Seniors who own a #dog get more physical activity

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Getting up off the couch can be a challenge regardless of your age, but new research shows that having a furry, four-legged reason to go for a walk can help seniors reach physical activity targets.

Seniors who own a dog spend an average of 22 more minutes per day staying active, a new study has found, and take an additional 2,760 steps per day.

Researchers tracked activity between two groups, comparing 43 people with dogs and 43 people without dogs. The subjects wore activity trackers during three, one-week periods over the span of a year.

All subjects were over the age of 65 and lived in the U.K., with gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status taken into consideration when comparing data.

“For good health WHO recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week,” said lead researcher Dr Philippa Dall, in a release. “Over the course of a week this additional 20 minutes walking each day may in itself be sufficient to meet these guidelines.

“Our findings represent a meaningful improvement in physical activity achieved through dog walking.”

“Our findings represent a meaningful improvement in physical activity achieved through dog walking.”

Canadian health guidelines also recommend that adults are active for at least 150 minutes a week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Reaching the activity goal helps reduce a whole host of issues including the risk of heart disease and stroke, certain types of cancer and weight control problems. read more…

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Not a joke: Goats and humans do yoga together

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We’re not sure how long this far-fetched fitness trend will last, but humans and goats got together Saturday morning for a yoga class.

No kidding.

Dave Mote with Grapevine Parks and Recreation Department heard about goat yoga on the radio and decided it was a perfect fit for Grapevine, where the first (sold out) classes were h

eld Saturday, despite the rainy weather.

While Nash Farms provided the location, Red Barn Feed Store in Kennedale ponied up the goats.

“We weren’t sure how many people would show up because of the weather but they were here at 6:30 ready to go,” Mote said.

Classes were held at 7 and 8 a.m., and the goats mostly wandered about and nibbled on corn while their human counterparts performed poses such as downward facing dog. The goats did not appear to be offended.

Goat yoga is just what is sounds like — a yoga class with goats. Participants go through yoga poses while baby goats snuggle with them.

Andrew Buckley Special to the Star-Telegram

At times a baby white goat stood happily on the backs of different participants, while other goats, well, did not.

“Everybody seemed comfortable with them and had a blast,” Mote said.

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VITAMIN D tablets could help people with chronic backache

VITAMIN D tablets could help people with chronic backache and arthritis, research has found.The “sunshine supplements” could help many pain-related conditions, from menstrual cramps to fibromyalgia, biologists have said.

A review by scientists in Brazil states that vitamin D must be combined with good sleep to manage pain-related diseases.

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Vitamin D tablets may ease backache – study

That is because the vitamin, created by exposure to sunlight and found in oily fish, is believed to fight inflammation. Inflammation, the body’s immune response to illness, releases proteins which make people more sensitive to pain.

The vitamin is already recommended for pregnant women and claimed to ward off diseases such as dementia and multiple sclerosis, with some experts calling for it to be routinely added to food to prevent chronic colds and flu.

Doctor Monica Levy, Lead author of the study, which is published in the Journal of Endocrinology, said: “We can hypothesise that suitable vitamin D supplementation combined with sleep hygiene (good sleeping habits) may optimise the therapeutic management of pain-related diseases such as fibromyalgia.”

The review cites several studies showing that taking supplements when sunshine is scarce can help with musculoskeletal pain such as backache. One analysis found that hospital patients’ pain decreased markedly after three months of vitamin D supplementation.

Nearly a third of the British population are deficient in vitamin D because of the grey UK weather and a diet low in fresh produce. – Daily Mail. story from…

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Dog leads people to be become more physically active

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How a four-legged friend could be the key to health

Researchers have revealed that a man’s best friend could be the key to human health.

Rather than being given drugs to treat or prevent illnesses such as heart disease or depression, experts are suggesting sufferers be prescribed a dog instead, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Sydney University researchers are conducting a study involving more than 100 people, half of whom will not own a dog, while the other half will adopt a pooch.

The study, for the Physical and Affective Wellbeing Study (PAWS), will monitor the participants’ health indicators during an eight-month period before documenting how a dog can benefit human health, physically, mentally and socially.

Academics believe dogs can aid heart health by encouraging their owner to become more active while they also help curb loneliness.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis said the world-first research will provide a valuable insight into the health benefits of dog ownership.

“(The study) could support programs promoting and enabling dog ownership as a means to increase physical activity­, improve general health and prevent cardiovascular and mental illness,” he said.

