Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Fitness Partner You Can Count On: Your Dog!

Mark Twain said that the outside of a dog was good for the inside of a man and those of us who love our canine pals know that this is absolutely true. A study from the University of Michigan, however, shows that it may well be true in a factual way, as well and that dogs can have a real impact on not only our well-being, but our fitness, as well. Writing for Dogs in Canada, Alison Preiss says:
Owners who walk their dogs (which accounts for roughly two-thirds of American dog owners) walk about an hour more per week than their non-dog-owning counterparts. More encouraging is that dog walkers were found to achieve an overall higher level of physical activity.
With this idea in mind, Toronto’s Sal Sloan has developed Fetching,“for fit dogs and bods,” a fitness program that partners humans and their canine companions for everyone’s health and happiness.
The idea for Fetching came from Sloan’s experience as a busy marketing professional. “I’d get home at 8 p.m. and walk my dog, and then there was no way I was going to the gym, I just didn’t have time. So, either I would go to the gym and ‘Chewy’ would get a 15-minute crappy walk, or I would take Chewy for a walk and I would have to sacrifice my exercise. So I thought, there’s got to be a way to pull everything together.”

So that’s what she did. A typical fetching class involves a workout that emphasizes cardio endurance, full body strength and flexibility. On top of that, the dogs learn a new command from an experienced trainer, which is worked into the routine. There is also a stretching session and some agility added just for fun.

When the hour-long class is over, you have the satisfaction of a good workout, a tired dog and the benefit of the time you’ve spent together.
Hopefully Vancouver follows this trend and starts classes soon so we can reap the fitness benefits along with our dogs!

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