It is common knowledge that things like a balanced diet and regular exercise are good for your health, but did you know that pets offer up some fantastic health benefits too? There is plenty of research out there showing how pets can significantly improve the health of their owners. If you have been wanting to give your health a boost, you may want to consider becoming a pet owner.
Pet Owners Are More Active
There are several studies out there showing that pet owners are usually more active than non-pet owners.
Of course, these are usually based on the pet being a dog, but just about any animal will keep you on your feet more. Everything from feeding and cleaning to visiting the vet and the pet store are things that you wouldn’t be doing if you didn’t have a pet.
As you probably already know, staying active is so important for your overall health. It puts you at a lower risk of developing a wide range of medical conditions, while also keeping your mental health more stable too.
Mental Health Benefits of Pet Ownership
Speaking of mental health…
A pet can help with this in a number of different ways.
To begin with, spending time with your pet, or even just watching your pet from afar, will trigger your brain into releasing certain neurochemicals. These include oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, all of which promote feelings of happiness, love and affection.
Pets have also been shown to have the ability to reduce cortisol levels in their owners. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, and is released whenever you experience a stressful situation. These days, people tend to have a higher-than-average amount of cortisol in their body, which can be extremely detrimental to a person’s health. Keeping your cortisol levels low is key when it comes to maintaining good health, and this is something that your pet can really help with.
There are many other mental health benefits that come with owning a pet. From reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation to decreased anxiety to companionship and love, a pet can really make a person feel so much happier. Most pets make great emotional support animals. If you don’t know very much about ESAs, this is a great resource.
Improved Physical Health
In addition to keeping you more active, a pet will improve your physical health in other ways too…
Owning a pet will give your immune system a huge boost. This will then help to reduce any allergies that you may experience, while also minimising your chances of developing eczema on your skin. Many even find that they no longer catch the common cold as easily as they used to, after getting a pet.
When it comes to your heart, owning a pet means that you will likely experience lower cholesterol and blood pressure than people who don’t own a pet. This then helps to prolong your lifespan, which is why pet owners tend to live for longer.
Owning a pet can really be so great for both your mental and physical health. From strengthening your heart to stimulating happy feelings in your brain, the power that a pet can have is really quite impressive.