Mounting research supports the fact that people with dogs are more active and that adding a dog to your family dynamic will increase overall family fitness. Study results published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health determined that people who own dogs are over fifty percent more likely to meet the federal criteria for exercise than people who do not own dogs.
Instead of buying the next diet fail short cut, why not save an animal’s life through adoption from a local shelter? The American public spends a lot on weight loss tricks and services which benefit no one, not even by causing the weight loss that they promise. The Federal Trade Commission has determined that Americans spend over $40 billion a year on weight-loss gimmicks and that American people are more likely to be had by a weight-loss scam than any other type of fraud.
Part of what fuels the public in purchasing these diet tricks, pills and pieces of gimmick equipment is that the feeling resulting from the action of taking charge and putting down money for a product causes the brain to release a dose of dopamine, the feel good chemicals that make us happy. That premature self-congratulation does not end in weight loss but does put off the guilt of a lack of control over body weight. Doing something feels better than doing nothing, and this short term gratification cycles when the next weight loss breakthrough purchase opportunity comes along.
Rather than wasting money on things that sound too good to be true, why not save a life? The Humane Society estimates that, currently in the United States, a dog is euthanized every 11 seconds simply due to overcrowded shelters.
The instant gratification of adopting a dog from the shelter is the immediate knowledge that the animal has been saved and that animal’s eternal love and loyalty to their hero. The long term gratification is that the animal depends on you, turning up the pressure dial on you to get off of the couch and get moving.
Self-efficacy is the belief level that a person has of how capable they are of succeeding in their situation. When the dog who already views their person as a hero for rescuing them from certain demise wags their tail at their person because they take them for a brisk after supper walk, it immediately reinforces that person’s confidence. They have the confidence that they did the right thing in saving the dog, that they are capable of giving the dog a happy home and life, and that they have control over their own activity level and fitness. The confidence gained from just getting out there fuels more good decisions towards wellness and builds momentum towards reaching fitness goals.
Residents of the Seabrook, Texas area have many shelters to choose from including the Seabrook City Animal Shelter, the Pasadena Animal Shelter, League City animal shelter and the Houston SPCA. In addition to searching at a shelter, residents can check out rescue groups such as Southern Comforts Animal Rescue or web search websites such as PetFinder, which searches many rescue groups and shelters by area.