Have you ever considered how walking a dog could benefit your health? Walking your pup each day is not only a great way to fulfill Fido’s physical and mental health needs, but it’s also beneficial to your own well-being. Studies have shown that walking a dog each day can improve fitness levels, lower stress and even prevent medical issues.
While it’s possible for your dog to release his energy by playing in the backyard or dog park, taking your canine friend for daily walks offers incredible benefits beyond meeting his physical needs. Dogs who walk daily with their humans develop a closer bond with their owners and have less of a desire to be destructive.
A typical dog walking session ranges from 20 minutes to two hours, depending on your dog’s breed and normal activity levels. If you want to improve your dog’s fitness while meeting your own physical needs, it may be time to start making walking your dog a daily routine.
Want to learn more about the health benefits of walking a dog? Read on to discover the incredible advantages dog owners have by walking with their dogs each day.
The Health Benefits of Walking a Dog
Countless studies have revealed that walking a dog improves both mental and physical well-being in numerous ways. Not only does walking a dog increase physical fitness, but it reduces anxiety, stress and depression.
By simply walking your dog for 30 minutes each day, you can fulfill your pup’s activity requirements while also meeting your health needs of performing at least 30 minutes of daily moderate exercise. Dogs with high energy levels may benefit from longer walks, allowing you to reap the advantages of vigorous physical activity.
Ready to learn the advantages a dog owner has by walking a dog each day? Here are the top health benefits of walking a dog either around the neighborhood or along hiking trails.
Walking a Dog Can Improve Your Physical Fitness
Obesity is a major health issue in our society. While daily exercise is the best way to prevent obesity, it can sometimes be difficult to gain the motivation for performing a certain type of activity. That’s why walking your dog may be the perfect solution for improving your physical fitness.
A study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health showed that dog owners who walk their dogs are 34 percent more likely than others to be physically fit. Additionally, those who walk their dogs are less likely to suffer from health issues such as heart attack, diabetes and high blood pressure.
There is no doubt that watching a dog play and excitedly sniff the trails can bring happiness to dog owners. But did you know that a dog’s excitement for walking can be a motivation for dog owners to hit the trails and walk with their pups? The joy received during a walking session can make dog owners eager for the next day’s walking routine.
I exercise every morning in addition to walking the pack. I have found that I need that activity to get my blood flowing. It makes me feel alive and ready to take on the day ahead.
I learn more and more from dogs every day. In the simplest of times or the most complex, the fulfillment I get from my own exercise brings me contentment. I also see how that fulfillment transforms dogs, and I work hard on bringing that into my life. I hope that all people take that approach to life—setting goals but never feeling finished.
Walking a Dog Can Lower Stress
Walking a dog is beneficial not only to your physical health but your mental health as well. Studies have found that just being around a dog can lower the stress hormone cortisol while triggering the production of oxytocin, commonly referred to as the “trust” and “love” hormone.
In addition to lowering stress levels, walking a dog each day can prevent depression and ease loneliness. Moreover, walking with your dog can prevent anxiety and even help you sleep better at night.
Being near your dog isn’t the only reason walking a dog is beneficial. Studies have revealed that exercise improves mental health, as does being outside in the sunlight. Even walking just 30 minutes a day can greatly reduce stress and feelings of depression.
Walking a Dog Can Lower Your Risk of Medical Issues
Because physical activity prevents obesity, it is no wonder why walking a dog each day lowers your risk of medical issues. Studies have revealed that walking with a dog improves cardiovascular fitness, lowers blood pressure, builds stronger bones, and improves joint health. In fact, one research even found that owning a dog lowers the risk for a heart disease-related death.
Performing the recommended amount of weekly moderate physical activity can easily be achieved by walking your dog at least 20 minutes a day. Many dog breeds, however, may require longer walking sessions or even multiple walks a day. By making your daily dog walks a regular routine, you may gain physical strength and lower your chances of suffering from medical issues.
Sadly, the JPAH study found that not everyone who owned dogs walked them. In fact, only two-thirds of dog owners walk their canines, and a large number of dog walkers are not sufficiently exercising the dogs or themselves. The study found that approximately half of these walkers didn’t walk frequently enough or long enough to accumulate at least 150 minutes of walking per week, which is the minimum recommendation to be moderately active. Disappointingly, some people didn’t walk their dogs at all, mostly because they had a yard and felt that was enough.
So this tells me a simple fact—I need to be doing more to educate dog owners and make them aware of how important exercise is for their dogs to be fulfilled and live happy, harmonious lives! Plus, humans will benefit from it too, in more ways than one. So, my mission continues. Let’s set some goals and get out there walking. After all, the health benefits of walking a dog are practically endless.
Do you have any goals for walking with your dog? Please share them with us in the comments below!