Hey Mick! Ready to do four miles?

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.

Mick runningAccording 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.

8 thoughts on “Hey Mick! Ready to do four miles?

  1. Nice Lia. BTW, Mick and his brother, Rooney, have their own Facebook page (“bothdogs”). I’m sure they’d friend your pooch if prompted.

  2. Makes sense, Greg. I wonder, though, if McRescue would be seen within McDonald’s as an admission that they are, in fact, part of the problem and not the solution?

  3. This is cool – I totally believe it. We adopted our dog four weeks ago and started taking her for runs soon after – moreso to tire her out and ensure she got fit than for any benefit to myself (I hated running.) Now I’m running a few miles every day with ease and have totally caught the running bug. It’s 99 percent of the reason why I’m running the marathon in November!

  4. It is also the reason the wife has the best “guns” in town. Hitting those tennis balls to the dogs in the yard when Daddy is not home to go on those runs. Nice post.

  5. Great idea about the McDonald’s/dog rescue. Each local franchise should partner with their animal shelter. Maybe if customers “volunteer” to walk a dog from the shelter (which gives both parties some exercise), they can receive a coupon or voucher for some “healthy” purchase at Mickey D’s. Volunteers are always needed at the shelters, the dogs need exercise, both parties will be getting exercise, Mickey D’s does its community service and it’s a win-win-win for everyone. Isn’t that a good way to throw them a bone.
    Great idea RepMan. And who knows, maybe it’s the beginning of a “love affair” between the McDonald’s customer and pet and could very well lead to adoption.
    As far as that NYT piece, think about it. Not only are you getting the exercise but you probably know from first-hand experience that dogs like to pull etc. and that gives you some strength resistance activity, too.