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Tag: Owning

Top 10 Health Benefits of Owning a Horse

Horse ownership can be very exciting and rewarding. The primary benefits from horse ownership are companionship, recreation and relaxation, but many people do not often realize the health benefits that can be gained from owning a horse. Keep in mind that raising and maintaining a horse can be expensive, requires a lot of attention, and requires plenty of land for the horse to run.

Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:

  • Keeps you physically active: Riding and other activities that require you to be outdoors in all kinds of weather will certainly keep you moving. Cleaning stalls, grooming, feeding, raking hay, pushing wheelbarrows – all of these barn chores actively burn calories and build muscle.
  • It builds self confidence: While horse riding is an independent sport, it’s actually a partnership in which the owner is a teacher and leader who works with the horse. Nothing builds self confidence better than “leadership training.” When you tell a 1,000-pound animal to move in a certain direction, and then to follow you, it’s a feeling of accomplishment that you successfully taught it to do that. And when the horse does not comply, you are responsible for administering the proper discipline. That’s a form of empowerment that’s only found working with large animals.
  • Reduces stress: Recent studies have shown that even limited interaction with animals may provide a decrease in blood pressure and in the hormones associated with stress reactions. Physical exercise is a scientifically recognized mediator of stress and it is clear that equine activities may provide exercise, again highlighting the potential for equine activities to reduce stress.
  • Keeps you socially active: Taking riding lessons helps you meet many friends with similar interests. Most horse people will attest to meeting their best, life-long friends at the barn. These peers will have the same passion and devotion to horses. That connection creates a stronger bond just in itself.
  • Helps disabled individuals stay active: When supervised by certified instructors, riders with disabilities may have the chance to safely perform physical activities with the horse as a tool. Early research is showing that riding a horse may provide physical benefits for people with disabilities. At the same time, interacting with horses may provide mental benefits, as well.
  • Engages the creative side of your brain: Training a horse brings up daily challenges that will force you to think creatively about how to train it and how to solve a particular problem. If something worked in the last lesson, but it’s not working now, how else can you solve this issue? Being faced with such situations helps you engage your creativity to solve problems and find what works best.
  • Builds character: Character building is a natural part of horse ownership, teaching responsibility, punctuality, sportsmanship, frugality, patience, commitment, confidence and self-esteem.
  • It promotes a union with nature: Being outside and enjoying the fresh air can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Plus, the dose of vitamin D you get from being in the sunshine is essential for your body.
  • Maintains bone mass: All of the weight-bearing exercise that you do, including hauling barn equipment and carrying saddles, helps maintain bone mass, which important as you age.
  • Improves digestion: Riding a horse at a walking pace stimulates the internal organs just as walking on foot does. This aids in liver function and digestion.

Click to read our article on the HEALTH BENEFITS OF HORSEBACK RIDING

Social and Mental Benefits of Horse Ownership

Life Tips We Can Learn From Horses

To see more of our Top 10 lists, click here.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Owning A Dog

There’s a reason why dogs are called man’s best friend. A good friend is loyal, will be there to pick you up when you’re down, will keep you on track to reach your goals, and will just be there for you as a companion. And that’s exactly what a dog can do for its owner. The mental, physical and social benefits of caring for a dog – or any pet, for that matter – are numerous.

Here are the Top 10 health benefits of owning a dog from HFR team and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:

Keep you active: Dogs are naturally high-energy companions and love to play and exercise. As a result, dog owners are often inspired toward an active lifestyle to satisfy their dog’s needs. Research conducted by the American Heart Association revealed that dog owners were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than non-dog owners.

Make you happier: Studies show that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression and have increased levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are “feel good” neurotransmitters, responsible for emotional stability and pleasure.

Live longer: Owning a dog leads to many heart-healthy benefits, such as a decrease in blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, overall decreasing the risk for heart disease. One study showed that non-dog owners who had survived a heart attack were more likely to die within a year than dog-owners were.

Boost immunity: Though dogs are often known for being the messiest in the family, getting accustomed to exposure to fur and pet dander decreases the risk of allergies and asthma in children.

Feeling calmer: Dogs provide a calming, familiar presence that decreases stress and anxiety levels. One study revealed that Alzheimer’s patients who owned dogs had fewer anxiety-induced outbursts than Alzheimer’s patients without dogs.

Promotes social interaction: Dogs provide a natural connection with other people and are great conversation starters. Common questions and comments from dog lovers, owners and social butterflies include, “What breed are they?”, “How long have you had them?” and “They’re so cute!” These conversation starters cue an instant social connection.

Provides safety and peace of mind: Many times, dogs are adopted for their territorial qualities, providing many people with a sense of security. Dogs also provide a sense of security in terms of health, such as detecting low blood sugar levels and oncoming seizures even before the person recognizes them.

Rehabilitation: Dogs encourage owners to be more active, boosting mental fortitude for recovery.

Provides companionship: The renowned excitability of the beloved canine companion provides an irreplaceable bond between a dog and its owner, thus decreasing loneliness.

Teaches responsibility: Dog ownership enables many – from adults to young children – to learn basic responsibility. From refilling the food bowl to giving the dog a bath, dog owning coaches responsibility because a dog fully relies on its owner for attention, meals and cleanliness.

Here are a few items you might want to get if you have a dog. Click on the pictures to check them out on Amazon!

Read more of articles on dogs here:

  • How Fido Can Improve Your Mental Health
  • Human Foods that are Good for Fido
  • Hey Fido… What’s for Dinner?
  • Fitness with Fido (Dogs)

To see more of our Top 10 lists, click here.