Many pet owners would agree that a pet can fill your heart with love. So maybe it's only fitting that the presence of a pet can help improve the overall health of that organ, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have both conducted heart-related studies on people who have pets. The findings showed that pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels -- all of which can ultimately minimize their risk for having a heart attack down the road. For those who have already experienced a heart attack, research also indicates that patients with a dog or a cat tend to have better recovery rates. These benefits are thought to be connected with pets' tendency to help reduce or at least control their owners' overall stress levels.
Fun Ways to Stay Fit with Fido:
If you're a dog owner who needs more of a workout than walking can provide, here are a few ideas:
- Jogging or running
- Doga (i.e. Yoga for Dogs)
- Agility Training (Obstacle course-based dog sport)