When we think of dog-walking benefits, it's easy to shift our attention to the star of the show, also known as our precious pup. But there's a great new benefit of walking a dog that was just discovered, and it actually helps you — yes, you! — the dog's human companion.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that walking is good for your health, not just your pup's. But you might be surprised to know just how good it is — and how long the effects last. According to a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, regularly walking a dog is one of the most effective ways to beat the usual decline in physical activity later in life.
In other words, making a habit out of walking your dog will boost your activity level once you get older — even during the winter. It's no surprise that we all get a little less physically active across the board once we reach an advanced age, but it's comforting to know there's a way to help us maintain at least some activity when we get up there. After all, we still want to be able to move around when spending time with our loved ones — including the furry friends!
On average, dog owners were sedentary (inactive) for 30 minutes less per day. Though that may not seem like much, over time it really adds up to a huge difference.
"We found that dog walkers were much more physically active and spent less time sitting overall," lead author Dr Yu-Tzu Wu said. We expected this, but when we looked at how the amount of physical activity participants undertook each day varied by weather conditions, we were really surprised at the size of the differences between those who walked dogs and the rest of the study participants."
Even if you're not much of a walker, we all have to start somewhere, and taking a stroll with the pup sounds like a great place to start.