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Do Your Health a Favor With a Pet

By Tom Herrin

Most of us likely had some kind of a pet when we were young.  We enjoyed playing with them or simply the novelty of having them.  They were especially fun when they were young, but as they grew older, they often became something we saw as a chore.  At this point, we may have tired of them.  It is now believed that having a pet may be a real boost to our health.  As a matter of fact, according to some research, more than 80 percent of patients with some kind of stress disorder showed improvement after they were paired with a service animal.  That is pretty big.  More than 40 percent were able to decrease medication.

Some Hormones May Be Affected

We are all subject to what hormones can do to us or for us.  Cortisol is one that relates to stress.  When it comes to survival, it may be useful.  When it comes to emotional stress, it can wear us down.  It seems that cortisol levels decrease as we interact with a pet.  Another hormone is oxytocin.  It makes us feel good.  Having a pet apparently helps to raise the levels of this in our bodies.

Exercise Is Good for Us and Our Pets

No matter who we are, we need to get exercise.  The problem that many of us have is that we don't like the routine grind of daily exercise.  When we walk a pet, it is easier to follow their lead.  As they explore, we can go with them.  When they run, we may try to run after them.  It can be fun, and we may find that we are more easily motivated when we have a purpose with our exercise.  It may only be mild or moderate, but it is a lot better than sitting around.

A Friend Indeed

There is really no friend like a pet.  They can be welcoming regardless of the circumstances.  They are pretty much always happy to see you.  They are responsive to any kind of thing we want to do.  Most are up for playing for long periods of time.  They give us someone to take care of, and this is important.  You can talk to them all day, and they never argue.  I have always had some kind of a pet, and many times, they were my best friend.

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

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