Walking Your Dog Might Be Saving Your Life
Today we stopped by No Kill Los Angeles, or NKLA, which is one of our favorite animal shelters. We adopted a 5-month old puppy from here in the past and have attended their super adoption event with the Best Friend’s Animal Society two years in a row. These two work together with other local animal rescues to try to save the lives of as many animals as possible, and we appreciate that effort. We’ve included pets countless times before in our posts for many reasons, including their positive effect on your mental and physical health.
Walking is, as you can read here, still considered one of the best forms of exercise for everyone. Walking with a dog is that much more challenging and becomes that much more effective. The dog, or your best friend, is the ultimate form of accountability because it needs you, and in a way, you need it as well. For those who struggle to motivate themselves to get out of bed and put their sneakers on, your furry little friend is always willing to accompany you and even pull you a bit up some of those steep hills. It forces you to exercise.
I’ve found from my thousands of fitness assessments that the majority of my older or senior clients that have pets are in better physical and mental health. That is, my clients over 60 that have pets are often in better shape than my clients over 60 that don’t have pets. The nature of the pets matter and those with larger dogs are generally healthier than those with smaller cats. It can be at times a form of resistance training and you just have to be responsible with the weight load that you take on.
Being mindful about feeding them on time, changing their litter, and any other daily work that needs to be done is typically a workout in itself. It forces you to stay active. Every day you burn thousands of calories without “working out” in the gym and having an animal to care for only increases that number of calories. Carrying litter can even be a muscle-building workout and I know I’ve worked my upper arms trying to scrub their water fountain’s filter clean.
We’re not trying to encourage you to get a pet unless you want one, but it can be of huge benefit to your physical and mental health. If you think you’d be a responsible owner, consider it, because that animal if going to love you unconditionally if you take care of it. I will, however, encourage you to consider becoming a Best Friend’s Guardian Angel like we have because providing the means for these animals to survive and find a home could, in fact, save someone’s life one day. That someone could be you. Adopt an animal to stay hungry and fit!