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5 Ways Your Pet Improves Your Health

Posted by: Mira Roberts
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You probably already know that your four-legged friend has a special way of making you feel good, but you may not realize how much they're actually boosting both your mental and physical health. Research now shows that your furry family members are helping to improve your overall health through their unconditional love and acceptance, as well as through their more active, physical lifestyle.

We're a pet-friendly community managed by cat and dog lovers who understand how much pets really do bring to our lives. So, we figured we'd share with you some of the scientific reasons that caring for your pet reaps big rewards. While you may be surprised to learn about how much your cat or dog may be helping to lower your cholesterol or reduce your blood pressure, you likely won't be surprised to discover that your relationship with your pet actually lifts your mood and wipes away unhealthy stress.

Here are 5 ways that your best friend is improving your health, every day. After reading this, you'll probably want to go home and give your pet a giant cuddle and a treat. After all, he's doing much more for your body and mind than you may have realized!

Pets Improve Your Fitness
If you're a dog owner, you're likely having to get out with your pup several times a day to get him his exercise. While you're out walking Fido, you're also exercising your own body, and a recent study determined that dog owners walk almost twice as much as those who don't own a dog. As it turns out, dog owners are even 54% more likely to achieve recommended physical activity guidelines than those without dogs, increasing their overall fitness ability and getting their hearts strong.

Pets Reduce Your Blood Pressure
Cat and dog owners know how soothing and relaxing it is to cuddle up and pet your kitty or pup. Research now shows that while you're petting your pet, you're also bringing your blood pressure down. As you calm and connect with your pet, your body begins to calm and relax, bringing on a wonderful win-win for both you and your fur-baby.

Pets Boost Your Heart Health
Pet owners can celebrate having healthier hearts with lowered risks for heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. The combination of lower blood pressure, improved fitness and potentially reduced cholesterol make for a stronger, healthier heart, and you can thank your furry friends for at least a part of this. Recent studies have also shown that heart attack survivors with pets tend to live longer than those survivors without pets.

Pets Promote Psychology Wellbeing
Your pup or kitty likely provides you with social support through their calming presence and special bond. This support goes a long way to boost your self esteem, relieve depression and lower stress, causing a lift in overall mental health and wellbeing. Pet owners report feeling less lonely or isolated than those without pets, and the relationship between pet and owner can be enough to provide support through traumatic events that may otherwise have severe negative impact.

Pets Can Relieve Chronic Pain
When you pet your pup or cat, your body releases endorphins, and these are your body's natural pain relievers. Caring for your pet can also be a nourishing and fulfilling distraction from chronic pain, providing meaning and comfort that can help alleviate symptoms and help tolerate discomfort.

 

 


About the Author
Mira Roberts Gravatar
Mira Roberts

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 

 

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