Increasing Health Benefits by Walking the Dog

For all the joy owning a dog (or dogs) can bring, it can’t be denied that there are a lot of tasks and responsibilities that come with the territory. Many new habits have to be incorporated into your daily routine, such as feeding and scheduling times to go out for a walk.

Sure, walking the dog can be a chore, but you can also turn it into a healthy exercise for you and your canine companion. Make the most of this time together; rather than viewing it as time wasted that could be spent on other important issues, reap the benefits that a regular walk has to offer, with the added bonus of bringing along man’s best friend.

Enjoy the Journey

Foremost, allow you and your dog to take time for the walk. Rather than rushing along your normal route, take a cue from your pet and let yourself explore. Whenever your dog stops to smell something, let him spend some time doing this. Not only does this calm your dog by allowing him to familiarize himself with the location, it allows you to practice a sense of mindfulness and living in the present moment, which can help you de-stress. Allowing yourself to be present and free from distractions can also increase bonding between you and your dog. Improving the relationship between the two of you can help boost your mood, relieve anxiety, and improve your sense of worth and self-satisfaction. Not to mention what it does for the dog.

Changing up your routine by taking a different route every once in a while can be a great way to stimulate your mind as well as your dog’s. You’ll be less likely to tune out if you are challenged by a new environment. This boost to your cognitive thinking skills can serve you well in the workplace later on. 

If you and your dog are up for it, try adding a little more exercise to your daily outings. Go for hikes together up challenging trails, or have your pet run alongside you as you bike around the neighborhood. This is a great way to fit in some physical exercise into your day, and you’ll be less likely to skip out on it since you won’t want to let your dog down. 

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Warren Long

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.