Is owning a pet good for your heart?
If you want better heart health , the answer might have four legs. Pets have been shown to have a positive impact on heart health—and overall health—for many people, and they could be a key part of helping you embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle. With Take Your Dog to Work Day approaching on June 23, here is a look at the ways pets can improve your heart health.
More exercise means better heart health
Dog owners, in particular, reap one reward of pet ownership: more activity. Walking your dog helps you fit in more activity each day, which can have several heart-healthy benefits , such as:
- Weight loss/weight management
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower triglycerides
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Regular physical activity can also play a role in managing chronic health conditions you already have, including those that increase your risk of heart problems.
Companionship can mean less stress
When you have a pet, you also have companionship. The unconditional love and attention of a pet can stave off loneliness, which can itself be a risk factor for heart disease. For seniors who suffer from isolation, a pet can be an important companion when friends and family cannot be around.
The companionship of a pet can also help to reduce stress. Some studies show that simply petting a dog can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Because stress can have a significantly detrimental impact on your heart health and increase inflammation in the body, having a pet to reduce stress can help to cut your risk of heart disease.
The impact of pets on mental health has led to a spike in demand for therapy dogs, which are trained to visit people in hospitals, nursing homes, and other situations that could be high stress.
Are you concerned about your heart health? The cardiovascular team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is nationally recognized for our patient outcomes. We provide comprehensive diagnostics and treatment options for patients with heart issues. For more information or a referral to one of our cardiac specialists in Thousand Oaks, please call (877) 888-5746.
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