As a nutrition and health coach who also loves animals, I like to say that I specialize in wellness–for BOTH the 4-legged as well as the 2-legged, especially since they experience many of the same illnesses and challenges we humans do, including colds, allergies and even stress. (Did you know German Shepherds are one of the most stress-prone canine breeds around?)
Most of all, it’s no secret that pets keep us youthful and can even boost our immunity; in fact, there was a recent study in Finland that showed that kids who were around animals at an early age were less likely to develop ear infections than those who weren’t. (Read the full post, as well as the CNN story where this appeared, here.)
While kids did experience benefits from either cats or dogs, the ones with dogs fared slightly better. So in the interest of fairness–and not wanting to give our feline friends short-shrift–here are five ways cats provide health benefits to humans:
1. Reduced stress levels
“I could be having the worse day ever,” said Karen O., “but I’ll instantly feel calmer when I walk in the door.”
2. Reduced blood pressure
At least one study suggests that, especially since cats help to lower stress and blood pressure, they could actually lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Lower cholesterol levels
4. Reduced risk of depression
“They have such special little personalities,” said Nancy, who used to be the human parent of two cats. “Just watching them play and interact gave me hours of fun.”
Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP, is a certified health and nutrition coach as well as a professional copywriter and public relations consultant.
Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, you can learn more about her either as a health coach or communications specialist by clicking either link and they will take you to her websites.