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The Benefits of Walking Your Dog

By Marcia Mangum Cronin

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Who knew there is a National Walk Your Dog Day? Thankfully, for me, every day is walk your dog day. 

Just this week I commented that I was so happy to have a dog who loves the snow. It gave me a good excuse to go out and enjoy the beautiful white coating that has encased my city this week. As an empty nester, I miss having children with whom to play in the snow and bake s and drink hot chocolate, but at least my dog gets me out for a good walk. 

Often women my age and older find it harder and harder to remain active, and a dog is good for that! Studies show that people who own dogs stay healthier and more socially connected than those who don't. 

In honor of Walk Your Dog Day, pet medical insurance shares these 5 benefits of walking your favorite four-legged friend: 

  1. Keep your exercise routine on schedule: that encouraging people to walk their dogs can result in more regular physical exercise. Besides helping you stay fit, staying on a regular exercise schedule will help keep your blood pressure lower, your heart healthier and your energy level higher. Because your pup needs exercise to stay healthy—and likes getting exercise—you never have to worry about your workout buddy canceling. My dog wants to go out every day—rain, snow or sleet! 
  2. Reduce stress. Exercise reduces stress and anxiety in both humans and their dogs. Just spending time with animals also reduces stress in humans. 
  3. Meet new friends: Pet owners are to greet people on the street and develop friendships afterward. Dog parks are a great place to meet people in your neighborhood and make friends with common interests. Who knows, your dog may make a new friend, too.  
  4. Build your sense of community: One found that dog owners over age 50 who took their four legged companions out for a stroll at least four times a week were more likely to report feeling connected to their communities than their non-walking counterparts. And strong social connections are very important to our health as we age.
  5. Help other dogs. If you want to help your local shelter or rescue organization while you walk, download Wooftrax's app. It lets you raise money for shelter pets while you walk. Your footsteps help a pet in need while giving your pet and you the exercise you need to stay happy and healthy.

 

Comments

I was unaware it was 'dog walking day ' today, but luckily for Roxy dog, my staffie cross this lack of information didn't affect our daily outing.
I decided in my wisdom to take Roxy to Crosby beach today. On reflection, this was possibly not my greatest notion of the day as it was cold, very windy and precipitating rather heavily. I was fine, armed with wellies, waterproof coat,hat, gloves, my 'keep calm and walk the staffie' pink hoodie, headphones and Sunday treat of a large Subway latte. Roxy on the other hand was far from happy. She doesn't do rain willingly. She has been known to disappear off home in the past, leaving me to finish my walk home alone after phoning ahead to make sure someone at home lets Roxy in!
Anyway, today we were a few miles from home so she had no choice but to follow me up the deserted beach. I swear that dog was using a few choice words each time she looked up and caught my eye!
After about 15 minutes we were both very cold, shivering and even my waterproof coat lost its 'waterproofness'. My latte was freezing as rain water had got into the lid! It was at this point Roxy spotted some steps which led to the path back to the car park. She exited the beach like a rat up a drain pipe, closely followed by yours truly.
Roxy arrived back at the car park some time before myself. She had also taken shelter in the gentleman's car next to mine! So she was lovely and warm by the time I arrived all out of breath. There she was, in his front passenger seat looking most pleased with herself.
I thanked the man on retrieving Roxy dog, and then off we drove with her warm and dry whilst I looked like I'd swam in the Mersey, not just walked next to it!
I love my daily walks with Roxy, and although I have now thawed out and smiled about today on the next ' dog walking day's methinks we'll check the local weather forecast, or stay inland!!!!!!!

Kathy, It sounds like you and Roxy had quite the adventure. You both definitely got some invigorating exercise. But you're right -- it may be wise to check the weather forecast next time! Keep on walking!

Roxy dog and I have many adventures Marcia. We have outings all over Liverpool and surrounding areas. And from the original article I read on Sunday, it is true the health benefits from walking are so good. If I can't take Roxy on a decent walk for one reason or another, not only do I have one narky mutt but I get a stiff lower back the next day. So I try to do a fair distance every day.
We have both made some good friends on our walks. You find the same people walk at the same time each day. I have met people who will be friends for life, Roxy dog has got a boy friend called Boris the pointer.( I am glad to say that there will not be the pitter patter of tiny paws though!)

Love this article. Dogs are great companions for so many reasons and the best one of all is how they can help us to stay active. Dogs give us someone to talk to at the end of a long day, someone to care for, and someone to be a motivator to exercise. Check out for other ways to stay active while maintaining your busy lifestyle as we get older.

Kahlee, thanks for sharing your website with us. Many of us at HealthyWomen are looking for ways to stay active and healthy!

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