This is the cuddliest way to lose weight ever!
Recent studies have shown numerous health benefits to having pets, so if you need an excuse get a puppy, here they are (compiled by The Sacramento Bee):
1. Pets help recovery from heart attacks. A National Institutes of Health study of 421 adults found that dog owners had a better one-year survival after a heart attack, compared to those who did not own dogs.
2. Pets help us calm down. A study of 240 married couples showed that pet owners had lower heart rates and blood pressure as compared to those without pets.
3. Pets help reduce stress better than our human companions. Pet owners had less stress and quicker recovery from stress when they were with their pets as compared to when they were with their spouse or friend.
4. Pet owners have less obesity. A study looking at 2,000 adults found that pet owners who walked their dogs had less rates of obesity and were more physically active than those without pets.
5. Pet owners have better mobility in their golden years. Another NIH study looking at 2,500 adults aged 71-82 showed that adults who regularly walked their dogs had more mobility inside the house than non-pet owners.
6. Pets increase opportunities for socialization. Many studies have shown that walking a dog leads to more conversations and socialization.
7. Pets can help your cholesterol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that owning a pet can decrease cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
8. Pets can help comfort children. Child psychologists have found that pets can be very comforting to childrenand help them develop empathy. They have also been found to help autistic children with socialization.
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[Image via AP Images.]