Study: Dog Walking is Great Exercise for the Elderly
A recent study shows that older people who walk dogs have better levels of physical activity than those who are not dog walkers.
Of we all know that there are so many good reasons to own a dog. But now there’s another great reason! A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has shown that owning a dog is great for the elderly. This is because it gets them out and about, increasing their levels of physical activity.
As we age, we tend to get less and less exercise. This is especially the case when it’s cold and miserable outside. The study, conducted by the Centre for Diet and Activity Research at the University of Cambridge showed that dog owners spend 30 minutes less time being sedentary than those who did not own a dog.
To get this information, researchers studied around 3000 older people. They were all given a device to wear that measured their activity levels every day and the activity levels of the dog owners were compared against those who did not have a dog. The researchers found the results surprising. The dog owners certainly were much more active and the weather had much less of an effect on whether or not they got any exercise.
Dogs are the perfect motivator!
Owning a dog is great motivation for anyone, to get you out of the house. A dog needs walking, it’s an obligation. When you’re older, you start to lose those reasons you need to leave the house such as getting to work or taking the kids to school. A dog puts that requirement back into your life. It pushes you to get outside, even when it’s cold or raining, when you’d rather be sat inside watching the TV!
So if you want to get fitter and healthier, perhaps a dog is the perfect solution! If you’re retired, it’s also likely that you’ll have the time needed to give a dog a wonderful life, with lots of love and affection. Plus, if you live alone, a dog can be a brilliant companion. A loyal friend who’s always there for you.
Exercise is so important, and it’s especially important for elderly people. If you have an older relative, why not suggest they join you on your dog walks. You could be giving them a new lease of life!