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Top 10 Reasons You Should Own a Pet

Top 10 Reasons You Should Own a Pet

Owning a furry companion can have many positive effects on your life. Not only do you get to live with a friend, but there are also a some hidden benefits to keeping a pet in your home. Here are ten reasons why having a pet is great for your mind, body and soul.

1. They help you form relationships

An often overlooked side effect of having a pet is that you’ll always have something to talk about with other people. Having a pet allows you to connect with other animal lovers. Even if you and the person you’re talking to can’t agree on anything else, you can at least find common ground regarding Fido. The two of you might even be able to exchange advice about the best pet foods and training techniques.

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2. They improve your health

Having a pet can help you reach your health-related goals. Whether it’s walking your dog or getting some cardio in by scrubbing away those unavoidable pet stains, keeping up with your furry friend will ensure you get some daily exercise.

3. They help fight off allergies

This one might seem totally backwards, but it’s true. Despite the television commercials where pet owners break out into uncontrollable sneezing any time their cat or dog walks in the room, pets can actually help combat allergies. Children who are exposed to pet dander or any other animal allergens typically develop stronger immune systems. Even an adult’s immune system will become stronger after having been exposed to animal allergens for a certain period, and become capable of resisting other irritants.

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4. They increase bone and heart strength

These are some of the additional health perks that come with having a pet: quicker recovery from heart issues, lowered blood pressure and even an overall lower possibility of heart attacks. Taking your dog (or cat) for a daily walk in the sunshine can improve your bone strength through exposure to vitamin D.

5. They elevate your mood

Let’s face it, there’s going to be a day when going outside seems like an impossible feat. So what’s better than having a live-in comfort provider? Studies have shown that having pets available for affection and attention can help boost your mood.

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6. They are great for all ages

Children exposed to pets have reduced chances of developing breathing conditions and skin disorders, such as asthma and eczema. The process is similar to how children can develop resistances to certain allergens. But it’s not just kids that benefit. Having a pet around can make the elderly feel less lonely. And for those suffering through Alzheimer’s, a pet’s warm presence can lead to fewer anxiety attacks.

7. They make excellent aids for medical support groups

Groups like Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet Facilitated-Therapy provide pets to hospital patients in order to elevate moods, thereby aiding in the recovery process.

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8. They might not be able to speak, but they hear you loud and clear

Obviously, our pets don’t speak our languages, but they are quite aware of their owners’ emotional needs. Many people find that having a close bond with their pet provides them with an added sense of purpose, and centers them emotionally.

9. They act as warning signals for serious health conditions

One thing many pet owners don’t know is that dogs can recognize the warning signs of a handful of diseases. Some dogs can detect when a person is about to have an epileptic seizure. Others can smell cancers in their owners. Still, other dogs have even been taught to notice signs of Parkinson’s disease or diabetes, and alert their owners accordingly.

10. They provide unconditional love and friendship

One of the best perks of pet ownership is having a warm companion to come home to day after day. You will always have a walking buddy or snuggle buddy on hand when you need them.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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