Boost Your Health with the Help of a Furry Friend

2nd, October 2019

Are you a lover of animals? Did you know that our fury friends can actually provide a range of health benefits?

Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, ease loneliness and even improve your cardiovascular health. Pets can provide benefits to all ages as well, including children, helping them to grow up to feel more secure and active.

Check out the positive health benefits below, both physically and mentally. Whether you have a pet already or would like to adopt or help out, there are many ways in which you can get involved and build awareness this World Animal Day.

Improve your physical health

Having a pet can increase your physical activity. Pets and humans need regular exercise so going for a walk or run with them can help meet both your daily exercise requirements and it is a good way to deepen the connection between you both.

Having a furry companion can also help prevent illnesses and even add years to your life and studies have shown that people with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations which is a plus as high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease.

Dogs and cats also encourage playfulness and laughter. These attributes are crucial to a happy and healthy life and can inspire you to feel the same. Laughter is good for the heart and can increase blood flow by 20 per cent and will also result in boosting your immune system and increasing your energy.

Enhance your mental health 

Studies have found that people with pets are less likely to suffer from depression than those without. Around 16 million people in the UK are experiencing a mental illness with the most common condition being anxiety and depression. Pets can help boost your morale, optimism and sense of self-worth, especially if you choose to adopt.

Stroking a dog, cat, or other animal can help you feel calmer and less stressed. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower pulse rate.

Shockingly half of all mental illnesses begins by the age of 14. For children, having the love and companionship of a pet can make a child feel important and help them develop a positive self-image as well as helping them be able to build relationships with other people.

A pet can bring real joy and unconditional love to your life which can contribute to the many benefits above, however if you have a concern about your mental or physical health, Kingsbridge Private Hospital believe that your mental health is just as important as your physical health which is why we provide a wide range of health care services to cater for both.

*Sources:
HelpGuide Online, The Mood-Boosting Power of Pets
Daily Star Online, Mental Health Day 2018: 12 shocking statistics about mental health disorders in the UK


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