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Dog Owners More Likely to Meet Fitness Benchmarks

It turns out our furry friends have more to offer us than companionship and unconditional love. Multiple studies show that dog owners are generally healthier and more likely to meet national fitness benchmarks than non-owners. 

According to the American Heart Association, dog owners are 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity each day. 

 

In general, pet ownership has proven to lead to a number of great health benefits associated with happiness, reducing stress, and lowering blood pressure but dogs are special. Because they need exercise and often demand it from us, they have a persistent way of urging us onto a path toward more exercise and better health.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health showed that dog owners take an average of 2,760 more steps per day compared with those who don’t have dogs. This amounts to 23 additional minutes of moderate exercise per day. Another more recent study published in 2017 by BMC Public Health backs these numbers. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), adults should get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (i.e., brisk walking) each week. And of course, achieving such benchmarks help individuals improve and maintain long-term health – both physical and mental wellness. 

Walking is one of the best physical activities nearly anyone can do. Taking a dog out for a walk often makes the activity more enjoyable and feel less like exercise – less like a chore.

 

Approximately 54.4 million U.S. households own at least one dog, based on stats from the Humane Society of the United States. 

Pets require lots of love, care, and responsibility, and simply having one isn’t going to immediately put you on a path toward a healthier life. There are too many other factors to consider. However, if you love animals and could use some added motivation to get outdoors, dogs have a way of coaxing people in that direction.

If you’re a dog owner who has pain or a physical limitation holding you back from walking or playing with your furry friend, you should consider visiting us at ACPT. One of our great physical therapists can provide a full pain and/or movement assessment with an eye toward getting pet owners (and would-be pet owners) back on track to more active, pain-free living. 

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Exercise Ball Lumbar Strength Program

SUPINE TRUNK ROTATION

While lying on your back with an exercise
ball under your lower legs, slowly roll the ball
side to side to gently rotate your back.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 3 Seconds
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 1 Time(s) a Day

 

 

PRAYER STRETCH

While kneeling with an exercise ball in front
of you, slowly lean forward and roll the ball
forward until a stretch is felt.

Repeat 5 Times
Hold 5 Seconds
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 1 Time(s) a Day

 

 

PELVIC TILT – SITTING

Sit on a large exercise ball and place your
hands on your hips. Next, arch your low back
and then flatten it repeatedly. Your pelvis
should tilt forward and back during the
movement. Move through a comfortable
range of motion.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 1 Second
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 1 Time(s) a Day

 

 

FLOOR BRIDGE

While lying on the floor, place an exercise
ball under your lower legs and then raise up
your buttocks.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 3 Seconds
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 1 Time(s) a Day

 

 

SEATED ALTERNATE ARM AND LEG

While seated on an exercise ball, raise a leg
and opposite arm. Return limbs back down
and then raise the opposite side.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 1 Seconds
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 1 Time(s) a Day

 

 

PRONE ROLL OUT

Kneel with an exercise ball in front of you.
You should be flexed at hips and your
elbows propped on the ball.
Next, slowly lean forward and allow the ball
to roll forward up your arms while
maintaining a tight and neutral spine.
Lastly, roll the ball back to the starting
position using your arms and trunk.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 5 Seconds
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 1 Time(s) a Day

 

 

SUPINE CRUNCH TOUCH

Start by lying on the floor with your knees
bend and holding a ball over your head.
Next, bring both your knees and ball towards
each other above your chest and touch your
knees to the ball. Then slowly return both to
original positions.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 1 Seconds
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 1 Time(s) a Day

 

 
Print this exercise series by visiting www.my-exercise-code.com and entering code 5AN3EXG.
Patients receive a customized exercise program when working with a physical therapist. Contact us today for more information!

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Lumbar Strength Program

PELVIC TILT – SUPINE

PELVIC TILT - SUPINE

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Next,
arch your low back and then flatten it
repeatedly. Your pelvis should tilt forward
and back during the movement. Move
through a comfortable range of motion.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 3 Seconds
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 2 Time(s) a Day

 

 

HIP ADDUCTION SQUEEZE – SUPINE

HIP ADDUCTION SQUEEZE - SUPINE

Place a rolled-up towel, ball or pillow
between your knees and press your knees
together so that you squeeze the object
firmly. Hold and then release and repeat.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 3 Seconds
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 2 Time(s) a Day

 

 

 

SUPINE HIP ABDUCTION – ELASTIC BAND CLAMS

SUPINE HIP ABDUCTION - ELASTIC BAND CLAMS

Lie down on your back with your knees bent.
Place an elastic band around your knees and
then draw your knees apart.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 1 Second
Complete 3 Sets
Perform 2 Time(s) a Day

 

 

 

BRIDGING

BRIDGING

While lying on your back, engage a pelvic tilt.
Tighten your lower abdominals, squeeze
your buttocks and then raise your buttocks
off the floor/bed as creating a “Bridge” with
your body. Hold and then lower yourself and
repeat.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 2 Seconds
Complete 10 Sets
Perform 1 Time(s) a Day

 

LOWER TRUNK ROTATIONS – LTR

LOWER TRUNK ROTATIONS - LTRLying on your back with your knees bent,
gently move your knees side-to-side.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 3 Seconds
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 1 Time(s) a Day

 

 

 

 

QUADRUPED ALTERNATE ARM AND LEG WITH KNEE ELBOW TOUCHES
“BIRD DOG ELBOW TOUCHES”

While in a crawling position, slowly lift your
leg and opposite arm upwards.
When returning your arm and leg down, do
not touch the floor but instead touch your
elbow to your opposite knee and lift and
straighten them again. Then set them down
on the floor. Next, perform on the other side
and repeat.

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 1 Second
Complete 2 Sets
Perform 2 Time(s) a Day

 

Print this exercise series by visiting www.my-exercise-code.com and entering code MGX8ZQ9.
Patients receive a customized exercise program when working with a physical therapist. Contact us today for more information!