Making a running partner out of your dog is an excellent way to bond and improve your cardiovascular health, but new research has found that it's even one of the top remedies for combating bad moods.
The research, conducted by Canagan and the University of Chichester, found that dog owners who regularly run with their pups had more of a 'get-up-and-go' attitude, as well as greater feelings of stamina and vigour.
As part of the study, they looked into whether runners had an enhanced physical and emotional experience when accompanied by their dogs on runs, compared to those who ran alone. The mood data revealed that negative moods, such as depression, anger and fatigue, decreased following all runs with dogs.
"This is the first study, that we are aware of, which has looked specifically at the impact of running with dogs on their owner’s exercise experience," study leader, Dr. Sarah Edmunds from the University of Chichester said.
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"Results show that our participants exercised at the same intensity both with and without their dog and they experienced a psychological benefit from running with their dog."
Sarah continues, saying: "Interview data found participants were autonomously motivated to run with their dogs. From a behaviour change point of view this is of interest as autonomous motivation is associated with exercise adherence.
"This was a small-scale study, but it indicates taking your dog as a running companion may help to provide that extra motivation to get you out running and help you enjoy the activity."
Running outside not only improves the health of humans, but it also boosts your dog's mood, health and fitness levels. "Building runs into your pet's daily exercise regime will ensure they will be fit, will be less likely to be overweight, will keep their joints mobile, and will strengthen their muscle mass," Henry Dove, Veterinary Expert for Canagan says.
It's the perfect excuse to head outside for a run with your dog.
Looking to adopt a dog that loves running as much as you do? Read our article on the best breed of dogs for runners.
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