Physical health tends to deteriorate as a person ages, which is why it’s so important that senior citizens participate in physical exercise as a way to maintain and improve their health. It turns out that one of the most effective ways for older adults to improve their health is by walking dogs.
The Benefits of Walking
Generally speaking, adults of all ages should get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Walking happens to be one of the easiest ways to meet this benchmark. Walking can be done at one’s own pace, causes little stress on the body and requires no additional equipment.
This makes the health benefits of walking a dog all the more obvious. Recent studies have even shown that dog walking is one of the most effective ways for seniors to stay active and fit. The study used data gathered from roughly 20,000 Americans over 50 years of age for a period of two years. This data revealed evidence for the association between dog walking and physical health.
Dog Ownership Benefits Health
Research revealed that dog walking was not only linked to a lower BMI (body mass index), but that it was also linked to fewer doctor visits and more frequent exercise. Additional benefits of dog walking included an increase in social benefits and the reduction in limitations of daily living activities.
It’s not just that walking a dog allows for exercise, it’s that older adults are more likely to get out and walk more often if they have the obligation of a dog. The companionship that a dog offers provides more incentive as well — they want to spend more time with their dogs and therefore go on walks as a leisure-time activity and not just as a way to exercise or to take their dog to the bathroom.
Senior citizens can not only benefit from the companionship of a dog, but can also improve their physical health through the simple act of dog walking. For more up-to-date, health-related news, visit us at the Benefits Store today.