Sunday, May 27, 2012

How Walking Our Dog(s) Helps Us

Photo: Chris Reynolds
There are many benefits to walking your dog for dogs. Many people fail to realize how it will help them as well.

Here's what I've learned from walking three dogs continually:
  1. It unites you with nature. Because walking brings you down to a certain speed, you get to hear the birds singing, flowers blooming and seeing the wildlife around you. Nature has an effect of calming and tends to lift our moods.
  2. It gives you time to sort out your thoughts. Many times, we are on a solid routine of work, downtime, sleep. While this is ideal for most of us, being out with your dog gives you time to destress and organize your thoughts. You may rush through a walk sometimes, but even on days like those, you know it's going to help your dog.
  3. It lowers the bad (ldl) cholesterol and raises the good (hdl). Continuous walking will keep your cholesterol levels steady.
  4. It keeps your blood pressure down. High blood pressure is a key factor in accelerating heart disease. Walking will help to combat this.
  5. It improves bone density. Postmenopausal women who walk about one mile each day have higher bone density than women who walk shorter distances. It also is effective in slowing the rate of bone loss from the legs.
  6. It helps keep your brain sharp. Walking is known to increase brain function and keep cognitive thinking higher.
  7. It helps people to live longer. In a 1998 study in the New England Journal of Medicinenon-smoking men between the ages of 45 and 68 who walked each day 1 mile or less, the mortality rate was 43.1 in 100. On the other hand, men who walked 2 miles or more, in the same period of time had a mortality rate of 21.5 per 100. That's quite a difference
  8. It reduces your carbon footprint. Walking causes no pollution compared to driving in your car. Even with picking up after your dog, it will leave a much smaller footprint in comparison to driving frequently
  9. Minimal equipment is required. When you're walking your dog, all that's needed is a good leash, a pooper scooper and a good pair of walking shoes. No special gadgets are needed (although pedometers are helpful).
  10. It makes your pooch happy. When dogs are given something to do like walking, it eliminates their excess energy. They sleep better and have a more structured routine. It keeps them in shape and helps them to live a longer life.

Get Started!

It's simple to get started. Even if you can't do long walks, doing 3 10 minute walks a day is just as beneficial as walking 1 30 minute walk a day. A useful guide to how your neighborhood rates for walking is

Let's Discuss!

How does walking your dog benefit you?

It's All Related!

The Benefits Of Walking Your Dog, Part I
The Benefit Of Walking Your Dog, Part II
5 Tips For Walking Senior Dogs
4 Things I've Learned From Dog Walking

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