Improving fitness doesn’t always mean going to the gym or preparing for a marathon… it can mean starting to move more and incorporating small exercise into your daily routine.

Walking is a gentle form of exercise and if you have a dog it’s time to take advantage of them to help you walk more which can help improve your fitness and I’m sure they wouldn’t complain to that either.

But are there any health benefits to dog walking? ….. Yes

  • Dog walking can help with your mental health by helping to decrease stress levels by decreasing cortisol levels, small walks give you a change of scenery giving you a mental break and lowering these levels can help to decrease your stress and improve your sense of well-being.

Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and released into your blood which affects metabolism, helps you to respond to stress, influences your blood pressure and has an anti -inflammatory effect.

  • Walking can help to lower your blood pressure
  • Walking is a great form of exercise to get the whole body moving which can help stretch out any of those aches and pains.

Getting the most out of your walks for the best health benefit

  • Varying your walking speed and varying from flat walks to hill walking which helps to raise your heart rate.
  • Being outside and having fresh air and gives you chance to enjoy some of our lovely scenery… woods, parks and being outside can give you an extra dosage of vitamin D.
  • It is advised to do 10,000 steps a day or roughly 30 minutes of exercise a day.
  • Walking doesn’t have to be hours of walking at a time as we all have busy life schedule’s but a small walk daily either before you go to work or after a busy day at work can be a good time for a steady walk and gives you time to have a think as you walk.
  • Aiming for 30 minutes walks 5 times a week.

Sam Owen M.Ost

Associate Osteopath

Stone Osteopaths