As a dog owner, it should come as no surprise to you that your dog needs regular exercise in order to live a healthy life, but have you stopped to consider how good walking your dog can be for your own health? Scientific studies have found that walking your dog regularly is one of the best ways to prevent things like obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and even death. Here are just a few reasons why dog walking is great for your health.
Dog Walking Helps You Establish a Regular Fitness Routine
One of the main reasons that dog walking is good for your health is that it forces you to exercise regularly. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 65 get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A study from the University of Western Australia has found that dog owners are much more likely than non-dog owners to achieve that goal. Of the people surveyed in the study, 70% of dog owners met the WHO’s recommendation, compared to only 40% of non-dog owners.
Dog Walking Is Good for Your Heart
For years, cardiologists have been studying the “pet effect,” or the link between pet ownership and better cardiovascular health. Recently, the American Heart Association reviewed the existing literature on pets and heart health, and determined that “Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may have some causal role in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.” They also found that pet ownership was associated with a number of other health benefits including lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, and in some cases even a reduced risk of death.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and go for a walk! Your dog will thank you, and chances are, your body will thank you as well.