A recent study shows that for adults age 60 and over, walking, and especially walking a dog, is a great way to stay healthy. It’s not just one way to stay healthy, either. It’s one of best.
People with higher degrees of pet bonding were more likely to walk their dog and to spend more time walking their dog each time.
The emotional rewards of sharing your life with a dog are substantial and well known. The new study builds on this research by revealing that seniors with a strong bond with their dogs were more likely to walk their dog more frequently, and for a longer duration. And that had amazing benefits for both.
Dog walking not only inspires seniors to engage in daily physical activity, it also helps build social bonds. Getting to know your neighbors and making friends is even easier with a four-legged companion in tow.
Dog walking was associated with lower body mass index, fewer activities of daily living limitations, fewer doctor visits, and more frequent moderate and vigorous exercise.
For busy seniors who lack time or resources to care for a dog full time, fostering or volunteering with a local shelter or becoming a part time dog walker or pet sitter are great ways to get the benefits of puppy love and physical activity.
Hat tip: Washington Post
Featured image: © Barbara Helgason | Woman and dachshund puppy