When working out, participants can fall into two social categories: those who like to exercise alone and those who prefer the company of others. This can be the case whether you enjoy taking daily strolls or find yourself in training for a triathlon. Of course, most exercise enthusiasts take pleasure in mixing it up, sometimes working out in groups, other times going it alone.
Those who live with companion dogs often find they make the best workout partners; that may be so much the case that even on those occasions when people feel averse to the company of others, they find space to share their workouts with their dogs. If you are thinking of bringing a new canine companion into the home or you just need to rethink approaches to your furry physical fitness partnership, note these ways that dogs provide health and wellness benefits.
Morning routines vary almost as much as there are people on the planet. Everyone appreciates different ways of making the morning complete: a strong cup of coffee can fit the bill; a yoga workout or meditation routine may provide calm energy; or a brief run before the sun ascends will get the heart pumping.
In conjunction with these routines, another mentally joyful morning boost can come from the greeting your enthusiastic dog provides. Few things can pull from the fog of sleep or lift you out of a grumpy morning mood than a dog’s full-body wiggle and happy morning bark. When you bury your face in your friend’s coat and gently grab the scruff of the neck, your body releases healthful endorphins that can carry you through the next few hours.
On some days you can feel challenged to get out the door other than for work or running errands. When you find yourself just wanting to sit on the couch, your dog’s yearning stare may be the one thing that gets you up. Having a dog gives you a motivational responsibility; after the morning greeting and at the end of the day, your implied relationship-contract requires that you take the dog for a walk. As a consequence, even if you have no other exercise routines, joining your dog in a stroll brings you both the profound health benefits of walking.
Another responsibility dog owners must fulfill is that of providing stimulation exercises and training. In simplest terms, you can look at this as playtime. Children play without thought; it is an important learning and socialization activity. In contrast, adults may often place little importance on play in their own lives, making insufficient time for it. However, adult play is recognized as significantly important for its mental health benefits.
When you take your dog to the park to chase balls or scamper through the grass with you, once again you are engaging in play without giving it too much thought. As an added bonus, if you meet and engage with other dog owners, both you and your companion benefit from healthy socialization.
Distance runners often experience the same endorphin release that a dog’s morning greeting provides. Sometimes hitting the road can be challenging, however; on some days you may find yourself unmotivated to hit the road. In those instances, knowing that you will have an enthusiastic partner waiting with a leash in the mouth can be all that it takes to get you out the door.
Many dog breeds make terrific jogging partners; in fact, certain working types require more exercise than moderate walks can provide. In addition to gaining motivation to workout when you are not inclined to do so, meeting your dog’s physical requirements should provide an emotionally fulfilling purpose, that is, meet a basic human need.
Dogs play important roles in society. They can serve in law enforcement, guard homes, assist physically-challenged individuals, perform farm work or act as loving companions. In parallel to the various parts dogs play, they offer healthful benefits, both mental and physical. By actively sharing your life with a dog, you can readily unleash these benefits.