February 19th

Woman and dog walking in the winter

Did you know that Saturday, Feb. 22 is National Walk Your Dog Day? Taking a walk is probably one of your dog’s favorite activities. Turns out, it’s also good for you.

Scientists have discovered that dog owners are more likely to engage in moderate physical activity than non-dog owners. In fact, dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes per week, while those without a dog walk 168 minutes per week on average.

There are even more good-for-your-health reasons to spend time with your dog. Playing with or even just petting a dog lowers blood pressure, slows heart rate, regulates breathing and relaxes muscle tension. Additionally, dog ownership is linked to a 21% reduction in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. When dogs and humans interact with one another they get a dose of oxytocin, a.k.a. the “cuddle hormone.” Having a strong attachment to a pet makes people feel more connected to their communities and to their human relationships.

Taking a walk with your pet – around the neighborhood, to a community green space, or in a local park – doubles down on the health benefits you get from spending time in green space. Walking with your pup is a great way for you to get out and enjoy your living landscapes. Being an “outsider” is good for your health and lowers stress, reduces blood pressure, and enhances memory.

Learn about all of the many health benefits of spending time in green space and with your pup here.

Now, what are you waiting for? Grab your tennis shoes and your pooch, and take a walk!