We all know the benefits of exercise, but let’s face it, most of us dread going to the gym! So why not ditch the boring treadmill and explore the great outdoors with your loyal dog by your side? Studies all over the world have shown that dog walking has lasting benefits for not just the dog, but for you as well. Dogs can be the best workout partner because they are always happy and upbeat to go for a walk. They never judge you for wearing spandex and quite simply, they are true motivators. A healthier way of life is just waiting for you at the end of the leash!
Being a dog owner, you have all sorts of physical and psychological benefits available each and every time you take your dog for a walk. But proper dog walking needs to be more than just a quick trip to the nearest tree for a potty break. A brisk 20 minute walk with your dog can relieve stress immediately, reduce cravings for certain fatty foods and can decrease fatigue while giving your body a great boost of energy. If losing weight is your goal then you are really in luck! Dog owners get an average of 30 – 60 minutes more exercise per week than non-dog owners. They also tend to walk faster than non-dog owners. Dogs are also better workout partners than people because they never complain about the heat or make up an excuse as to why they can’t walk today!
Psychologically, the benefits of walking your dog are astounding. Taking your dog for a good walk allows you to connect with nature in a way you wouldn’t normally do if you were walking with another person. Dogs love to smell everything from flowers to the grass and they see the world differently than we do. We can all learn from our dogs because it teaches us to slow down and absorb all the beauty that surrounds us. This has amazing effects on your moods as well as overall brain function. Another great benefit is that sense of community you get when you are out for a walk with your dog. Exploring your neighborhood and getting to know your neighbors is vital human interaction. It’s also vital canine interaction! You are actually performing essential dog training by allowing your dog to interact with the people and other pooches you encounter. Safety is always first so keep a good hold on your leash. As you spend more and more time interacting with others, your dog will begin to learn the proper way to behave among strangers.
Perhaps the most important benefit of all is stress relief. It is common knowledge that stress can shorten your lifespan if it is not controlled. Simply spending quality time with your dog can reduce stress levels dramatically. Combine that with the physical exercise of dog walking and you are on your way to a happy and healthy life.