I start nearly every Saturday and Sunday with a five-mile run. Then, to prep for upcoming climbs, I don a 50-lb weighted vest and take my dog, Mick, for a four-mile walk.
If you think my fitness routine is excessive, think again. A new survey shows that dog walkers are much more active overall than people who don't have dogs.
According to a Michigan State University study of 5,900 people (2,170 of whom were dog owners), pooch people had higher overall levels of both moderate and vigorous physical activity than the other subjects, and they were more likely to take part in other leisure-time physical activities as well. On average, dog walkers exercised about 30 minutes more a week than people who didn't have dogs.
There's no doubt in my mind that my 'value add' walk with Mick has only heightened my fitness levels. And, check this cat lovers, a different study showed that dog owners were 60 percent more likely to walk for leisure than people who owned cats (put that in your kitty litter and smoke it!).
All this positive pet news has sparked an idea. Why don't McDonald's and other purveyors of empty, calorie-laden fast food partner with local rescue shelters? That way, as soon as a Mickey D patron packs on, say, 1,200 unneeded calories, he or she can burn them off by taking a brisk walk with Fido. And, who knows, maybe man and canine will bond along the way and, voila, there will be one less homeless dog in the world. They could call the program McRescue. (This has Silver Anvil Award written all over it.)
But, enough free ideas for the empty calorie folks. Mick's giving me that look again. He knows his Saturday walk is just hours away. Soon enough, he and his master will be panting away.