By: Dr. Jack Stephens
According to a research project at the University of Missouri (conducted by Rebecca Johnson PhD and Richard Meadows D.V.M.) study participants who walked a dog averaged a weight loss of fourteen pounds, which was a better result than most weight loss plans.
The project goal was to look for ways to increase the average exercise regimen. They found being responsible for a pet, such as committing to walk a loaner dog, encouraged people who did not own dogs to walk more often and for longer periods of time. Their first study group averaged a weight loss of fourteen pounds during the one year program.
The lesson was this: having a pet encourages owners to get more exercise and lose weight. Good for the human and good for the dog.
As you know from my prior posts there are other advantages of being with your pet that result in biochemical changes that take place in you. Some examples:
• Reduced cortisol, the hormone associated with stress (therefore your stress level decreases),
• Increased oxytocin hormone, which makes you feel good,
• Increased prolactin, your bonding hormone,
• Increased serotonin levels, helping to reduce depression, and
• Increased phenylethylamine which increases your feeling of exhilaration.
All that and loosing weight while walking your dog!
Another way pets help us physically.