There are so many reasons to explore the great outdoors with your favorite pooch! Did you know that being outside in the sunshine and fresh air provides a wealth of health benefits for both of you? Here are four great reasons to explore the great outdoors with your dog.
1. Boost Your Immune Systems
Sure, you could head to your pharmacy and grab some zinc, vitamin C, or echinacea supplements next time one of your coworkers has a cold, but by then you’ve already been exposed to the virus. If you want to keep your immune system top notch at all times, spending plenty of time outdoors is the best way to go. We’ve all heard about the studies that show how spending time in the sunshine and fresh air can boost your vitamin D, but there’s more! A Japanese study also showed that spending time in the woods can increase your white blood cell count for up to a week. That’s a big deal because white blood cells fight both cancer and viruses. Best of all? Your dog will get these same benefits, too, which could mean a healthier, longer life for him as well.
2. Improve Your Mood
There’s no question that the hectic pace of today’s lifestyle can be stressful. Depression is a common problem for people of all ages. The good news is, a simple walk outside can be great for your mental health. A study conducted by the University of Michigan showed that people who were dealing with stressful events had a significant improvement in their mood and outlook after a walk outdoors. So, next time you have a bad day, leash up your favorite pooch and hit the trail!
3. Boost Your Short-Term Memory
Did you know that spending time in nature can actually boost your short-term memory? A study was done to investigate this theory. Two groups of participants were compared in the study. One group walked in an urban environment, and the other walked in a garden. They were given a memory test afterward, and the group who walked in the garden performed much better than the group who walked on city streets.
Many of us are in the habit of heading to the gym to work out, but you really should reconsider that. If all the benefits listed above haven’t encouraged you to head outside, consider this: you’ll get more out of your workout by doing it outside. Outdoor exercise burns more calories and uses more muscle groups because you’re fighting wind resistance, managing your core temperature, and negotiating hills, branches, and rocks.
Look at it this way: if you’re not getting outdoors regularly, neither is your dog! Your dog will get the same health benefits you do, and he’ll be more socialized. He’ll also benefit from having a happier, healthier owner. We’ve all heard that having a pet is good for our health, so why not return the favor?