The UK is a nation of pet lovers, with data showing that 40% of the UK population own a pet! Dogs seem to be the preferred pet of choice for Brits, with 25% of pet owners owning at least one. That is unsurprising, as these pets offer loyal companionship like no other. If that isn’t enough, the regular task of walking your dog can also do wonders for your health. Read on to find out how you can also benefit from your dog’s favourite part of the day.
Dog walking helps make you happy
Dogs can bring happiness to any home. Case in point, a Gala Bingo survey found that 82% of pet owners are cheered up by their furry friends, all thanks to their excitable nature and cute wagging tails. While watching our dogs enjoy themselves on a walk is enough to lift our mood — there is also the exercise aspect of it. Exercise boosts the brain’s tryptophan levels. This boost, in turn, increases the production of serotonin which is one of the feel-good chemicals produced by the body. Add to that other mood-boosting elements such as fresh air, nature, and being with your beloved pal, and the end result is increased feelings of happiness! The healthiest state of mind to be in.
Dog walking reduces blood pressure
Here in the UK, around one in three adults suffer from high blood pressure. If you’re hypertensive and own a dog, then a walk may just be what you need. Studies published on hypertension detail how short walks in the day (thirty minutes) are effective in reducing high blood pressure — something you can easily do with your furry friend. In fact, having a dog will give you the motivation to get outside on your daily walk. Even if you’re not hypertensive, walking your dog can help keep your overall blood pressure normal.
Dog walking builds lower body strength
All that walking (and maybe the occasional jogging) will help you develop lower body strength. In particular, it will strengthen your lower core, hips, legs, and ankles. As a result, this translates to improved balance and coordination, and less susceptibility to lower body injuries, like sprains and strains.
Helps stabilize your blood sugar level
Low-impact exercises, like walking, increases insulin sensitivity. This can help control and stabilize your blood sugar level for up to 24 hours. Timing your walk for after a meal won’t just be an exciting event for your four-legged friend, but a way for you to keep diabetes at bay well into your old age.
Promotes better lower body bone health
Walking puts a load on the bones of your lower body, which is helpful in maintaining bone density. But if you pick up your pace and walk up some hills (or up the stairs), you’ll be increasing this load. This will then signal to your body to grow new bone cells and will make the bones in your legs and feet stronger and less at risk of fractures.
We know lots of you aren’t able to get outside, or maybe your dog has had enough of multiple walks with each member of the family! We have loads of other blog articles ranging from getting movement during your working day to advice on breaking exercising avoiding habits, or looking after your back when doing non-exercise activities like gardening.
If you prefer video content to blog articles, we have you covered too! We are live every day on our Facebook page with a new workout. These also get shared to our Instagram along with a host of other content so we can keep making healthy happen, together.