Science has finally weighed in on the hotness of pup parents. A 2014 study at the University of St. Andrews found that the health of dog owners who are 65 years or older is on par with other humans 10 years younger. Oh, it weighed in on their health, too.
The study, led by Dr. Zhiqiang Feng, focuses on the fitness levels of senior pup parents. The average age of the 547 participants was 79.
Nine percent of them were dog owners. Seventy-five percent of that number actively walked their pups.
These dog owners were 12 percent more active than their non-dog parent counterparts, keeping their fitness levels equal to non-dog owners who are a decade or more younger.
Dr. Feng says:
“Our results suggest that dog ownership may motivate personal activity and enable older people to overcome many potential barriers such as lack of social support, inclement weather and concerns over personal safety.”
Here are some more detailed reasons about why your pup gives you that youthful glow:
1. “I’m taking such a long time to poop because I’m concerned about your heart health.”
It’s annoying when you have a pup who’s a picky pooper, but consider the long walks as a low impact way to keep your heart healthy and keep your bod bangin’.
2. “I’m running away from you for your own good!”
Obviously, a runaway pup is no good, but running with your pup is awesome. Of course, if you’re older, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure that your body can handle a heart pounding run.
3. “If you throw that thing, I’ll catch it and then make you catch me!”
If long runs aren’t your thing, a quick jaunt to snatch a frisbee from your pup will do your body good.
4. “If I stick my nose in your face you’ll laugh more.”
Laughter lowers your blood sugar, helps your heart, boosts your immune system and helps you sleep.
5. “Say hello to my little friends.”
Dogs are great conversations starters. It’ll be hard not to meet other dog ruvers on your walks with your pup. The more friends you have, the more active you’ll be. Simply hanging out with your buds is good for your health.
So, get out there and walk your BFF, play all day and share lots of doggie giggles. Your body will thank you!