Study Reveals Dog Walking is Good for Adults of All Ages
Walking is a common physical activity among adults for its health benefits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises adults of all ages to engage in moderate physical activity such as walking or other recommended leisure activities for at least 150 or more minutes per week.
But walking can be more enjoyable with a companion. What if one has no companion? For pet canine lovers, dog walking can be a wonderful option. In fact, dogs are nature’s perfect personal trainers—jolly, energetic, loyal, sweet and hardworking.
To probe further the benefits of dog walking, researchers at the University of Missouri conducted a study on the link between dog ownership and pet bonding with walking behavior and health outcomes in older adults. The result was quite amazing. The key finding showed that dog ownership and walking were related to increases in physical health among older adults.
In addition, strong pet bonding boosts motivation for the adults to exercise longer and more often. Dogs are known to be great motivators for walking as well. Aside from the health benefits of dog walking, the leisure activity also offers an avenue for adults to bond with their pets and others.
As the results were unveiled, this gives an opportunity for health professionals to recommend pet ownership as a wise alternative to cut health care expenses for the aging population.
So, grab a leash and go for a walk. Not only today but every day! Dog walking is indeed the best way to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle program especially for the adult population.
About the Study
The study was conducted with the aim to find the associations between dog ownership and pet bonding with walking behavior and health outcomes in older adults.
The study analyzed 2012 data from the Health and Retirement study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. The study also included data about human-animal interactions, frequency of doctor visits, physical activity, and health outcomes of the participants.
Support for Dog Walking
Based on the findings of the study, indeed, dog walking boosts the health of adults. To promote this activity, support from communities is necessary. It is a good idea for retirement communities to include more pet-friendly policies such as creation of dog walking trails and dog exercise areas so their residents can have access to the health benefits.