“We have a broad view on how dog ownership might influence human health and this includes physical activity as there is the perception that acquiring a dog leads people to be become more physically active.”

He then went on to explain that another set of hypothesis focuses on the psychological benefits of having a dog, as well as on human connection.

“Dogs can be a catalyst to facilitate humans to talk to each other when walking the dogs,” Professor Stamatakis added.

According to The Daily Telegraph, more than 40 percent of Australian households have at least one pooch. story from…

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Risk for Ulcers in Horses

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Now that the show season is at hand, owners’ are probably aware of their competitive partner’s risk for developing gastric ulcers. With two out of three performance horses affected, it’s important to ensure equine athletes are at peak health. But don’t forget about the horses that stay home. Even horses that don’t travel or compete are at risk for ulcers.

“Wherever there is stress, there can be stomach ulcers,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, manager of Merial Large Animal Veterinary Services. “Horses may be stressed by everyday situations that don’t seem stressful to us, like spending large amounts of time in a stall or when their friends leave the barn.”

He says some situations that can cause them include:

  • Light training;
  • Short-term travel;
  • Trailering;
  • Change in routine;
  • Change in feed schedule;
  • Limited turnout or grazing;
  • Lay-up due to sickness or injury; or
  • Social regrouping.

Cheramie notes that removing horses from social groups could be one of the major contributing factors to an increased incidence of stomach ulcers in those left at home.

“Off-site training and showing can cause a disruption in social groupings and can be anxiety-provoking for some,” he says. “Horses form strong emotional bonds with their stable-mates so when they are separated, it can be very upsetting for both horses.”

Social grouping disruptions are also more common when spring arrives, as it often heralds a busy time for everyone, es

pecially those with broodmares. Foaling season means additional stress not only on mares and foals, but also for other horses, as well, due to increased activity in the barn at irregular hours.

Know the Signs of Ulcer Presence

“Stomach ulcers are prevalent across all breeds, disciplines, and ages,” Cheramie says, adding that they can develop in as litt

le as five days. “Because it is not so much the behavior but rather the change in behavior that signals the possibility of a physical problem, horse owners need to know what is normal for their horse and what is not.”

Watch out for clinical signs of ulcers, which include:

  • Decreased appetite;
  • Weight loss or poor body condition;
  • Change in attitude for the worse;
  • Recurrent colic;
  • Dull hair coat; and
  • Less-than-optimal (poor) performance, resistance to work, or difficulty training.

Read more…

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Protecting Horses From Toxic Marsh Mallow Weed

marsh-mallowAs pasture growth begins to wane in many areas, horses might begin seeking different things to chew on, such as weeds or trees in their pastures. While some weeds do no harm, others can be toxic to horses. And researchers in Australia determined that marsh mallow weed (Malva parviflora)—which grows in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand—is one of the dangerous species that can be deadly to horses.

Reports of M. parviflora toxicosis are rare in horses. But Jennifer Bauquier, BVMS (Hons), Dipl. ACVIM, an equine medicine lecturer at the University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, in Victoria, and colleagues recently completed a study on the topic after the deaths four horses residing on the same farm. The horses had little access to quality forage and did not receive supplementary grain concentrate. There was extensive M. parviflora in the horses’ pasture, and the animals had grazed it heavily.

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How to keep your older horse active and healthy

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    • If you are training your senior horse for something specific, build up your workouts slowly and methodically.
    • Be aware that high intensity exercise will fatigue an older horse more quickly; therefore, avoid prolonged periods of such exercise to prevent excessive stress.
    • Establish a baseline heart rate for your senior horse and frequently take his heart rate after a workout to see how long it takes for him to cool down. Adjust workouts accordingly if it is suddenly taking longer than normal for his heart rate to return to his pre-determined resting heart rate.
    • Strenuous riding should be avoided with older horses when it is excessively hot and/or humid outside. All horses should have immediate access to clean water after a work out.
    • Closely monitor your senior horse for signs of dehydration when weather conditions are hot/humid. Signs of a dehydrated horse include skin tenting, dry gums, and dry manure.
    • If your horse is arthritic, remember to take extra time during warm ups, especially in colder weather or if you horse has been stalled for long periods.
    • If possible, maintain your senior horse on pasture as much as possible instead of in a stall. The walking done during grazing is excellent low impact exercise that helps prevent stiffness.
    • As with warming up, take extra time to make sure your senior horse is cooled down properly.

read more…