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Taking Your Dog For A Walk Can Help Older Adults Live Longer

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dog walk
During the monitoring period, which averaged around five years, 194 of the men died. Pixabay

Even a few minutes of light exercise daily, such as gentle gardening or taking the dog for a walk, can help the elderly live longer, suggests new research.

“(The) results suggest that all activities, however modest, are beneficial. The finding that (low-intensity physical activity) is associated with lower risk of mortality is especially important among older men, as most of their daily physical activity is of light intensity,” said the researchers led by Barbara Jefferis of University College London.

Clocking 150 minutes of weekly physical activity of any level, even if accumulated in short bouts, might be critical, suggest the findings published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

ALSO READ: Not Health, But Happiness Is the Reason behind Outdoor Dog Walking

Current exercise guidelines recommend accumulating at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity in bouts lasting 10 or more minutes. But such a pattern is not always easy for older adults to achieve, the researchers said.

To find out if other patterns of activity might still contribute to lowering the risk of death, the researchers drew on data from the British Regional Heart Study.

dog walk
The final analysis of the study was based on more than 1,000 men, whose average age was 78. Pixabay

 

They were asked to wear an accelerometer — a portable gadget that continuously tracks the volume and intensity of physical activity — during waking hours for seven days.

ALSO READ: Owning a Dog may help Older Adults to be more Active: Study

The accelerometer findings indicated that total volume of physical activity, from light intensity upwards, was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause.

Each additional 30 minutes a day of light intensity activity was associated with a 17 percent reduction in the risk of death, the study said.

While the equivalent reduction in the risk of death was around 33 percent for each additional 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity a day, the benefits of light intensity activity were large enough to mean that this too might prolong life.

And there was no evidence to suggest that clocking up moderate to vigorous activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more was better than accumulating it in shorter bouts, the study said. (IANS)

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Obesity Can Shorten Your Dog’s Lives

"For many owners, giving food, particularly tasty table scraps and tidbits, is the way we show affection for our pets," German said

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A Labrador retriever named Jack dines at a pet restaurant in San Juan, Manila, Philippines, Sept. 6, 2014.
Obesity can cut short your dog's lives. VOA

If you thought that obesity affects only humans, you may be wrong. It can also shorten lives of your canine friends, finds a research.

The research, from the University of Liverpool in the UK, reveals that the lifespan of overweight dogs was up to two-and-half years shorter when compared to ideal-weight dogs.

“Owners are often unaware that their dog is overweight, and many may not realise the impact that it can have on their health,” said Alex German, Professor at the university.

“What they may not know is that if their beloved pet is too heavy, they are more likely to suffer from other problems such as joint disease, breathing issues, and certain types of cancer, as well as having a poorer quality of life. These health and well-being issues can significantly impact how long they live,” he added.

The study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, examined more than 50,000 dogs across 12 of the most popular dog breeds.

The results showed that the pups' attractiveness was lowest at birth and increased to a maximum before 10 weeks of age before declining and then levelling off.
Representational Image. pixabay

Although the study did not examine the reasons behind the extra pounds in dogs, feeding habits are thought to play a role in pet obesity.

According to a recent Better Cities For Pets survey, more than half (54 per cent) of cat and dog owners always or often give their pet food if they beg for it, and nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of cat and dog owners sometimes overfeed their pet to keep them happy.

Also Read- Actor Aamir Khan Feels Necessity To Guide Children on Good Lifestyle Habits

“For many owners, giving food, particularly tasty table scraps and tidbits, is the way we show affection for our pets,” German said.

“Being careful about what you feed your dog could go a long way to keeping them in good shape and enabling them to be around for many years to come,” he noted. (IANS)