Another reason dogs are good for you

A study appearing in this month’s Journal of Physical Activity and Health of 6,000 people found that those who had dogs were 34 percent more likely to achieve the government recommended minimum weekly allotment of 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise. (That’s five days a week of 30 minutes of exercise, or three days a week of 50 minutes of exercise, for example.)

“Dogs can be a great motivator for physical activity,” study author Mathew Reeves, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Michigan State University in East Lansing, told MedlinePlus. “People who walk their dogs, walk more. They walk about an hour longer each week,”  added Reeves, who is also a vet.

Of the 6,000 people, who participated in the 2005 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 41 percent owned a dog. Of those, nearly two-thirds reported walking their dog for at least 10 minutes at a time. The remaining one-third didn’t regularly walk their dogs. Overall, the dog owners were 69 percent more likely to partake in leisure-time physical activity than the non-dog owners.

If you’re now thinking of getting a dog for exercise, consider that the survey found that smaller dogs led to shorter walks, younger dogs afforded more exercise. The dog-as-exercise regimen proved especially helpful for folks 65 and older, and those earning $20,000 a year or less.
Read more here.

Running feet, runny nose

If you ran in yesterday’s Tobacco Road Marathon (congratulations to Chapel Hill’s Kipyegon Kirui for 2:24:27 first-place finish) and woke up today with itchy eyes, runny nose and congestion, there’s a reason: Turns our you’re more susceptible to allergies after running 26.2 miles.

A study of 150 runners from last year’s London Marathon found that one-in-three suffered allergy-induced symptoms following the spring race. Such symptoms are common after a race, but were thought to be the result of infections taking advantage of a run-stressed immune system. Blood tests of the London runners found the presence of immunoglobulin E antibodies, a sign of an allergic reaction. Only 8 percent of the runners were taking meds for allergies.

“These post-event sniffles might seem minor, but there are clear risks that people could go on to develop exercise-induced asthma and airway inflammation,” cautioned Dr. Paula Robson-Ansley, who lead the team conducting the study. In short: Don’t be so quick to write off those post-race sniffles.

Read more here.

Photo: Astro helped George Jetson keep trim.

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