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Pets and Good Health May Go Together

By Tom Herrin

Some things go together quite naturally.  Others seem to be a bit of an odd combination.  The idea of pets as a complement to good health may seem unusual.  When most of us think about doing something to improve our health, we are more likely to consider exercise, rest, and diet.  The idea of using a pet to support health may seem more than just a little unusual.  In fact, it is something that may have a proven track record.  Many of us have had pets for a long time, and it is pretty well known that a pet may really have a positive impact on us.

We Rely on Hormones

Much of what we have that affects the way we feel has to do with hormones.  These are considered to be chemical messengers for the body.  Cortisol is a hormone that has to do with stress.  It may help us to defend ourselves in some situations.  It can also make us quite ill when we have a lot of it.  Interacting with a pet is believed to reduce  the levels of this in our bodies.  Another hormone that has a big effect on us is oxytocin.  It is one that makes us feel good.  Having a pet is thought to help raise the levels of this.

Pets May Encourage Exercise

While they may not actually say so, pets express their desires in other ways.  It is pretty obvious that they enjoy getting outdoors and going for walks.  As we walk a pet, we are able to get some mild exercise as well.  It can easily become enjoyable as we walk around in a natural setting.  Before long, it can become a motivator for us.  More active pets may require us to move around a little more, so it is not all bad.  This mild form of exercise certainly beats nothing, and may enjoy it much more than routine workouts.

Pets Can Make You Smile

Along with hormones that make us feel good, there is something about smiling that is naturally good for us.  When we are greeted by a pet at the end of the day, who can help but smile.  They are a friend to talk to as well as someone to take care of and be responsible for.  They are almost always happy to see us and can turn a tough day around for us.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Kennesaw, Ga.

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