Exercise and physical training are significant factors that ensure good health and vitality. Regular exercising increases the muscle strength, cardiovascular well-being and goes a long way in improving the quality of living. Not only with our pets, but also with us, exercising ensures that one’s health is maintained at an optimum level. Needless to say, a sedentary life causes lifestyle diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, hypertension etc. Exercising and training with your pet not only keeps them happy but also helps you maintain a balanced frame of mind combined with a fit & healthy body. A fitness regime ensures overall wellness as it gradually heals the body at various levels.
A meta-analysis of 29 published studies examining dog owner and non–dog owner physical activity found that dog owners compared with non–dog owners reported more minutes per week of physical activity (median: dog owners = 329; non–dog owners = 277) and/or walking (median: dog owners = 129; non–dog owners = 111).
In a study published in the journal BMC Public Health, dog owners on average walked 22 minutes more per day compared to people who didn’t own a dog. The study found that the dog owners walked briskly and got their heart rates up. At times, their pace was about 3 miles per hour, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers moderate intensity. Prior studies have shown that moderate-intensity walking is just as effective as running in lowering the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes and other conditions. And the more people walk, the more the health benefits increase, according to the American Heart Association.
Some of the positive impacts in including physical exercise and training in your schedule with your pet is enumerated below:
When our pets are active, there is increased muscle movement and blood circulation within the body. This ensures healthy body and mind, which, in turn, imparts longevity of life. Regular exercise reduces the onset of diseases and ‘adds up’ to the muscle strength. Walking is a good exercise and one must include the habit of brisk walking with your pet for at least 30 minutes in a day.
Lack of exercise leads to obesity and other problems which are largely caused by being overweight. Obesity triggers various health issues like diabetes, lethargy, blood pressure, depression and much more. Metabolism rate increases when one exercises, which helps in breaking down fat and fatty acids within the body, which results in less accumulation of fat. With the reduction in fat within the body, the blood circulation increases and ensures that nutrients reach every organ within the body.
Dogs are prone to diabetes if it does not exercise regularly. Physical activity helps in maintaining insulin and thereby prevent the onset of diabetes. Exercising and running improves the nutrients absorption within the body, which improves the insulin level required for releasing optimum energy for your pet to remain healthy. Once the insulin is in control, it leads to improvement in energy, resilience and enhances the age limit of your pet.
Exercise and training releases toxins from the body as the blood circulation increases and the lymphatic system is no longer clogged with fatty acids or cholesterol. It is similar to a rested machine that requires oiling for smooth functioning. Hence, it is imperative to conduct regular exercise and movement for your pet so that toxins can be released from the body and the lymphatic flow remains smooth.
Negates destructive behaviour
A pet who regularly exercises does not display much symptoms of separation anxiety, excessive barking, whining, biting & chewing etc. Since they are in a happy frame of mind after a workout or exercise, they do not indulge in any kind of destructive activities that can turn out to be overwhelming or annoying for the human parents. On the other hand, they exude with confidence and fearlessness.
Increases Cardiovascular health
A longitudinal study found that pet owners make 15% fewer annual visits to the doctor than non-owners, and people who continuously own a pet are healthier than those who cease to own a pet or who never had one. Furthermore, a 2013 American Heart Association Scientific Statement on “Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk” concluded that pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may be reasonable for reducing cardiovascular disease risk and that the data are most robust for a relationship between dog ownership and cardiovascular disease risk reduction, particularly dog ownership and increased physical activity, primarily through dog walking
Research indicates that exercising not only helps the pet but also the human parent as it helps them in reducing blood pressure, handle stressful situations confidently, prevent hypertension and even reduce depression. It is also found that playing with your pet releases dopamine and serotonin in the body, which in turn helps to relax and soothe the senses. Studies have also revealed that people with pets have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which goes a long way in preventing heart stroke or cardio problems.
Physical activity reduces the risk of premature death, supports positive mental health, and enhances healthy aging. In adults, as little as 150 minutes per week of brisk walking can yield significant health benefits, according to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.
Owning a pet comes with immense responsibility. It inspires you to come out of your comfort zone and sedentary lifestyle to welcome health and fitness as a way of life. Extracting a few moments of exercising your pet is enough to ensure a healthy body and a happy mind for yourself as well as your creature companion. Exercising your dog is as important as ensuring a healthy nutrition, regular vaccinations and grooming sessions to keep your pet healthy and happy.