You've probably noticed that when you pet a soft, warm cat or play fetch with a dog whose tail won't stop wagging, you relax and your heart feels a little warmer. Scientists have noticed the same thing, and they've started to explore the complex way animals affect human emotions and physiology.
Study after study has shown that animals have a calming effect on us humans (unless you are house breaking). Enjoy outdoor activities with your pup. Take a long walk, go to the dog park or beach, and be social with other dog owners. If you don’t have a dog, tag along with a dog owning friend or ask to pet sit for an afternoon. A good game of chase is great aerobic activity. Did you know that there is a place called “lets pet puppies” that lets you socialize a young pup by playing with them.
Ready for a bigger animal and a bigger challenge. Go horseback riding.
If you have ever done any real horseback riding (and I’m not talking about the ponies that circle around), you know what a great workout it can be. Horseback riding not only exercises your body, but your mind as well. Learning how to control your horse and use your body can be a mental and physical challenge. Even with the challenges, being with horses out in nature can be incredibly relaxing.
Scared of dogs or horseback riding? Go to the zoo and watch the orangutans. At least they will make you laugh!
Dr. Dominic Gaziano - Dr. G The Feel Good Health Guy / Health & Wellness Expert