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Walk your way to fitness in 2006 says Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust volunteer dog walker Kim Bugler pictured, with companion Billy

If you’re one of the 5.15 million dog owning households in the UK, and your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight or to get fitter, then forget the latest fad diets or expensive gym memberships and look no further than your four legged friend.

Walking a dog is one of the best forms of exercise and if you don’t have a dog, why not offer to walk a friend’s or contact one of Dogs Trust’s 16 Rehoming Centres throughout the UK and offer to walk a dog. Not only will the dog reap the rewards, but so will you.

Walking has a number of well documented physical and physiological benefits, which not only helps general well-being but also helps to maintain and lose weight, while also being a great form of exercise for the heart, lungs, muscles and bone growth particularly in children.

In addition, research has also shown that just by spending time with dogs can also aid the reduction of stress, reduce blood pressure and can help guard people from loneliness and depression.

Clarissa Baldwin, Dogs Trust Chief Executive, comments:

“There is evidence that suggests that dog ownership encourages owners to be more active, and in addition, as dogs are such social beings, they are ideal companions and can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. So dog ownership is therefore not only good fun, but can also keep you fit and healthy.”

Kim Bugler, a volunteer dog walker at the Salisbury Rehoming Centre, really looks forward to her weekly trips to Dogs Trust.:

“I get a lot of enjoyment out of walking dogs at Dogs Trust, and I know the dogs enjoy it too! As a volunteer, I can give each dog that extra bit of individual attention, and for me I feel I really benefit from my brisk weekly walks and really enjoy socialising with fellow volunteers.”