featured-fitnessfitnessIssue 15

Be Fit for Your Pets

dog-1749BY KATELYN GOYETTE

Let’s be honest… every time you see an animal either at the zoo, on the television, in your neighbor’s backyard, or at the pound, you feel instantly drawn to love on it. It is in our nature as human beings to be drawn to these furry creatures because subconsciously we know that they need us as much as we need them. Having animals can promote not only physical, but mental health. There are so many benefits to having an animal that most of us aren’t even aware of. Studies have also shown that caring for a pet may even help you live longer.

The American Heart Association says animal ownership helps to reduce the risks of heart disease. Some of the other benefits to having an animal include a decrease in depression, lower blood pressure, increased levels of serotonin and dopamine to help calm and relax you, increase in your amount of exercise, help meeting new people, and many more!

Dianne Venzon, a senior advertising consultant with Power Marketing as well as an avid In- Shape goer has three dogs of her own. She says that her dogs reduce her blood pressure, lower anxiety and stress, increase her physical activity, and encourage social interaction while they are on walks. “Humans aren’t the only ones who benefit from a walking regimen. Dogs certainly need the exercise, but they also crave the mental stimulation that comes with getting out of the house and checking their neighborhood pee- mail messages,” said Venzon. Not only do her four legged companions need exercise, but they help her stay active and healthy as well. She also finds that being active with her dogs helps her to clear her head, brainstorm new ideas for her work, meet neighbors, and enjoy the beauty of her neighborhood.

Melissa Piffero, a marketing manager with In-Shape Health clubs, has a dog of her own that requires to be taken on a run every morning. “Kallie encourages me to be a more active person, because for her health I know she needs to run and be stimulated. So even if I don’t feel like I have the time for me to run, I know I have to make the time for her,” stated Melissa. Melissa also works out at least three days a week to keep her as healthy as she can for herself and Kallie.

Exercise is important and just like having a workout buddy at the gym helps to motivate and help you work harder, animals do the same. There are many things that you can do to stay active and healthy as well as keeping your animals just as healthy as you. Taking your dog for a walk or run, playing tug of war, wrestling, hiking, or just snuggling up together not only has physical benefits for you and your dog, but mental benefits for both as well. It doesn’t matter what type of animal you have, just remember that they need love, attention and exercise just as much as humans do!

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