I have a dog named Easy. He’s quite handsome, as you can see in this picture. According to a new study, he might also be my “secret weapon” to healthier living–as long as I walk him on a regular basis.
In the study, researchers from Michigan State University investigated whether walking a dog is a substitute for other physical activity, in which case you wouldn’t expect people who walk their dogs to be any healthier than people who don’t. But they found that dog owners who regularly walk their dogs have higher levels of physical activity independent of dog walking. They get more exercise and are measurably closer to meeting public health benchmarks for physical activity. For more details, check out this in-depth article from Futurity News.
The researchers didn’t mention the effects that walking a dog might have for cognitive fitness. But we know that exercise is as good for the brain as it is for the body, and is an essential part of any brain fitness lifestyle. So instead of investing in new gym equipment or memberships, you might just want to get a dog. You’ll get exercise plus affection, which is more than any treadmill can give.