American Heart Association: Owning a pet is good for you

American Heart Association: Owning a pet is good for you

(WTOL) - Today is National Pet Day, and experts confirmed what some of us have probably believed for a long time now: owning a pet is good for your health.

Not only do pets enhance our mental health, they can also do wonders for our physical well-being too, according to the American Heart Association.

Based on some of the studies the association reviewed, they found that pets improve their owners' cardiovascular health in the following ways:

  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (blood pressure measured as a person is moving about and doing typical daily activities) two and five months after adoption demonstrated significantly lower systolic blood pressure in the dog adoption group.
    • Systolic blood pressure is the highest blood pressure measured in the arteries. For example, in a blood pressure reading of 120/80, 120 refers to systolic blood pressure.
  • New dogs owners increased their recreational walking significantly over a ten-month period.
  • On average, dog owners walked significantly more and engaged in more physical activity per week.
  • Dog owners were 57% more likely to achieve the recommended level of physical activity.
  • Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may be reasonable for reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.

The American Heart Association says that regular aerobic physical activity can help you lead a healthier life. It is recommended that you should engage in three to four sessions of physical activity per week, lasting 40 minutes on average per session.

As the weather gets warmer, take your furry friend outdoors for some play time. It will do you both some good.

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