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What do Pets and Exercise Have in Common?


A plank, with or without a furry friend, is a great exercise. If you can't get down on the floor to do it, don't worry. A PhysioBoard allows you to exercise on your bed! Visit www.physioboard.net to learn more.


They can both help us lead happier, healthier, longer lives! Numerous studies show that pets and exercise both contribute to healthy aging and longevity. More specifically, they can prevent and/or help manage health conditions such as heart disease, keep you moving, reduce stress, and promote social interaction. Let’s look at the facts.


Pets and Exercise are Good for Your Heart


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., but studies demonstrate a strong association between pet ownership and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Both cat and dog companions were found to significantly lower the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack, compared to non-pet owners.


In one study of 3.4 million people, with a 12-year follow-up, pet owners had a 43 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 24 percent lower mortality rate compared to non-pet owners. Our furry friends deserve a lot of love (and some extra treats) for that!


When it comes to exercise, it’s no secret that regular physical activity can strengthen your heart and improve your circulation. The increased blood flow raises oxygen levels in your body, which helps lower your risk of heart disease. In fact, the American Heart Association has found that people who exercise regularly have an average reduction in heart disease between 48 and 75 percent! Regular exercise can also reduce your blood pressure and blood sugar level, lowering your risk of developing diabetes.


Pets and Exercise Keep You Moving



It’s well documented that regular exercise, including walking can help you maintain a healthy weight, and prevent and/or manage conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as improve your mood. According to studies, dog owners are 34% more likely to meet the recommended amount of weekly physical activity (150 minutes per week) and exercise more consistently. Dog owners also have a lower incidence of obesity.


It turns out the old saying, “move it or lose it” is true! Muscles that aren’t used become weak and can lead to issues with balance, injuries, and loss of mobility. However, people who exercise regularly tend to stay active longer. Regular exercise can improve flexibility, joint health, and mobility, and contribute to better balance, which means fewer falls as we age. As importantly, weight-bearing exercise such as walking and jogging, along with resistance exercises, such as lifting weights can strengthen bones. This becomes more important as we get older and naturally lose both bone and muscle mass.


Pets and Exercise Reduce Stress


Emotional stress is a major contributor to all forms of illness. While it’s impossible to eliminate all stress, there are many ways to keep it in check. Research shows that interacting with your animal companions can significantly reduce stress, along with your heart rate and blood pressure.


Exercise has much the same effect. Studies show that exercise in almost any form can act as a natural stress reliever. Being active can lower stress hormones, boost your feel-good endorphins and relieve anxiety.


Pets and Exercise Can Keep You Social



Did you know that loneliness can be as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes per day? Research shows that social relationships can significantly improve both mental and physical health. And you guessed it – pet owners are more likely to be social! They’re more apt to meet their neighbors and engage in social interactions. In older adults, pets can also provide a sense of purpose and meaning, reducing loneliness and depression.


Not only does research show that people who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional well-being, they’re also more liable to engage in social activities. Exercising with a friend or in a group setting provides dual benefits – physical activity and social connections! And you’re less likely to skip exercising if you have a friend to encourage you.


Leave the Floor to Fido and Get a PhysioBoard!


Exercising in bed is possible with the help of a PhysioBoard.


But, what if you’re having trouble getting down and up from the floor to exercise? You don’t have to give up the benefits of exercises such as crunches, planks, push-ups, leg lifts, and others just because its difficult or impossible to get on the floor. The PhyisoBoard allows you to exercise on your bed! This sturdy, yet lightweight board transforms your bed into an effective exercise surface, eliminating the need to get down on the floor. People who have used the PhysioBoard, love it! (Read testimonials here.)


To learn more or order your PhysioBoard, visit www.physioboard.net

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

  2. Levine, G. N., Allen, K., Braun, L. T., Christian, H. E., Friedmann, E., Taubert, K. A., … & Lange, R. A. (2013). Pet ownership and cardiovascular risk: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 127(23), 2353-2363.

  3. Mubanga, M., Byberg, L., Egenvall, A., Ingelsson, E., & Fall, T. (2019). Dog ownership and survival after a major cardiovascular event: a register-based prospective study. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 12(10), e005342.

  4. Kramer, C. K., Mehmood, S., & Suen, R. S. (2019). Dog ownership and survival: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 12(10), e005554.

  5. Friedmann, E., & Thomas, S. A. (1995). Pet ownership, social support, and one-year survival after acute myocardial infarction in the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST). The American journal of cardiology, 76(17), 1213-1217.

  6. Aiba, N., Hotta, K., Yokoyama, M., Wang, G., Tabata, M., Kamiya, K., … & Masuda, T. (2012). Usefulness of pet ownership as a modulator of cardiac autonomic imbalance in patients with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and/or hyperlipidemia. The American journal of cardiology, 109(8), 1164-1170.

  7. Qureshi, A. I., Memon, M. Z., Vazquez, G., & Suri, M. F. K. (2009). Cat ownership and the Risk of Fatal Cardiovascular Diseases. Results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study Mortality Follow-up Study. Journal of vascular and interventional neurology, 2(1), 132.

  8. Mubanga, M., Byberg, L., Egenvall, A., Ingelsson, E., & Fall, T. (2019). Dog ownership and survival after a major cardiovascular event: a register-based prospective study. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 12(10), e005342.

  9. Herrald, M. M., Tomaka, J., & Medina, A. Y. (2002). Pet Ownership Predicts Adherence to Cardiovascular Rehabilitation 1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(6), 1107-1123.

  10. Lee, I. M., & Buchner, D. M. (2008). The importance of walking to public health. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40(7), S512-S518.