There's no better time to commit to a healthier, happier lifestyle than right now. While starting a new activity or accomplishing a new goal can be difficult, it isn't impossible—especially for those of you who have a workout buddy.
If you're a dog owner, consider yourself lucky to have a training partner. Not only will your pet encourage you to get outdoors and stay active, but it's also a great way to bond while you share a new experience.
"You don't grow to love the Stairmaster," Dr. Marty Booker, author of Fitness Unleashed! A Dog and Owner's Guide to Losing Weight and Gaining Health Together, told Modern Dog Magazine. "No one talks to their free weights. In walking your dog, you develop a richer, deeper level with your pet."
Dr. Booker's findings indicate that the reason this relationship works so well is by increasing your motivation to get outside more often. In fact, He lost 42 pounds just from walking his own dog.
As you start your weight-loss journey, learn how to include your furry friend with these three tips.
What It Takes to Lose One Pound
You need to burn 3,500 calories through a combination of exercise and diet to lose one pound of fat (Caloric Calculator). This statistic can be daunting once you've discovered how much weight you and your dog plan to lose. But don't get discouraged—it can be done.
The key to losing weight is consistency. If it's been awhile since you've been on a weight-loss regimen, try not to get too dejected if you don't see the results you desire right away. It takes time to get into a routine. By including your dog in your exercise routine, you'll enhance the experience and be more motivated to push forward. The results will come with time.
The good news is, research has proven that when you rely on your dog as your training partner, your chance of sticking with an activity to lose weight is increased dramatically.
Robert Kushner, coauthor of a PPET study titled "People and Pets Who Exercise Together" found that people lost an average of 11 pounds while dogs dropped 12 pounds in one year just from taking walks together. Those in the study without canine counterparts followed the same exercise and diet recommendations but lost less weight.
The conclusion? Exercise with your dog is more fun than it is by yourself, which means you'll exercise more often and for longer amounts of time. And it's just as beneficial for an overweight pet.
Let's take a look at what you need to do to get started.
Try a Combination of Running and Walking
Make it your goal to run every other day and walk on the days you don't run. Take your dog with you for each workout. Dogs love routine, and they'll notice when you miss a day. Accountability plays a huge role in consistency and will help you stick to an exercise program.