Physiological Benefits of Pets
These are my pets. Yes...I talk about them a lot. No...I will never get tired of that. :-)
If you are not into pets for whatever reason, then this article is not for you. But for the rest of us owning a pet can not only be enjoyable and good for your mental health but good for your physical health as well!
According to the Center For Disease Control;
Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:
Decreased blood pressure
Decreased cholesterol levels
Decreased triglyceride levels
Decreased feelings of loneliness
Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
Increased opportunities for socialization
Walking pets, usually dogs, can provide great cardiovascular benefits which will help fight chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that;
"Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure."
Even daily (or in my case twice daily) walks aside, having pets around the house will cause you to be generally more active throughout the day avoiding sedentary habits.
Each year more studies are being conducted establishing the link between pet ownership and health benefits including thought with specific health concerns.
In 2017 Rustin Moore, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State University wrote on the subject regarding special populations.
"There’s starting to be more emerging research that’s actually showing those effects on people like veterans with PTSD, Alzheimer’s patients, and others. Part of the evidence that’s out there that’s emerged is that pets actually have physiological changes on people. "
Both Group Fitness Instructors and Personal Trainers will recommend you take rest days between workout days. Guess what, walking your dog (or cat, I have seen that before) does not count as a workout. Walking is low impact and will not affect your recovery. Yet you will still burn calories.
Not only can pets help you improve your health, but you can help them as well.
According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year.
If you are currently hiring a workout partner, that's a lot of applicants looking.
Please check out your local animal shelter or humane society to conduct an interview.
I have to stop tying here so I can go take Baby Dog for another walk.
-Mat Ferriter CPT/ GFI