Could Chasing Your Dog Around Help You Live Longer?
Sorry, but it's time for you to join your dog's zoomies. It's for your health.
According to a new study from Australian researchers, a few small bursts of vigorous activity each day are connected to a 38–40 percent decrease in premature death in adults. And those bursts are short—as in one or two minutes long, three times per day.
There are several easy ways to incorporate those mini-workouts into your life. You can sprint up the stairs, do jumping jacks, or—as smartly noted by The Washington Post and The Print in India—chase your dog around.
That's easily the best option. It's fun for you and your dog, you don't need any workout equipment, and you're not going to sit there and tell me you'd rather be knocking out some bicycle crunches.
You don't even have to go that hard. The lead researcher, University of Sydney professor of physical activity and health studies Emmanuel Stamatakis, told The Post that, theoretically, you only need to work hard enough that you're unable to participate in a conversation. And you only have to do it three or four times per day.
The study has its limits—this is the first study of "vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity" and health outcomes, for starters—but exercise is obviously still good for you and your pup while serving as a fun way to bond.
If you're looking for a few other ways to exercise with your dog (and maybe tack on a few years to your life), here are some other options:
Walking: Can't go wrong with a classic. Maybe power-walk a few times as you circle your neighborhood to get the vigorous part of your day finished.
Running: A good idea in theory, but make sure your dog is up for it.
Skijoring: This is great if you have the equipment, ability to cross-country ski, patience, an athletic dog, and plenty of snow, but I listed it here because it's fun to say "skijoring."
Dock-diving: Probably the most fun canine sport to watch, and all you have to do is toss a toy.
Cycling: Another one that requires some training, patience, and caution. On second thought, maybe we just stick to games of chase around the yard.