Get a Personal Trainer…or a DOG.

Forget a gym membership, get a dog. Not only do canine companions provide you with the inspiration to get up out of bed in the morning, they provide unconditional love to the owner and improve the human’s overall health.

Often times we blame our increase in weight over the years to a decrease in our metabolic rate. In fact it is proven that it is the reduction in physical activity combined with the consumption of roughly the same calories over the years that make the pounds pack on. The increase in the weight also contributes to depression, chronic pain, and other physical and mental problems.

Solution: Get a dog and get up and go!

To avoid weight gain, adding regular movement to your day is crucial. That could involve taking the stairs at work or hitting the gym a few times a week — every little bit counts.

In fact, new research published this spring suggests that to achieve better health and reduce your risk of death from any cause, any kind of movement is better than little or none. That means any effort that gets you moving and breathing — whether it’s a twice-weekly heart-pounding kickboxing class or a 30-minute walk to work — has measurable benefits for your brain and body .

That study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association , used data on physical activity and death rates from national surveys of more than 4,800 adults. It found that people with more “bouted” or concentrated activity (like a fitness class or gym session) fared no better than people who clocked the same amount of exercise in tiny bits throughout the day (like walking to the train or taking the dog for a stroll).

“The key message based on the results presented is that total physical activity (i.e., of any bout duration) provides important health benefits,” the study’s authors wrote.

Image courtesy of: The Pack

Photo By Mr.Molecatcher

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