by Amber Kingsley
By now, everyone knows that regular exercise is important. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services suggests that healthy adults get no less than 150 minutes of aerobic activity of the moderate variety or 75 minutes of aerobic activity of the vigorous variety weekly.
But perhaps not as many people truly grasp how critical it is to ensure that their pets also get enough exercise and physical activity to remain in tip-top shape. Without a physical outlet to expend excess energy as well as to maintain optimal fitness, dogs can become overweight and develop life-altering health problems.
By exercising with your dog, you and your pet can get healthy and stay healthy together. Read on for a look at why you should get more active and exercise alongside your dog.
Exercise Will Aid Physical Health
The physical health benefits for humankind and canines are similar. Physical activity will help to develop muscle tone, fine-tune the metabolic system, and maintain an ideal body weight. Now, it’s one thing to know how much exercise you should get, but it’s quite another thing to understand how much physical activity your dog needs. The amount of time will depend on a whole list of factors such as the breed, size, overall health level, and age. You can’t necessarily expect your dog to keep up with an excessively long exercise routine, so you’ll need to take your pet’s capabilities into consideration when heading out for a walk or run. Consider that your dog needs between half an hour and 120 minutes of physical activity daily to remain healthy. A smaller breed dog will usually be on the lower end of the exercise time range while a larger dog will usually be on the longer end of the exercise time range. It’s best to conduct research to find out precisely how much exercise you should be striving for to benefit your and your dog’s health.
Exercise Will Benefit Mental Health
When you and your dog exercise together, you’ll both experience mental health benefits. For you, the benefits will include less stress, more self-confidence, protection against cognitive decline, better memory, and more. And your dog? Well, your pet will benefit greatly from regular physical activity. Consider that dogs that lack a sufficient amount of mental stimulation and exercise are more likely to resort to destructive behavior. Bad behavior can manifest itself in the form of excessive barking, excitability, and the propensity to chew on things. You and your dog, by staying more active and exercising together, will preserve mental health.
Exercise Will Increase Bond
If you live a busy and active lifestyle and perhaps spend a lot of time away from home due to career commitments, you might not spend as much time as you’d like with your pet. However, if you commit to getting more active and exercising alongside your dog, you’ll not only benefit your physical and mental health, but also get the chance to spend quality time together. And the bond between doggy parent and dog will grow stronger as you enjoy each other’s company.
From physical health to mental health to relational benefits, exercising with your dog can really pay dividends. So, the next time you plan to get your daily dose of physical activity, don’t forget your pet. Plan a routine that will benefit both of you.
Here’s to your — and your dog’s — health!
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