6 Ways Dogs Improve Your Health

Lifestyle  |  January 11, 2017
  • 1. They make you more active
    1 / 6 1. They make you more active

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    Since you’ll make the effort to walk your dog, having a furry best friend can get you moving more often. A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that dog walkers were more likely to obtain 150 minutes of Leisure-Time Physical Activity per week as compared to non-dog owners. Because you are walking more often, you’ll keep your cholesterol levels in check and reduce your risk of heart disease too.

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  • 2. They help to relieve stress
    2 / 6 2. They help to relieve stress

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    After a long day, returning home to the company of your pal can be a great stress reliever. A study by the State University of New York at Buffalo found that pets can help to lower your blood pressure in response to mental stress. Petting your dog also sparks your “feel good” hormones, making you instantly happier!

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  • 3. They help to prevent allergies in children
    3 / 6 3. They help to prevent allergies in children

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    Having a pet dog can reduce the risk of children developing allergies. Based on a study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy, children who were exposed to dogs at home during the first year of life were less likely to develop allergies.

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  • 4. They boost your self-esteem
    4 / 6 4. They boost your self-esteem

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    Your furry friend will love you unconditionally and will never abandon you, giving you social support and boosting your confidence. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that pets give many positive psychological benefits to their owners, including a greater self-esteem.

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  • 5. They ease pain
    5 / 6 5. They ease pain

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    Not only do dogs support you psychologically, they support you physically as well. Researchers from Loyola University Chicago found that patients who received animal-assisted therapy needed less pain medication as compared to those who didn’t while recovering from joint replacement surgery.

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  • 6. They help you stick to your fitness plan
    6 / 6 6. They help you stick to your fitness plan

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    Struggling to reach your fitness goals? Bring your dog along to exercise. Based on research by the University of Missouri, having a pet can encourage you to workout more, leading to eventual weight loss. So if you ever feel unmotivated, your loyal pal will be sure to give you a push. It won’t take no for an answer!

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