get fitter so that you can run harder, faster, further and tire the dog out.
- They grow with you, the longer you have with the dog the more you will want to play and enjoy their company - this will help to motivate you.
- They come with a built in burglar alarm for your house.
- There's plenty of proof that dogs (and other pets) are great for mental and physical health, they can be your confidant, they're great for cuddles, they're great for working out your moods and responding to them.
- There are plenty of statistics showing that dog owners need the doctor less than non-dog owners.
That's quite a few reasons to own a dog, so what are the downsides?
- They're not cheap to buy or run, take it into account if considering buying one.
- Holidays and other travel suddenly needs more planning.
- Not everyone is happy to scoop the poop, but, any responsible dog owner should do so, carry a supply of bags and some hand cleaner. If you won't clean up after your dog you shouldn't own one, leaving their messages behind has a negative impact on others health (for example dog poop and mountain bikes don't mix well...)
Our dog needs a longish walk every day to keep her in shape - normally 3-4 miles (sometimes a bit shorter in extenuating circumstances), for a normal walking pace that's about 45minutes - 1 hour of exercise, at running pace it depends how quick you are, at the moment for me somewhere around 30 minutes. If you're fast the distance is likely to stretch and that is where I hope to take my training routine. Without a doubt the benefits (especially for a family) out weigh the negatives, overall a very good bit of fitness kit that you will fall in love with...