Love your way to a healthy heart

It sounds like odd relationship advice, but spending time with a kitteh or doggo can be good for your heart health in a number of ways. They can elevate themselves from being the weird roommates that leave their hair on everything to being a healthy boost for your emotional health, reducing stress in your life, and they can also help lower your blood pressure.

Cats lower stress levels

Cats are a great source of therapeutic benefits.

Once you get past the claws, you can find they are more than just fodder for funny internet videos. Cats are amazing companions and great for times when you need emotional support. They also help reduce stress levels. Cat owners, or let’s be honest people owned by cats, are 30% less likely to die from heart related illnesses than non-cat owners. This could be attributed to cats being more mellow on the whole, but also because they are pretty cool to hang out with on a Sunday afternoon.

Who would rather have to hog all the covers? Cats have been shown to be preferred sleep partners than spouses and partners. According to “Stress Out for Cat’s, Dogs and People”: Half of the respondents to a UK study have reported getting better sleep with their furry friends than they do with their partners. This is in part due to their superior snuggling abilities.

Cat purrs have a therapeutic healing effect on bones, joints, and muscles. The vibrations of their purrs in the 18-35 HZ range have a healing effect that you might want to include in your therapy.

watching cat videos relieves stress and brightens your mood

Never feel guilty about watching funny cat videos.

Watching cat videos can have a positive effect on mood and emotional health such as reducing negative emotions, such as anxiety and sadness. Watching cat videos can also help boost your energy and give you a good laugh while being a good mental break from studying or work. If you’re looking for an endless source of funny cat videos I recommend: https://www.reddit.com/r/catvideos/

Since we’re talking about cats, we can’t leave out the dogs.

Dogs are incredible companions.

Loving your dog helps to lower stress and blood pressure

They are incredibly useful in ways that cats are not. Who has ever heard of a Guide Cat for the Blind? Exactly. Jokes aside, dogs can have a positive impact on our health as much as cats.

Dogs need lots of attention and love and this has been shown to have a positive effect on an owners health. Just petting a dog has been shown to reduce blood pressure and lower heart rates. Petting a dog is incredibly satisfying as it has a reciprocal effect on you and the dog.

walking your dog helps increase exercise time

Owning a dog can help you get out more often.

A dog’s needs to go out for a walk will have positive effects as you will get more active time outdoors. Dog owners who walk their dogs average 300 minutes per week of mild to moderate exercise during those walks.

social active time with your dog a the dog park

Getting out and playing with your dog will help you get out and be more social and active in boosting your mood and energy. The overall effect of this is those dog owners who take their dogs out are 36% less likely to die from heart disease. Additionally, dogs are also a good indicator of a healthy lifestyle as they tend to mimic the habits of their owners. If a dog is active and in good shape, it is usually a good indicator that their owner is as well.

All of these health benefits can be best enjoyed by choosing to love the cats or dogs in our lives. Like all things good for us we have to make the choice. 

If you don’t think you are ready for the commitment or if your living situation does not allow you to have a cat or a dog right now then there are lots of shelters in your area that are looking for volunteers, so that you can spend some time with these loving animals. Here are a couple of links to look for volunteering opportunities:

Sources: https://safebeat.org/cardiac/heart_health/the_surprising_health_benefits_of_pets/

https://mentalfloss.com/article/51154/10-scientific-benefits-being-cat-owner

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3317329/

https://books.google.de/books?id=TsQSJVXt5VEC&pg=PT11&lpg=PT11&dq=half+of+people+sleep+better+with+cat+than+partner&source=bl&ots=OsJWREsocm&sig=nXwp9UyLHqshHoIWSPNiEMad4W0&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=half%20of%20people%20sleep%20better%20with%20cat%20than%20partner&f=false

http://archive.news.indiana.edu/releases/iu/2015/06/internet-cat-video-research.shtml

https://www.goodnet.org/articles/7-scientifically-proven-health-benefits-being-cat-owner

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/get-healthy-get-a-dog

https://www.livescience.com/35463-seven-surprising-health-benefits-dog-ownership-110209.html