Walking a dog on a collar and lead can help pregnant women stay fit

Thursday, 16th February 2012

Pregnant women who like to buy dog food online may find they are encouraged to stay active by their pet.

A new study by the Universities of Liverpool and Birmingham, as well as the University of South Carolina and the Waltham Centre, found that pregnant women who own a dog are more active than those who do not.

It was found that by walking a dog, expectant mothers are 50 per cent more likely to achieve their recommended 30 minutes of daily activity compared to women with no dogs.

Dr Sandra McCune, research programme manager at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, told the Daily Mail: "We are increasingly seeing that exercising with a dog can lead to improved motivation and effectiveness.

"As a low-risk exercise, dog walking can help women who may otherwise find it hard to meet their exercise targets, keep active and fit during pregnancy."

The NHS advises pregnant women to remain active on a daily basis, possibly through a 30 minute walk, as it will help them adapt to their changing shape and weight gain.