Forget yoga, get a pet instead

Want to lose a couple of pounds?

Want to relieve some stress?

Sure, conventional wisdom says that you should hit the gym or to go for a run.

But there’s a better solution: your PET.

According to National Institute of Health, having a pet will work wonders for your health:

A 10-month prospective study was carried out which examined changes in behaviour and health status in 71 adult subjects following the acquisition of a new pet (either dogs or cats).

Both pet-owning groups reported a highly significant reduction in minor health problems during the first month following pet acquisition, and this effect was sustained in dog owners through to 10 months.

In addition, dog owners took considerably more physical exercise while walking their dogs than the other two groups, and this effect continued throughout the period of study.

The results provide evidence that pet acquisition may have positive effects on human health and behaviour, and that in some cases these effects are relatively long term.

Most people have heard that having a pet lowers blood pressure, decreases chance of cardiovascular disease, etc etc.

But did you know it’s probably MORE beneficial to pet your dog/cat than to talk to another human being?

Recent research on human-dog interactions showed that talking to and petting a dog are accompanied by lower blood pressure (BP) in the person than human conversation.

Results revealed that (a) subjects “BP levels were lowest during dog petting, higher while talking to the dog, and highest while talking to the experimenter and (b) subjects” heart rates were lower while talking or touching the dog and higher while both touching and talking to the dog.


Well, all this talk about the benefit of having a pet is sorta pseudo-make-you-feel-good-science “proven” just by looking at people who owned dogs vs. those who have not.

However, there seems to be a scientific correlation between having a good relationship with a pet and oxytocin, the chemical released when you “feel good”:

They found that these groupings reflected changes in owner’s oxytocin levels. In participants that spent a long time making eye contact, oxytocin levels rose by more than 20% during the play session, on average.

In the control group, owners that avoided their pooches’ gaze saw their oxytocin levels drop slightly.

Stop spending hundreds of dollars in yoga classes and adopt a pet instead.

Sources –Springer Link, NIH, New Scientist

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