Today is National Pet Day and we’re giving a high five to our four-legged friends, specifically our dogs.
The research regarding the therapeutic benefits of animal human interaction is gaining momentum. The Research Center for Human Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine has compared the health promoting benefits of walking with a human to walking with a dog.
The 12-week study featured 23 elderly people who walked for five days a week with a friend or spouse and 12 elderly people who took a bus every day to the local animal shelter and then walked a dog.
The people who walked with a dog showed significantly better physical improvements and even increased their walking speed by 28 percent. In fact, many people in the dog-walking group were able to stop using canes and walkers. One of the researchers said, “To have a 28-percent improvement in walking speed is mind boggling.”
The people who walked with people actually began making excuses and skipped the walking workout.
So, if you need a great way to get physical, grab a pooch and get going!