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Written by Kim Rain
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 11/04/2020, edited: 10/26/2022
We all know that good health is the key to a long and happy life, and for many of us, that means regular exercise. Of course, working out isn’t always fun, but heading to a gym can provide the motivation that some of us need to stay on track and reach our fitness goals.
However, since Covid-19 shut down many of the nation’s gyms and health studios, many of our workout routines have come to an end. If you miss the gym, you’re not alone! And if you are wondering how to keep your body in tip top shape, know that your health doesn’t have to be put on hold.
You don’t need to buy an expensive machine, or craft an intricate home routine- being active can be simple, fun and profitable. That’s right, you can get in all your steps while making money walking adorable dogs. Let us show you how!
For those of you who think walking won’t do much good, think again! The Mayo Clinic recommends walking 150 minutes per week to help tackle several conditions that affect the body and mind. That works out to be just 21 minutes per day. An average dog walk is between 20 to 60 minutes, and features something a gym doesn’t- a cute, furry furiend who will love you for it! The more walks you do, the more exercise you get, which can directly help you during the coronavirus pandemic. How does it do that?
Regular exercise not only strengthens your muscles and bones, but it also helps curb obesity, one of the pre-existing conditions that can increase your risk of developing severe, and sometimes lethal complications from a Covid-19 infection. Daily exercise can also help reduce other pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. And studies have shown that just 30 minutes of exercise per day can lower your risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart disease. But wait, there’s more! Several studies have also found that even a single 45-minute walk can bolster your immune system and increase its capacity to eradicate viruses!
With cases of coronavirus spiking across the nation, more than a third of Americans are reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression related to the pandemic. Daily exercise helps to release “good mood” hormones that can reduce feelings of panic, and ward off present and future depression!
Where do dogs fit into all this, you may ask? Well, besides being a pawtastic way to get your steps in, spending time with dogs can lower your blood pressure, and reduce your depression and anxiety levels too. Playing with a dog boosts more of those “good mood” hormones, while reducing the release of cortisol, the stress-inducing hormone.
What better way to give your body and mind a one-two punch towards health, and earn money at the same time, than by being a dog walker? Instead of paying a gym, you’ll be paid to exercise when you want, while spending time with adorable pups. But what about safety?
Ok, let’s get real here. Dog walking is a dream job, but is it safe to do during a pandemic?
With the right precautions, the answer is yes! Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Wag! has followed CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of dog walkers, dog pawrents, and their dogs in many ways.
For instance, Wag! offers a ‘socially distanced service’, wherein pet pawrents can have their dog leashed and harnessed, and able to simply hand off to the dog walker upon arrival. Wag! also asks all pet pawrents and pet caregivers to:
Avoid contact with anyone if they are sick, or are experiencing symptoms of the virus such as coughing, fever, or difficulty breathing.
Wash hands with soap and water, or a hand sanitizer with 60% or higher alcohol content, for 20 seconds before and after any service, such as a dog walk.
Be sure your mouth and nose are covered when coughing or sneezing.
In addition to these, the CDC also offers these recommendations for both human and animal safety:
Keep dogs 6 feet apart from other people and animals.
Keep from touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you wash your hands.
Avoid public areas such as dog parks.
Wear gloves when cleaning up and disposing of pet waste.
Wear a mask to keep you and those around you protected.
With these simple strategies, you can safely get moving with a happy pup by your side.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start a new exercise routine that includes unconditional love, and money in your pocket.
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