Common Health Problems affecting Dogs and Cats

Veterinary advice from John Burns BVMS MRCVS

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It's official....walking the dog is good for you!

Of course, you always knew that taking the dog out was probably doing you just as much good as your dog, but now researchers think walking may be the perfect exercise. In an article in Time magazine, an American doctor is quoted as saying that 30 minutes of brisk walking a day could reduce the incidence of some chronic conditions by up to 40%!

Many studies undertaken over the last few years have pointed to the fact that brisk walking offers many of the same benefits as jogging or aerobics.

  • Brisk walking is good for the heart, lowering blood pressure, boosts HDL cholesterol in the blood (this is the friendly one!) and seems to affect the stickiness of the bllod, making it less likely to produce unwanted clots. All in all, it could reduce the risk of a heart attack by up to 50%

  • By analysing the daily walking habits of nurses, researchers have found that those who walked the most reduced their risk of suffering a stroke by a clot by up to 40%

  • Brisk walking is ideal for controlling your weight. Not only do you burn calories but your metabolic rate is increased for the rest of the day. You would however have to walk for a good hour a day to burn off fat reserves.

  • Your 30 minute brisk walk can postpone and possibly prevent the develpment of Type 2 diabetes in overweight people whose bodies are already experiencing difficulty in metabolizing glucose, according to two recent studies.

  • Brisk walking can help sufferers of arthritis and osteoporosis.

  • There is new evidence that regular outdoor exercise is good for those suffering from depression, with less chance of relapse.

Of course any improvements in health are long term for what is after all fairly gentle exercise, and one should also take into account your whole lifestyle if you are looking to gain real health improvements through your daily routine of dog walking!


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