Posted 6.17.13 @ 16:20
The American Heart Associate released a report last week that says owning a dog not only is linked to a reduced heart risk, but it may actually help you live longer. This might be one of those “correlation does not imply causation” results – but either way, people who have dogs are more active. Maybe active people have dogs, but maybe dogs make them more active. It’s just another great reason to have a pet (or companion animal, if you’re so inclined).
More Reason to Move
With our high tech sedentary lifestyles, most of us don’t have a good excuse to get out there and play! When you have a dog you have little choice but to get out and walk them, play with them in the yard and keep them active. A dog with little to do will turn to your oh so nice furniture and find something to do inside, probably something you won’t like very much!
But it’s not just about moving, people with pets tend to be in a better place psychologically and socially too. It’s already been shown in numerous studies that having a pet can reduce depression in people of all ages, as well as lower stress and blood pressure.
On the other hand, pet owners tend to report up to 5x as much physical activity than those that don’t have a pet, claims the study.
A Reason to Relax
The study took it a step further than previous studies – they took 48 stressed out stockbrokers with high blood pressure, gave them medicine and separated them into groups. One group was asked to adopt a dog or cat – 6 months later the results were in. The group that adopted a pet had lower stress levels and reported better mental and physical wellbeing than other groups – but this again isn’t proof that dogs alone help you stay healthy, but they could be an integral part of a wellness plan.
The study also talked about the differences between people who walk their pet and those that don’t. If you just adopt a pet and don’t care for it, you probably won’t see any of the benefits of having a pet. You’re going to have to do your part for them to do theirs.
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