Walk yourself fit and happy, with your dog by your side!
Did you know…?
The minimum recommendation from doctors to keep your body healthy and help prevent illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer is 150 minutes of activity a week. That’s 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Walking helps keep skeletal and muscular systems in good condition, lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate. Walking every day significantly reduces the risk of major health conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight and improves cholesterol levels!
Taking our dogs long walks can also help relieve stress and even just patting your dog triggers a release of the feel-good hormone, oxytocin. This has a reciprocal effect on our dog and strengthens the emotional bond, deepening the connection between dog and human. Walking with your dog can also improve self-perception and self-esteem, mood, sleep quality, reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.
Not only does walking give health benefits for us humans, the physical and mental benefits are great for your dog too. Joints, especially in older dogs, need consistent movement just like our human joints get stiff when not moving enough. Exercise is a huge contributor to healthy dog joints. Walks should be catered to your dog breed’s particular needs, age and size. It’s also important to understand the kinds of exercise that could cause harm to the joints. For instance, ball throwers are largely frowned upon by vets and dog physios, because of the strain they put on the body when your dog comes to a grinding, breaking halt.
The benefits from walking with your dog are endless. Talk to your dog on your walk, have fun, laugh and play with them and it’ll be a positive experience all round!
At NB Dogs – Dog Boutique in Gullane — we have a range of foods and supplements to promote overall dog health.
Image credit - Emma Martin photography