Tagged with: disabilities exercise Physical Activity service animals
An article was just released this week about a study at Michigan State University about how individuals that walked their dog were 34 percent more likely to reach the federal physical activity benchmarks.
I have had my dog for 13 years. He is very small weighing in at only 12 pounds, but since he was a puppy he would run over 4 miles with me. Today, my dog is 13 years old and has unfortunately slowed down a little bit.
Currently, I find that instead of me attempting to keep him in shape he is the one helping to keep me in shape. Being diagnosed with MS (with the most reported symptom being fatigue), having 8-12 hour days, and living in a small apartment I know my dog’s daily walk cannot be ignored no matter how fatigued I am when I get home. Despite his increasing age preventing him from running with me, I am forced to do a solo cardio session as well as take him on his daily walk.
Not only is a dog beneficial for physical activity, but a good dog is beneficial for the mind.
Living alone, being 1,300 miles away from home, and being diagnosed with a disability I find my dog to not only be a reason to get some extra physical activity, but he has also proved to be my best social support. My dog is a companion that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. He is something that I know will always be there when I return home from a challenging day.
For me; being single, living so far from family, and diagnosed with a disability it becomes increasingly difficult to feel a sense of importance. My dog provides me with a responsibility and a sense of well-being. Pets have been found to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, stave off loneliness, and improve individuals’ mood. So, if you or someone you love is struggling, consider adopting a new best friend. They may come in more handy than you’d ever think possible.