Now that Daniel and I are staying with my parents in Massachusetts (house hunting!), I notice I have a lot more energy in the mornings and surprisingly, in the late afternoon—a time when I typically need a pick-me-up cup of coffee. I spent a few days thinking the energy was the result of adjusting to a new normal, before realizing it was something else entirely. Yesterday as I was working on my laptop, I looked down at the cute-as-can-be pug that had wedged herself between my leg and the side of the chair. I felt the urge to take her out, to walk her in the woods behind my parents’ house. It dawned on me that she might be the reason for my newfound energy.
For Christmas, Daniel and I both got new FitBits. We love them. We’re the crazy people tracking our sleep, our daily steps—all of it. Just seeing how many more steps we get here in Massachusetts only confirms how helpful this sweet little pug has been in keeping us active all day long.
After a little googling, I’ve learned that pets really do have a positive influence on overall health. Studies show that caring for pets reduces blood pressure and stress and promotes relaxation. It also helps prevent and lessen the symptoms of mental deterioration in older people. Pet owners also have more success losing weight!
One of the best aspects of living with a pet is that you always have motivation to stay active. It’s much easier to neglect your own health and well being than a dog you’re caring for—or at least that’s how it feels to me. Going for a long walk every morning can seem like a bit of a chore, but when you do it with a dog, their energy is infectious.
Every morning lately, Daniel, Dee Dee, and I go for a long walk through the woods in the neighborhood. After that, Dee goes down for her daily 12 hour nap, and we start the day feeling a little more energized and happy.
Have you noticed a difference in your health and mood when you are around your pets?