As a pet owner, you probably already know that daily exercise is essential to ensure the well-being of your four-legged friend. In fact, you probably take your dog on walks around the neighborhood or you might even play catch with him in the backyard from time to time. Whatever the situation is, there really is no bad form of exercise, but you might be surprised to learn about all the health benefits that you and your dog can receive from a walk in the woods. If you have ever been in the woods, you already know that there is just something magical and tranquil about being in the middle of Mother Nature, surrounded by trees and wildlife. In addition to this, long walks through the woods can boast a wide range of different health benefits.

Great Bonding Time

Have you ever heard the old saying, “dog is man’s best friend”? Well, there is a reason that people say this. If you are like most pet owners, you probably do consider your dog to be like a member of the family that you love and cherish. A recent study showed that half of all U.S. dog owners said that they are more attached to their dog than at least one other human being in their life. In addition to this, 13 million individuals said that they are as just attached to their dog as they are to their best friend. When you really look at these numbers it is easy to understand why dogs are referred to as man’s best friend.

When you love someone, you will want to bond, spend time with, and show him or her just how much you care. There truly is no better place to do that than in the middle of a serene backdrop like the woods. When you bond with your pet in the woods it can improve the emotional and psychological connection between you and your pet. You will be showing your dog that you care and he or she will respect you more for showing that you care.

Reducing Work And Financial Stress

With financial struggles and the pressures of everyday work life, it can be truly easy to get stressed out. Even if you aren’t struggling financially, just the pressure of everyday life can be enough to raise your stress levels. It is a well-known scientific fact that all that pent-up stress can lead to a plethora of serious health conditions. In addition to this, all this stress can even affect your marriage or relationship with your kids. Did you know that your four-legged friend could feel the same type of stress? Sure, he isn’t worried about the bills or work, but he gets just as stressed when you leave him home alone or when a stranger comes to the door.

This is why a good, long walk through the woods can be beneficial for the both of you. In fact, a recent Japanese study showed that walking in the woods could lower the levels of stress hormones in your body, lower pulse rate, and lower your blood pressure as well. The study also showed that walking in the woods did wonders for the nervous system.

Just keep in mind that during this study these individuals only walked for 15 minutes and just enjoyed the scenery for the other 15 minutes. So, this pretty much means that you don’t have to speed walk two to three miles to inherit these benefits. You can simply take your time and enjoy yourself with your dog and you both will still be able to reap these amazing benefits.

Memory Enhancement

The human memory is truly an amazing thing. Have you ever just noticed how you can recall specific moments from your past that really had no significant relevance at all, but somehow you can recall that moment second for second? Well, did you know that recent studies are showing that dogs have that some type of episodic memory trait? Your memory is one of your greatest assets, as without it you wouldn’t be able to remember your loved ones or how to complete daily tasks. The same concept applies to your pet as well. Memory is even more important companion pets or dogs that need to complete daily tasks.

Unfortunately, as time goes on your memory and your pet’s memory will begin to decline. What if there was a way that you could combat this? Well, a study conducted at the University of Stanford proved that walking through the woods could actually do just that. Several individuals participated in this study and they were required to conduct a memory test before and after a walk. Half the participants walked through the woods, while the other half walked through an urban area. The test showed that the individuals that walked through the woods actually improved on their memory test, whereas the urban walking individuals did not.

Makes You Feel Alive

Have you ever heard someone say that they truly felt alive? This means that they were filled with physical and mental energy that gave them a sense of enthusiasm and purpose. This is also sometimes referred to as vitality. It is possible that you have felt these feelings before, but since you have been crammed down with work and stressed out; it has probably been quite some time since you have experienced a feeling like this. Your dog can experience these same feelings. These are the emotions and feelings that will keep you younger and all around more excited about living life.

Researchers have been studying how the woods can have this type of effect on the human life. They actually found that just walking outside had the ability to increase your vitality. It was not the exercise or the social interaction that created these feelings either. It was the fact that you were out in nature. Now, just imagine what a walk through the woods could do for you and your dog. Just 20 minutes could be enough to give you the energy and sense of aliveness that you need to get out of bed and face life’s everyday pressures.

Improving Your Mental Health

Mental health is a very import factor for both you and your dog. Repetitive thoughts of negativity can increase your risk of developing a mental illness like depression. While no one truly knows what their dog is thinking, it is without a doubt a well-known fact that dogs can get depressed. In fact, you might have even seen depression traits in your dog before. And, this can often be brought on by the loss of a companion, being left alone, of the adopting of another pet. Depression can lead to loss of appetite, which will eventually lead to more and more serious health conditions.

There is a way to combat this and you can do it by walking in the woods. In fact, in 2015 one study found that a walk in the woods could potentially reduce activity in the part of the brain that is linked to mental illness. In addition to this, a walk in the woods can make you overall happier, which will do away with all those negative thoughts that you are having.

