During the start of every New Year, people from all walks of life make resolutions about losing weight, getting fit and getting healthier. They purchase gym memberships, but can’t get motivated to go. They start the latest fad diet and can’t force themselves to stick with it long enough to get any results.

This behavior isn’t just limited to the beginning of the year either. People make failed attempts to get themselves into a better state of health with little success all year long. There is always a good reason to start your new diet or exercise plan; you want to squeeze into a size six for your cousin’s wedding or you want to feel confident in your swim suit when beach season hits. Maybe your cholesterol is high or your stamina is low.

A large part of the failure of all of these endeavors to get healthier stems from the fact that we aren’t giving ourselves a good and definitive reason to get up, go out and get moving. In the back of our minds, there is always the thought that tomorrow is another day.

Bad days at work, trouble sleeping or your favorite show coming on aren’t good excuses to skip your workout, but they are excuses that people use everyday. What we need to guarantee is our success in getting healthier is a reason to get moving that we can’t ignore.

Man’s (or woman’s) Best Friend

If you can’t seem to stick to a regular workout routine and you are in desperate need of dropping some pounds, whether it’s by doctor’s orders or just to be able to look at yourself in the mirror again, then getting a dog may be the perfect path to your success.

There are no two ways about it, dogs need to get outside. They need to go to the bathroom and they need regular activity to be healthy and happy.

An average dog needs about one twenty to thirty minute walk a day. In addition to the quick trips out to relieve themselves, they need to get enough exercise to remain in good health. Twenty to thirty minutes is, coincidently, a perfect amount of time for an adult to get out and perform some type of physical activity in order to stay in good health.

No Excuses

Your dog won’t want to hear that you’re tired. Your dog won’t care that the new episode of some prime time drama is coming on and your dog certainly won’t care that your boss was giving you a hard time all day.

Your dog will need to go outside, period. That is exactly the type of motivation many people need these days in order to get the amount of physical activity they need to get themselves into a healthier state.

A Faithful Training Partner

As you begin to work out the kinks created by year after year of doing nothing more than sitting in front of the TV, you’ll begin to feel better. Those excess pounds that you’ve been building up will start to melt away.

There may be a lot of skeptics about this “workout plan.” People will wonder how it’s possible to lose weight simply by taking a dog out for a stroll, but you can rest assured that this is an excellent way to get yourself on the road to better health.

A recent study conducted by the University of Missouri at Columbia, showed a reasonable pattern of weight loss for subjects who walked a dog for twenty minutes a day, five days a week over the course of one year.

The average participant in the study lost nearly fifteen pounds over the course of the year. Though the information from the study can not guarantee the same results for anyone who begins walking a dog, one thing to consider is that the study only included five days of the week. You, as a dog owner, would be getting that activity seven days a week.

The subjects were using twenty minutes as their goal per day. You would be unlimited as to the amount of time and type of activity you chose on each walk.

Fifteen pounds in one year is not an extraordinary amount of weight to lose, but for someone who’s had little success with any endeavor they’ve attempted in the past, fifteen pounds could be a huge accomplishment. Seeing that weight come off can be a great motivator to do more. Having that unavoidable excuse for activity can allow you to get to that next level and continue to take the weight off.

If subjects in the study lost fifteen pounds in twenty minutes over five days a week, and you’ll be walking thirty minutes a day for seven days a week, your weight loss could be markedly higher. The change in your health over the first year could be dramatic.

As you begin, you may only be able to walk for fifteen, or so minutes a day. After a month, you may be walking for over thirty minutes. The healthier you and your dog get together, the more activity you’ll be capable of on a given day. By the six month mark, you may be going for long runs with your new best friend.

Make no mistake about it, if you want to take a forty-five minute walk around a park on a beautiful spring day, your dog will be right by your side the entire time with zero complaints. If you get to a level of fitness that has you wanting to take your dog for two thirty minute walks a day, it’s a safe assumption that your four legged friend certainly won’t have a problem with that either.

The more time you spend with your dog in these bonding experiences, the closer the two of you will get. Your dog can and will be the best friend and training partner that you’ve ever had. For anyone who needs some kind of unavoidable excuse to get up and get moving, getting a dog can be the best solution.

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