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Dogs running

Why Dogs Are The Perfect Partners For Exercise

2 MIN READ • 23rd January 2022
Vicky Warrell by Vicky Warrell

Recent studies have shown us that both exercise and dogs are great contributors to your wellbeing. So what if we combined the two together? Take yourself back to the feeling you get after you’ve just completed a workout, now imagine that feeling, but enhanced. All you need is a pair of running shoes and the help of a four-legged friend.

Grain-free pet food brand, Canagan, and the University of Chichester have partnered on research to examine whether runners had an enhanced physical and emotional experience when accompanied by their dog.

The study shows that exercising with your dog not only improves, mental well being and motivation but stamina too, compared to going it alone.

Banish bad moods

Mood data revealed that negative mental states, such as depression, anger and fatigue had decreased after the runs. Owners felt that the runs were more enjoyable due to the emotional connection between owner and dog.

Participants felt a sense of personal satisfaction over their accomplishments, with the bonus of the exercise being time-efficient. The activity meant they were able to spend time with their pets, as well as fitting in exercise into their daily routine. Owners also admitted a greater sensation enjoyment due to companionship of the fluffy kind on the runs.

Henry Dove, veterinary expert for Canagan adds:

“Adding runs into your pet’s daily exercise regime will ensure they will be fit, less likely to be overweight, keep their joints mobile, and strengthen their muscle mass. They will also get mental stimulation from going to new places and be happy that they are doing something with you. It’s important to remember that like humans, your dog will need to build their running endurance over time, and they will need water along the way too.”

You can go the distance

Another finding was that runs accompanied by dogs saw an increase in stamina and motivation. Owners felt that the prospect of running with their dogs gave them the motivation to get up and go!

Exercising with your dog has been proven to improve cardiovascular health, which means owners are more likely to lead a physically active lifestyle. You’ll also boost your dog’s overall health, mood and fitness levels. It appears the emotional connection we have to our dogs can make us go the distance.

Study leader, Dr Sarah Edmunds from the University of Chichester on the studies findings said: “Results show that our participants exercised at the same intensity both with and without their dog and they experienced a psychological benefit when running with their dog.”

So next time you go for a run, why not pick up that lead first?

 

Meet the writer
Vicky Warrell
H&W deputy editor

As H&W's deputy editor, I'm lucky enough to cover everything from celebrities to skincare. At the weekend, I'm happiest when adding to my ever-expanding houseplant collection, swimming laps at my local lido, spending time with my family and friends or getting creative with crochet and cross stitch.

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