It should also be noted that as of right now 50 percent of people in the world live in urban areas and it is estimated that by 2050, this number will increase by 20 percent. That means that by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in an urbanized area. Why is this bad? Well, researchers have discovered that urbanization can be linked to higher levels of mental illnesses. So, getting out in Mother Nature might truly be essential to ensuring the wellbeing of your overall mental health.

Increases The Learning Process

If you aren’t learning something new every day, you truly aren’t taking advantage of your brain. Your brain has such an enormous capacity and ability to learn new things that it is truly amazing. Over the years there have been tons of tests and studies conducted on how an individual can speed up the learning process. In fact, some of the latest studies and research are showing that a green area with trees has the ability to improve the learning process. Since a dog’s brain can work in the same manner as the human brain, this is going to be beneficial for them as well. Who knows, after a few walks through the woods, you might finally be able to get your dog to heel and stop barking at strangers.

Improves Mood

It is a fact that humans who are inactive have more difficulty controlling their mood than those who exercise regularly. With this said, people with pets are typically happier than those who do not have a domestic animal living in their home. Now, when you combine a leisurely stroll in the woods with animal companionship, you get nothing but pure bliss.

Regardless, if you take a short or long stroll, by the time you return to your home, your mood will have improved. In addition to this, you may also see an improvement in your dog’s mood, as well. Canines love to spend time with their owners, just grab their leash and watch their tail go wagging. This is a sign that your dog is excited and happy.

Promotes Sleep

If you have difficulty sleeping, you probably wake up feeling groggy. Well, did you know that a little bit of exercise every day could improve your sleeping patterns? According to researchers at Northwest University, millions of adults have difficulty falling asleep and the solution is “regular aerobic exercise.” In fact, nearly 50 percent of people in the middle-age group complain of “chronic insomnia” and this is not to even mention other age groups.

Walking is just one example of aerobic exercise. So, do not hesitate to take your dog for a stroll just before bedtime to ensure you fall asleep with ease.

Reduces The Risk Of Disease

One thing to note is that obesity can impact anyone and everyone. It can also be a serious problem for your pooch. This is one of the major benefits of taking your dog for a walk in the woods. Not only will you get to explore beautiful Mother Nature, but you’ll also be able to reduce your risk of suffering from a serious disease. Obesity is linked to many different diseases. Walking frequently will reduce your risk of developing heart disease, while also minimizing your risks of suffering from a stroke. At the same time, the walk will greatly improve your dog’s life. The next time you want to walk your dog, you should venture outside of your comfort zone and head for the woods.

Reduces Body Fat

There are tons of health risks associated with too much body fat. Having too much fat on your body will damage your heart and lead to high blood pressure. It can also increase your risk of developing diabetes in the near future. Just remember that your dog is prone to many of the same problems. One of the best ways to reduce body fat is by getting off of the couch and going for a long walk. Doing so will be enormously beneficial for you and your pooch. The walk will help you burn more calories and shed that dangerous fat. In return, you and your dog will be much happier and healthier.

Can Alleviate Pain And Stiff

As you and your dog get older, there is a good chance that you’re both going to suffer from stiff joints and sore muscles. Eventually, it will get to the point where you have a difficult time moving around. The good news is that there is a solution to the problem. Getting up and walking around more frequently can help. Walking will help limber up your joints and muscles. It’ll also strengthen the muscles and help reduce the pain that you experience. Your dog will receive the same benefits.

Alleviates Anxiety

Dogs and humans can both suffer from anxiety. Too much anxiety can take a toll on both of you. It can also dramatically reduce the performance of your immune system. The good news is that reducing your anxiety isn’t too difficult. In fact, going for a walk in the woods with your pooch will do the trick. Surrounding yourself with the trees and Mother Nature will prove to be a calming experience. In return, this activity will allow you and your dog to calm down and forget about your worries. Once your walk has finished, your anxiety will likely be gone.

Reduces Cancer Risks

Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. In fact, the name alone is likely enough to scare you silly. The good news is that taking your pooch for a walk in the woods can help. Your dog will motivate you to continue and the woods will provide you with a unique experience. This combination will ensure that you return time and again. This can ultimately decrease your risk of certain cancers by as much as 75%!

Take Precautions

Despite all of the perks associated with getting outside and walking through the woods, there are some risks involved. You really never know what you’re going to encounter out there. You could run across a snake or possibly even a bear. With this in mind, you should always keep your pooch on a leash. Don’t let them run around freely, unless they’re obedient and fully understand your commands. Otherwise, they might attempt to bite a snake and get injured themselves. At the same time, you should be cautious of fleas and ticks. Check out a Seresto collar review and learn how a flea collar can protect your dog from these parasites.