Dogs have earned the title “man’s best friend” for many good reasons. These lovable, energetic, and loyal creatures bring so much happiness into any family that welcomes them and gives them a home. At your lowest point in life, your dog would neither abandon you nor judge you or love you any less. They will comfort you and be on your side for the rest of your life.
They do need to be taken care of. Like humans, they, too, can get sick. They can catch a virus or bacteria from another animal that they encounter whenever they are outdoors. They also have nutritional needs. Some need to eat hypoallergenic dog food because regular kibbles can trigger an allergic reaction that presents itself through symptoms such as itchiness, skin lesions, and recurring ear infections. Moreover, they need to be washed and exercised to be healthy. In short, they require more maintenance compared to a cat, a fish, and other pets.
In exchange for the attention and care you give to your dog, they can improve your life in various ways. One important benefit of having a dog is increased physical activity.
Singaporeans are Not Getting Enough Exercise
Nowadays, most people live a sedentary lifestyle. It is not their fault. Their work and commute usually involve a lot of sitting for several hours, usually in front of a screen. At the end of the day, people are too tired or stressed to incorporate some physical activity into their daily routines.
It is a common problem around the world, including in Singapore. In one survey, 63 percent of all Singaporeans said they exercise less than three times a week. The city-state is one of the most inactive across Southeast Asia, ranking second closely behind Indonesia, where 68 percent of respondents said that they exercise less than three times a week.
For comparison, in Vietnam, 60 percent of the respondents exercise less than three times a week. In the Philippines, only 46 percent of respondents were inactive.
In addition, the majority of Singaporean respondents to the survey also shared that they do not have the discipline to exercise regularly.
Not having physical activity is bad for your health. Public health experts have already dubbed sitting for long periods of hours as the “new smoking” because of how badly it affects the body. It slows the blood flow down, which can lead to the build-up of fatty acids in the blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease. Sitting can also cause insulin resistance, resulting in type-2 diabetes. Moreover, those who sit for long periods are more likely to suffer from blood clots.
Being sedentary is clearly bad for one’s health, and it can be remedied by adopting a pup.
Dogs Influence You to Become Physically
Dogs need exercise. They need to be walked at least twice a day and played to expel all their excess energy and ensure that they live a long, happy life. When they walk and run, they are not the only ones getting exercise. Their owners, too, are forced to have physical activity during their every day.
One recent study looked at how much physical activity dog owners are getting because of their pets. The researchers recruited almost 700 participants from the United Kingdom, about one-third of whom have a dog. The participants shared information about how much they move each week. A few of the families were also made to wear activity monitors throughout the week while exercising.
They found that dog owners spent nearly 300 hours each week walking with their pups — about 200 hours more than participants who do not have a dog at home and double the amount of time that experts recommend adults should have every week.
In addition, dog owners also participated in more physical activity without their pets. They still went to the gym, jogged and cycled, and had other exercises aside from walking their dogs.
The positive impact of dogs on physical health also extended among children. Children whose families have dogs walked 100 minutes each day and played with their pets for 200 minutes more.
Of course, getting exercise should not be the sole reason why you should adopt a dog. While having a dog in your life can influence you to get up from your bed and get moving, it would not automatically give you the motivation to get moving. Some people have dogs at home yet do not take the time to walk them.
However, if you have been considering getting a pet for a long time now, adopting a dog is one of the best things you can do for your health.