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Own a Pet for a Healthy Heart

admin - October 8, 2012



Own a Pet for a Healthy Heart

We’ve all experienced heavy doses of stress at some point in our lives. When you just can’t take it anymore, what do you do to de-stress? Do you find time to sit and read a book or watch a television show you enjoy? Do you drink a glass of wine with friends?

New research points to one activity we may not commonly associate with stress-relief. To decrease stress and take better care of your mind and your body, studies show you should own a pet.

A recent Reuters Health article discussed negative effects stress can have on the body, specifically the heart. The study showed the more stressed people are, the higher their risk of heart disease.

 

Ways Your Pet Benefits Your Health

A great way to combat that increased risk is to enjoy the company of your animals. The health benefits of our pets are numerous, easy to achieve and enjoyable for not only us, but our pets, too. Some of these benefits include:

1. Spending time with a dog, cat or other pet can enhance your mood, help you de-stress and make you more relaxed. The hormone cortisol, commonly associated with stress, decreases when we interact with animals. Similarly, the hormone serotonin that’s associated with our well-being, goes up. By spending time with our pets to reduce stress, we’re saving our body from a lot of wear and tear.

2. Pets can help lower your blood pressure. One study showed that out of 240 married couples, those with pets had lower blood pressure and heart rates than those without pets. Plus, a different study revealed that when children with hypertension petted dogs, their blood pressure decreased.

3. Research shows owning a pet can even lower your cholesterol levels. This doesn’t take into consideration lifestyle factors of pet owners (like walking or exercising with dogs), and doctors still recommend other lifestyle changes like healthy eating and physical activity to lower cholesterol. But added to those things, owning a pet does help.

4. Owning a cat or dog reduces heart attack risk. One study showed that over a period of 20 years, people who never owned a cat were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack. Similarly, another study showed dog owners have a higher rate of survival of heart attack than those without a dog. When findings from various studies are combined, we know that pet owners have a lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease in general.

 

Preventive Health Screenings

These are just a few ways owning or interacting with a pet can benefit your health, especially your heart. There are other ways to keep your heart healthy, like taking a proactive approach to your own well-being through a preventive health screening.

Life Line Screening takes strides to lead people to preventive action against any harmful health condition like cardiovascular disease. Take the first step in protecting yourself by learning more about our preventive health screenings  now.

To read other ways pets can improve your health, view this link: http://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-pets-improve-your-health




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