Famous faces in the world of sport and fitness have given their backing to a new campaign being launched for dfs Crufts, which will help to fight the growing obesity epidemic among dogs and their owners.
The Kennel Club’s Get Fit With Fido Challenge, in association with Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs and supported by olympic swimmer Sharron Davies MBE, aims to ensure that dogs get the exercise that they need.
Research has shown that one in three dog owners and one in four dogs are overweight. Furthermore, one in five dogs don't get their daily recommended walk.
And the Kennel Club is looking for the dog and owner who jointly (and individually) lose the most weight for its Get Fit With Fido Slimmer of the Year competition. A prize package consisting of a make over day (for the owner!)and a stay in the exclusive dog friendly Milestone hotel in London will be awarded to the dog and owner who have jointly and individually lost the most weight by summer 2011.
Backing the challenge, Sharron Davies, MBE, said: “People are leading more and more sedentary lifestyles which is having a worrying effect on people’s health. Exercising with your dog, whether this is a thirty minute walk or a more high intensity activity such as dog agility, is a great way to change your lifestyle. The most important thing when exercising is to do something fun that you will stick to, so working out with your dog is ideal for most people. And if it helps the nation’s dogs to get fitter and healthier in the process, then it’s a win-win.”
The free to join challenge gives people ideas and information about exciting activities, exercises and walks that dog and owner can enjoy together for little or no cost, when other forms of exercise are becoming too expensive to maintain.
Those who join the challenge will receive a free information pack, be kept up to date on the latest news about activities and walks that they can enjoy and receive a discount to Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs.
Rosemary Conley and Sarah Humphreys, who has lost half her body weight through walking her dog and changing her lifestyle, will be at dfs Crufts on Saturday 12th March to take part in dog agility and launch the campaign.
Caroline Kisko, Secretary of the Kennel Club, said: “Dogs require regular exercise in order to stay physically healthy and mentally alert but this needn’t be a chore for their owners. There is a huge diversity of activities, exercises and walks that you can do with your dog, helping both dog and owner to stay fit and healthy.
“The Get Fit With Fido Challenge will give people all of the ideas and information that they need to lead a more active lifestyle with their dog.”
Said Rosemary Conley, CBE: “Dog owners are in the lucky position where they have a reason to get out of the house and to exercise. There’s nothing like your dog to motivate you to get out in the fresh air and enjoy a walk together. It can be really rewarding for both of you and the health benefits of walking just one mile a day (20 mins) are phenomenal.
“It is well known that a gym buddy will help you to get out of the armchair when your own motivation is lacking but many so called gym buddies will often lack motivation themselves. Your dog will never say no, so dog owners should take advantage of their own personal trainer and get fit with them alongside.”
To find out more about the Get Fit With Fido Challenge visit http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/getfitwithfido.
8th March 2011
Sarah Humphreys, 26 from Solihull, lost 10 stone in one year through dog walking. 5’11” Sarah, who used to weigh 21st 11lb and wear a dress size 26, now weighs 11st 11lb and wears a size 12.
Twenty six year old Sarah Humphreys lost ten stone in a year simply by walking dogs and joining the Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Club.
Depressed and isolated after her redundancy, Sarah joined Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs and started eating well and walking her boyfriend’s dog. She was soon hooked and went on to set up a successful dog walking business. Sarah, won the 2011 Rosemary Conley Entrepreneur Slimmer of the Year Award.
Sarah had battled a huge weight problem all her life and she had been bullied since the age of four because of it. She also had dyslexia and dyspraxia, which meant her co-ordination was not great, to contend with. At the age of 15 she was already in size 18 clothes, which her mum used to make, and Sarah got bullied all the more. “I smiled along with people making jokes – but, inside, I was crying,” says Sarah, whose nickname was ‘Taf’ – “It’s dyslexic for fat,” adds Sarah.
Sarah, who has managed to keep the weight off by sensible eating and regularly walking dogs, said: “I feel self confident for the first time in my life and after all the put-downs I faced when I was growing up, I’ve finally achieved something I can be proud of. Dog walking had a huge part to play in all this and, as Odie is a very active dog, I am hoping to start going to agility classes with him soon.”
Julie York from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, lost half her body weight – dropping 9 stone in 12 months – with the help of dog walking and agility.
She decided to make the change when she hit 17.5 stone in 2001. It was this that prompted her to change her lifestyle, and so she spent much more time walking her dogs and competing in agility. She was motivated to stay fit in between agility classes so that she could keep up with her dogs as they ran around the courses.
She said: “Agility and dog walking turned my life around. I am always out walking my dogs, I train twice a week and I go to shows most weekends where you will often walk 10 miles or more, just between the rings! I would recommend agility to anybody who wants to get fit and stay fit and it certainly beats going to the gym in terms of entertainment value!”