Walkies is a great way to keep yourself fit
Dog walking could be the key to keeping yourself active.
Older dog owners spend less time in the day being sedentary, researchers found.
They discovered that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.
The research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, analysed data from a long-term study which is tracking the health and well-being of thousands of people living in Norfolk.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia and the University of Cambridge found that owning or walking a dog was one of the most effective ways to beat the usual decline in later-life activity.
Of the 3,123 people taking part in the study with an average age of 69.5, 18 per cent reported having a dog in their households.
Two-thirds of dog owners walked their pets at least once a day.
The researchers found that regular dog walkers were more active and less sedentary on days with the poorest conditions than non-dog owners were on the days with the best conditions.
In the worst weather, those who walked their dogs had 20 per cent higher activity levels than nondog owners and were more active for 30 minutes each day.
The authors say their findings suggest that dog walking “may have considerable potential to support the maintenance of physical activity in older adults and could form part of exercise on prescription schemes”.
So this could be a good reason to bring a dog into your home, a loving companion and great exercise too.