What if Every Dog Ran: Benefits of Running
We have gone on record to state that owners of overweight or obese pets are not only shortening their pet’s lifespans, but they are also spending needless billions of dollars each year in extra food and medical costs. Our (conservative) estimate is that this cost is somewhere near $8 billion for dogs alone and the total is probably at least doubled if cats are included.
It turns out that Mizuno, the athletic apparel and equipment company had commissioned a study called “What If Everybody Ran” that explored the myriad of benefits that could happen if everyone in the U.S. ran on a regular basis. The study was performed by MBA students at the University of North Carolina’s business school. Note: as a Duke University graduate, it does pain me to refer to this report! 😉
The students analyzed U.S. Census data and research studies to determine how running might impact our overall health and the economy. Some of the findings are pretty astounding but also in line with what we have been suggesting are the benefits of keeping our pets fit and trim. Below is a list of some of the more interesting benefits. (View the full report here).
- An increase in life expectancy of 5.6 more years for women and 6.2 years for men
- 200 billion pounds of weight loss per year and 200 million inches lost from our waistlines
- $143 billion saved in health care costs
- 10 percent more earning potential in the average household
- And of course…63 million happier dogs
Any one of these estimate are significant individually, but taken together, they are absolutely amazing. Even if the estimates are not precise, there is no doubt that they are directionally correct.
Many of these same benefits can also affect our pets. Dogs will live almost 2 years longer if they are in shape and lean. Regular exercise can increase their moods and brain function. The list goes on and on. In fact, this research has inspired me to conduct my own detailed analysis of the benefits of having a running dog, or fit dog on our health and pocketbook. I will publish my results in a future post.
One last point about this study. Many of the articles used to support the conclusions were about exercise in general and not just running. Thus, if you and your pet can’t run, you both can still experience all of these amazing benefits as long as you exercise regularly at moderate to high levels of intensity.
What are you waiting for? Let’s improve get fit with our dogs and save money and increase our lifespans and quality of like. It’s the biggest no brainer in history.Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below - lots of fun fitness tips and advice!