It was Chuck Norris who let the dogs out

Fitness star unleashes Top 10 ways pets improve your health.

Mr. Norris, I appreciated the Harvard study information a few weeks back regarding how marriage can actually improve one’s health. Personally speaking, however, with no marital prospects on the horizon, I feel that the positive impact of pets upon human health is often underrated. What does research show about our furry friends? Is man’s best friend also man’s best health advocate? – “Gone to the Dogs” in Georgia

You’re in luck because Health magazine just reported on this very topic.

I realize there are a wide range of pets people enjoy today, but I’m going to have to limit them to dogs and cats here. Nevertheless, many of the below points could apply to your buddy of choice.

Research has shown that our four-legged domestic friends really can make us healthier and happier. Let me highlight 10 ways Health documented that pets can improve your well-being. Some are surprising, if not shocking.

1: Unconditional love and acceptance. There’s nothing like coming home from a hard day’s work to a wagging welcome. Gary A. Christenson, M.D., chief medical officer at Boynton Health Service at the University of Minnesota, explained: “Pets often provide unconditional acceptance and love, and they’re always there for you. There is a bond and companionship that makes a big difference in mental health.” That is why pets can also boost one’s self-esteem. Pets even seem to have an intuitive sense that serves as a health monitor of sorts for their masters.

2: Depression relief. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, as well as a British Psychological Society review of multiple studies, a canine friend can promote psychological well-being. Christenson explained: “The calming presence and the social bond that pets bring can be very powerful. Animals give something to focus on instead of the negative thoughts a depressed person is prone to have.”

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