Need help staying motivated to go out for a walk? This is good news for your dog! Research shows that dog owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and that simply walking your dog can lower stress, boost self esteem and even burn over 900 calories a week! Don’t have a dog of your own to walk? You could have a neighbor like me…I have 4 dogs…walk one PLEASE! There are also plenty of animal shelters that would LOVE your help too. Visit ASPCA.org to find a shelter near you.
Here are the reasons why a dog could be your best walking partner:
He’s always ready to go! It’s tough to bail on your walk when your dog is counting on you. There are some studies showing that dog owners that walk their dogs are more consistent exercisers and show more fitness improvement than people that walk with their friends. Dogs never make excuses as to why they can’t go for a walk; a little weather doesn’t bother them!
He pushes you to improve. Since dogs are curious by nature they push you to walk a little further, take a different route or maybe move a little faster! A University of Missouri study found that the speed of walkers with dogs increased by 28 percent over a 12 week period compared to 4 percent for those with human companions.
He’s the best wing man EVER! Having your dog with you can make starting up a conversation easier. Adding a social aspect to your walk improves your health in just that many more ways, such as keeping loneliness away and lowering your stress levels.