Seniors – Walk the Dog to Improve Your Health

It's not always easy to fit exercise into your schedule. Maybe you're extra busy. Maybe you're not, and you just don't feel like jogging, running, or going to the gym. But as you get older, being active is an important part of staying healthy.

You don't have to run marathons, take up weight lifting, or join a competitive sports team. But you should look for ways to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. And there's an easy way to do it, especially if you own a dog.

Arrange your schedule so you can take your dog for a walk each day. It's an easy way to exercise for you and your dog. And you'll get more out of it than just burning a few extra calories, according to a recent study at Miami University.

In the study, researchers followed 771 seniors. Researchers tracked the amount of time they spend exercising, and looked at overall health. They compared exercise time and overall health between dog owners and non-dog owners. And the results were a little surprising.

Dog owners were more likely to weigh less, have better mobility, require less medical care, and log more exercise minutes a week than non-dog owners. Researchers also found that dog owners were less stressed, happier, and had a lower risk for chronic diseases than non-dog owners.

Why? Researchers believe walking the dog at least 30 minutes a day is the primary reason dog owners in the study were healthier than non-dog owners. If you own a dog, make it a habit to take your furry friend for a walk every day. If you don't own a dog, that's OK. You can still go for a walk and benefit from being active.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends seniors get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day (like walking), and do strength training or resistance exercises at least two days a week. The recipe for aging well also includes eating a healthy diet. To make meal prep easy, we've created more than 70 meals just for Seniors that are low in sodium, made from fresh ingredients, and in just the right portion sizes to satisfy your appetite.