Friday, February 7, 2014

Own a Pet? You May Have a Healthier Heart!

by A. Grano 
It’s well known that owning a pet has many health benefits. However, a new study reported in the American Journal of Cardiology shows that pet owners with chronic ailments may even have healthier, more adaptable hearts. The study followed people with conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol and found that they had more changes in heart rate than people without pets during the same period of time, indicating that they were more adaptable and would therefore less likely to be less taxed under certain circumstances; for instance, high-stress situations.
Previous studies suggest several reasons why pet owners may have healthier hearts. If you own a dog, you’re likely engaging in more exercise and physical activity, faring better against commonly more sedentary non-pet owners. Also, according to findings compiled from psychologists at Miami University and St. Louis University and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, both dog and cat owners have been linked to lower levels of anxiety and stress. Perhaps these are also correlated with the other emotional benefits gained from their furry companions, including fewer tendencies toward loneliness and higher self-esteem.
Regardless of whether or not you are a pet owner, following heart-healthy habits is the best way to help ensure long-term wellness and help prevent heart disease, including maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, eating well, and regularly checking cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

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