Experts: Dog owners are healthier, more likely to exercise

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The American Heart Association is encouraging you to get a dog.

The organization says dogs can help improve their owner’s physical and mental health, so they’re holding a dog-friendly event to celebrate National Walking Day.

Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, people can walk a dog or one can be provided at Warm Memorial Park. There will be music and prizes.

Leaders with the American Heart Association say inactive people can double their risk of heart disease, which is the number one killer of Americans. To combat that, they recommend everyone get 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. Dog owners are 50-percent more likely to fit that exercise into their schedules. They’re also 70-percent less likely to have high blood pressure, more than two times less likely to have diabetes, and are 50-percent less likely to be depressed.

AHA experts say walking is the easiest form of exercise and has the lowest dropout rate. It’s free and you can do it anywhere.