Mental Health Workout The benefits of being active with your pet.
Mental health is a topic that needs less stigma and more love. Unfortunately in this day and age, if you aren’t suffering yourself chances are you know someone who is. It is an area which is particularly close to our hearts at Waggel, and something we take very seriously. Our co-founder, Ross, recently shared his story about how his dog Sailor helped him overcome mental health issues while our partnerships manager, Emma, discussed how her extra-special good boy helped with her mental and physical health.
Complimentary yoga class with YOGAGISE
How can being active improve my mental health?
The great release of endorphins. The dolphins of the body, which glide through our bodies, bringing with them a wave of relief and happiness. Even a short burst of ten minutes brisk walking can increase mental alertness, energy and positive mood states.
Self-esteem refers to how we feel about ourselves. Having high self-esteem helps us to enjoy life at a higher level, feel good and confident about ourselves. It can also lead to greater resilience and achievement in work.
According to Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope - and this was pre-COVID19! So if you’re feeling overwhelmingly stressed, you’re not alone.
Being active is a great way of de-stressing. We’re not just talking about picturing a certain someone’s face on a punching bag and going hell for leather. But exercise of any form, especially when accompanied by a furry friend, helps to burn unwanted negative energy, release cortisol (stress hormone) and take your mind off things.
How does owning a pet help me be active?
Being active doesn’t mean we have to go running at 5am, climb mountains or dance in full-body ‘Eric Prydz - Call On Me’ lycra. There are many, simple ways we can be active. Take having a pet for example. Pets need to be taken care of every day and, as a result, they help us build healthy habits and active routines.
Getting up in the morning:
Dogs and cats need to be fed on a regular schedule. As a result, pet owners need to get up and take care of them—no matter what mood they are in. One heart-melting, wide-eyed look from your hungry pup or a swipe to the face from your hangry cat is all it takes to get out of bed to feed them.
Dog owners need to go for daily W-A-L-K-S (just in case you were reading this out loud near your D-O-G!). Therefore, owners receive the benefits of regular exercise such as getting in the steps, burning the calories and clearing the mind. Studies show that dog owners are far more likely to meet recommended daily exercise requirements.
Time in nature:
Walking a dog gets us outside, whatever the weather. Whether it is a short blast or a long tire-the-pup-out trek, we experience the many mental health benefits of being outdoors.