The month of April contains a day specific for glorifying the pets we hold dear to our hearts.  April 11, 2018 is known worldwide as National Pet Day! To celebrate our furry friends and for those who may not currently own a pet, let’s explore the potential health benefits of owning a pet.

1. Pet ownership can improve an individual’s overall health

Researchers have found that owning a pet or even petting an animal can have the following impacts on ones’ health; decreased stress levels, decreased blood pressure and a reduced rate of depression.

2. Pets help you live in the here and now

Do you ever feel like you are stressing over what tomorrow will bring or worried about what happened yesterday?  If you answered ‘yes’ to either one of these questions, a pet might be a good investment for you.  As many individuals know, dogs and most animals, live in the here and now.  What this means is that animals are only aware of what is happening to them currently.  They are not worried about what will happen in ten minutes from now, three days from now or even a month from now.  This also works in the reverse, animals do not live in the past.  They leave what happened yesterday in yesterday and live each new day as a new day.  We as humans have some things we can learn from animals.

3. Pets help you get outside during the day

If you own a dog, and don’t have a fence, then you will need to head outside for your furry friend.  Just taking a few extra minutes for a walk will mean a lot to your dog and feel good to you as well.  If you do have a fence, all dogs like to chase things you throw!  You’ll see benefits of increased cardiovascular health, increased mobility and just feeling good about your daily exercise.

4. Increase social interactions

Pets have a way from making us a little more social.  They encourage us to get out of our homes and go mingle in the outside world.  Going for a walk could entail an individual stopping you to pet your dog or ask a question regarding their breed.  Going to a dog park is just as much socialization for you as it is for your dog.  If those do not sound like enough social interaction for you, your pet always has an open ear to listen to you.  Even if they do not respond, they give you a look that appears like they know what you are telling them.

5. Most importantly, pets provide unconditional love and encouragement

I am a strong believer that pets provide all the above to their owners and much more! In the months to come, I eagerly wait to get my golden retriever Wrigley more involved in the exercise programs here at Motion 4 Life Fitness!  If nothing else, he will make you laugh uncontrollably resulting in a great ab workout!

Karena Monson

Personal Trainer

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