Friday, 16 May 2008

Active Family, Active Dog: Dogs Trust and Joanna Hall launch fitness campaign

Obesity isn't just a problem in people, but in dogs, too. The solution is to eat well and get plenty of exercise, and what better way to solve the problem in both two and four-legged creatures than by exercising together?

Dogs Trust has teamed up with fitness guru Joanna Hall to launch the 'Active Family, Active Dog' campaign and research trial. We're reminding everyone that walking a dog is a great way to:

  • Burn calories
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce stress
  • Boost your immune system
  • Improve your family life

Joanna explains: "Research shows that getting families to be more physically active as a whole improves group dynamics, increases family cohesion and significantly increases motivation. We're now asking real families to 'walk out' with a dog and see how they too can get healthy and still have fun together."

So not only will your family be fitter, they'll be happier and more confident too. You can learn more about the Active Family, Active Dog campaign from flyers distributed at the Summer Open Day at Harefield on the 8th of June, where you'll also get a chance to have fun and hang out with dog-loving TV celebs.

If you can't make it, or want to register your email, contact the campaign at

What is Active Family, Active Dog all about?

Dogs Trust is looking for committed volunteers to sign up to a six-week family fitness and dog walking programme, running from 7th September to 12th October. You don't need to have a dog of your own, but must be willing to introduce one into your home for the six week period. You must also be able to make yourself available for fitness tests, health monitoring and practical active tasks throughout the trial.

Each family will be allocated a specific rescue dog according to their lifestyle and will be responsible for his or her care throughout the six weeks, as well as bringing them to Harefield for weekly updates, tests and activities. Sunday morning sessions from 9am - 12 noon will take place at the centre. Measurements of the benefits of walking your dog will be taken at the start and throughout the trial, along with simple physical and psychological tests to gauge self-esteem, fitness and family cohesion.

If successful, the trial may extend to all 17 Rehoming Centres. Media (photographers and TV) might be present during the trial.

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