Are you obsessed with your pet? Well, we don’t blame you! They are cute, cuddly, fun, and could be good for your heart!
Everyone knows that dogs love a good walk. Dog owners who walk their dogs are more likely to achieve the recommended level of physical activity. In a study of more than 5,200 adults, dog owners engaged in more walking and physical activity than non-dog owners, and were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days a week for a total of 150 minutes.
Research has shown that walking at least 30 minutes a day can help you:
- Reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Improve your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipid profile
- Maintain your body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance your mental well-being
- Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce your risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
Dog owners aren’t the only pet owners that benefit from their animal friends. Pets can have a positive effect on the body’s reactions to stress. How much stress you experience and how you react to it can lead to a wide variety of health problems.
Pets can also play a role in providing social support for their owners. Social support is an important factor in helping you stick with a new habit or adopting a new healthy behavior.
The primary purpose of pet adoption is to provide the pet a loving home, but the added physical activity and support is a heart-healthy bonus! Give your pet some extra belly rubs today and a brisk walk around the neighborhood, they’ll be happy and your heart will be happy too.