Is there anything better than getting outside, breathing in the fresh air, and moving your body?
Yes! Doing all this with your furry friend – your dog – by your side.
Benefits of Getting Outside and Walking
First of all, I love the out-of-doors. After spending a day at work – inside, most of my time spent in a windowless office – I long to get outside.
Spending time outside serves multiple purposes. When we exit our indoor, made for us, space, our eyes and minds are opened to the world outside of our microcosm. This forces us to realize that our existence is not just about us.
Being outside also allows us to experience different sites, smells, and sounds. Seems simple, right? But can you imagine not ever smelling the sweet smell of fresh-cut grass? Or seeing someone riding a bike or taking a jog – which then inspires us to become more active? How about hearing the birds sing? These are things we often take for granted but we would surely miss if they were taken away.
Then there is the obvious reason – the physical exercise, and just the pure joy of being able to move your body and get your heart rate going. As someone with osteoarthritis and spondylolisthesis, it really does my body good to get moving! Keeping my weight at a (mostly) healthy target helps to minimize the chronic pain. Just the act of movement also serves to keep the joints from stiffening and causing increased pain. There’s also the endorphins – feel-good hormones – that are released as we exercise.
Why Walking is Better With My Dog
Also, at least for me, after spending my day at work – I want to get home and see my fur baby! Call me crazy, but I am infatuated with our corgi, Lola. Granted, any dog would have me gaga. The excitement, joy and unconditional love a dog gives are just immeasurable to improving one’s mental health. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love someone (in this case, a dog – but still!) going absolutely crazy over your mere presence!
Walking your dog is also great for them as well. That exercise that we get, they are also experiencing. This helps to keep them physically fit. It also helps to decrease any tendencies to “misbehave”. A tired dog is a happy dog, and less likely to engage in destructive behaviors such as chewing the furniture. Seeing the joy on Lola’s face – and yes, she does show joy – is good for my heart and soul. I swear that dog knows how to smile! (see Lola’s pic below)
Do You Agree?
So, what do you think? Do you agree that walking is beneficial to your health and wellness?
Do you have a special pup that holds a piece of your heart, and do you enjoy walks together?
Please comment – I’d love to hear from you!