When you think of living a healthier life, eating better, exercising more and even meditating may come to mind. But research suggests wellness sometimes wags.
On Saturday, September 8 at 9 a.m. the Intermountain Park City Hospital LiVe Well Center will host the second annual 5k-9 — a 5K run/walk/jog with your canine, or a borrowed one — benefiting Paws 4 Life in Heber, Utah. The race will start and finish in the hospital’s front “barking” lot located at 900 Round Valley Drive. All proceeds benefit Paws For Life Utah.
Like the dogs at the shelter, this family-friendly event focuses on giving people a new leash on life by encouraging activity. The LiVe Well Center encourages people to start (or continue) their wellness journey by registering for the event. Paws 4 Life will also have adoptable “loaner” dogs at the event for anyone wanting to participate with a dog on the race course.
Health Benefits of Dogs
“Dogs really do help people get healthier,” says Kelly Woodward, DO, medical director at Park City Hospital’s LiVe Well Center. Several studies suggest that having a pet, especially a rescued animal, gives people a greater sense of purpose and can significantly reduce depression. “Some mental health experts are even writing prescriptions, instructing their at-risk patients to adopt a homeless animal,” he says.
“They’ve been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, increase social interaction, and motivate people to get outside and exercise more. Dogs can also boost immune systems and some can even predict disease and illness," says Dr. Woodward.
Since dogs are often social magnets, dog owners are more likely to interact with new people and have stronger human relationships — both significant factors in mental well-being. “Social isolation is one of the biggest risk factors for suicide. And pets, especially dogs, can provide an instant social connection. Whether people stop to greet your pup on a walk, or you end up chatting with them at the dog park, we often make friends through Fido,” says Dr. Woodward.
The physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come from pet ownership are well-documented but what about financial benefits? While there are additional costs associated with owning a pet like the cost of food, travel accommodations, and visits to the veterinarian, studies have shown there are significant health cost savings due to pet ownership because dog and cat owners make fewer annual doctor visits and are less likely to be on medication for heart and sleep problems.
Like the LiVe Well Center, dogs can help people live a healthier life. The health benefits of having a pet include:
- Increases physical and social activity
- Elevated mood
- Lower stress levels
- Health cost savings
For those looking to get a new leash on life, it might be as simple as registering for the Park City Hospital LiVe Well Center 5K-9. Registration and more information can be found at ParkCityHospital.org/5k9.
About the Park City Hospital LiVe Well Center
Park City Hospital offers the most advanced technology and a visually stunning facility with the backing of the Intermountain Healthcare system.
At the Park City Hospital LiVe Well Center we are committed to helping people live the healthiest life possible. Through our health and wellness services we can help people identify areas where they can make the biggest impact on their health. Our team of wellness and fitness experts will motivate, educate, and inspire them to get well, stay well, and live well for your lifetime.
On Saturday, September 8 at 9 a.m. the Intermountain Park City Hospital LiVe Well Center will host the second annual 5K-9 — a 5K run/walk/jog with your canine, or a borrowed one — benefiting Paws 4 Life in Heber, Utah.