walk_your_dog_to_better_healthAn apple a day might help keep the doctor away, but do you know what will do even more good? Taking the time to walk your dog, daily. While it’s certainly good for your dog, it can do a lot of good for you too, especially if you’re older, or if you have a desk job that doesn’t require you to get up and move on a regular basis. In fact, research indicates that you’ll not only lose weight, but you’ll also be less likely to need to visit your family doctor if you work in a short 15-20 minute walk with man’s best friend, every single day.

In addition to the physical benefits, there’s a lot to be said for the strengthening of the emotional bond between you and your dog. Again, research shows that spending just a few minutes petting, talking to, or spending quality time with your pet can lower your blood pressure, which is reason enough to consider adding it to your routine. Then, of course, there’s the other social connections it opens up. If you’re out walking your dog, you’re almost certain to be stopped at least once by a passerby, another dog walker, or admiring children who just can’t seem to resist the urge to come up and introduce themselves, all of which tends to put both you and your dog into a better, happier frame of mind.

No matter how you slice it, taking time to walk your dog every day is good for you. It will help your waistline, your overall mental and physical health, and it will give you both something to look forward to every day, and add a bit of structure into the framework of the day. All of those are good things, especially if you’re recently retired and suddenly find yourself with more free time than you know what to do with. If you’re not already doing this as part of your daily routine, make plans to, starting today!