Saturday, December 05, 2009

How walking the dog beats going to a gym: It gives you EIGHT hours of exercise a week

No proof is offered of what the optimal exercise period is. Are 8 hours better than one? Who knows? Most human attributes are distributed in a bell curve so it is important to know where the mean is

For those who are keen to keep fit but low on motivation, a personal trainer is often the best option. But the human version may not be the most effective. Dog owners get more exercise walking their pet than someone with a gym membership, researchers have found. On average they exercise the animal twice a day for 24 minutes each time - a total of five hours and 38 minutes a week, a study for the pet healthcare experts Bob Martin found. On top of that, the average owner takes their dog out on three long walks each week, adding a further two hours and 33 minutes to the total.

Those without a dog spend an average of just one hour and 20 minutes a week exercising by going to the gym or heading out for a stroll or jog. Worse still, almost half - 47 per cent - of non-pet owners admit they do absolutely no exercise whatsoever. A spokesman for Bob Martin said: 'A couple of short walks a day soon adds up and this research shows that it amounts to more time than people spend in the gym.'

The study of 5,000 Britons, including 3,000 dog owners, revealed that 57 per cent see walking the dog as their main form of exercise. More than three quarters say they would rather take their pooch for a hike than go to the gym. Some 86 per cent say they enjoy taking their pet out each day, with just 22 per cent saying they ever see it as a chore. But only 16 per cent say they enjoy exercising in the gym, with almost 70 per cent considering it a chore they have to do rather than something they would like to do.

The survey showed that having a dog to walk actually encourages regular exercise with 60 per cent of pet owners saying they always go for a walk with their dog - even when time is precious. But 46 per cent of gym-goers admit they often find other things to do to get out of doing exercise.

More than half of dog owners think walking their pet is a great way to meet new people. The spokesman said: 'Owning a dog makes us more healthy. The Government recommends 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise 3-5 times per week and it's encouraging to see that dog walkers are exceeding this target and enjoying it at the same time.'


In Defense of (Chicken) “Wings”

Paul McCartney has big plans next week. As the BBC reports, the vegetarian former Beatle will travel to the Copenhagen climate change summit to call for the world to adopt “Meatless Mondays” in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The main problem with Sir McCartney’s self-denial campaign? It wouldn’t have much of an actual impact.

Anti-meat activists often point to a 2006 United Nations report—which estimated that animal agriculture was responsible for 18 percent of global emissions—as justification for their latest round of “go veg” campaigns. And a more recent report published in the Worldwatch Institute’s magazine puts the figure even higher, at more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Nonsense. These two reports look at global emissions and unrealistic, worst-case scenarios. In fact, the United Nations admits that its figure unfairly lumps all countries together. Farms in Burma, you see, aren’t nearly as efficient (or climate-friendly) as farms in New Zealand, or those here in the United States.

Both reports also blame livestock producers for emissions caused by activities like making fertilizer and transporting food to market. In a meatless world, of course, these greenhouse gas-producing activities would continue—and increase—as the world would need to fertilize more land to grow soy and ship tofu around to billions of new vegetarians.

So what do all these global estimates mean for Americans? Let’s look at a 2008 inventory of domestic greenhouse-gas emissions conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA determined that the entire agricultural sector was responsible for just 6 percent of total domestic emissions. And when non-livestock ag emissions (like growing tomatoes and cotton) were excluded, the share for domestic animal agriculture drops to less than 3 percent.

In other words, U.S. farms are quite good at producing animal products while keeping low “footprints.”

Instead of shilling for vegetarianism, McCartney should consider promoting investment in American meat producers—especially those that can export their low-emissions technologies and practices to their counterparts around the globe. Or at least he might want to call a truce with the carnivorous world around him. Give Peace A Chance. Let It Be. But given McCartney’s past ties to animal rights extremists at the radical People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, we don’t expect him to anytime soon.

Maybe we’re Amazed at how such a famous musicians could be so tone-deaf.


1 comment:

Artfldgr said...

and if they promoted the catholic church they woudl ahve had meatless fridays, no?