Buddy Up to Keep It Up
Getting in better shape and adopting a healthier lifestyle are common resolutions made at the beginning of every year that are quickly abandoned in the first months out of the gate. Now that March is almost here, many people may already be looking for any source of motivation to continue with their healthy habits. One of the most commonly cited sources for extra motivation to keep exercising is by buddying up with a partner. And if you’re a dog owner, you’re in luck! Your dog is not only an eager partner to take you out for a walk, but they will never complain or flake out on you!
Even if adopting a healthy lifestyle wasn’t a new resolution, there are certainly ample reasons to start. A great way to improve your health is also one of the simplest exercises ever: walking. Conventional healthy lifestyle advocates recommend that everyone should do 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise 3-5 times per week to maintain a reasonable level of physical fitness and health. But studies are increasingly showing that walking just 30 minutes per day can pay even more massive dividends to your health. Here are some of the benefits found in recent studies:
- Of course, walking slims you down
- Regular walkers [i] have fewer heart attacks and strokes, have lower blood pressure, and have higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol
- Thirty minutes of walking a day makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin, thereby lessening chances for diabetes
- It makes you smarter; physical activity nourishes brain tissue and stimulates its production of neurons, synapses, and blood vessels. Walking may also help lower chances of Alzheimer’s.[ii]
- Walking alleviates stress and benefits your mood, and may even ward off depression and anxiety
- Not only can a walk perk you up when you need it, but it also helps improve your quality of life. Walking regularly can lower your risk of arthritis, macular degeneration, and even cancer by 50%!
- If you’re trying to quit smoking, a 5-minute walk may help cut down on cigarette cravings
So what are you waiting for?! Grab some comfortable shoes and your dog’s leash, and hit those trails! Your dog will love you for it, and so will your own body!