Dogs, Horses and Dolphins: What They Do for Your Physical and Emotional Health

Jul 4, 2014
Health

If you've been around animals, you know how happy they can make you feel. If you spend your time off looking at photos of animals online, you know how adorable they are.

If you love animals, you know how generous and loving many of them are, so you probably won't be at all surprised when we tell you that people who hang out with animals on a regular basis lead happier and healthier lives.

You might, however, be surprised to learn just how many benefits the following three wonderful animals have for you physical and emotional health.

Dogs

   

Dogs and humans have been best friends for at least a few tens of thousands of years, so it's not surprising that dogs bring so much goodness to humans' lives. Dogs help people feel happier, less stressed and less alone. They help you sleep better, and comfort you when you go through challenging physical and emotional times.

Dogs encourage people to socialize with other people, too, as it's simple to make friends at the dog park. Plus, people find it easier to approach someone who's accompanied by a dog, thinking that there's a lower chance this person could be dangerous. It works the other way around as well: People who have dogs feel less afraid to walk outside at night.

Walking, running and playing outside with your dog will keep you physically on the move, which supports a healthier body. Plus, since dogs expose you to germs, your immune system will grow stronger the more you hang out with your dog, and you'll therefore become sick less often or for shorter periods of time.

While some people's chance of getting asthma increases due to dogs' companionship, others' chance to suffer from asthma will actually decrease thanks to their dogs. Similarly, dogs decrease some people's chance of suffering from eczema.

When trained correctly, dogs can be aware of humans' seizures and alert you before you even notice the signs. They can also smell food ingredients you're allergic to and make sure you stay away from them.

Dogs, in fact, are so good for you, that they not only keep your heart warm inside, but keep your it healthy on top of it, decreasing heart attack mortality rates.

Horses

 

Horseback riding is a great way to connect with these wild animals and the great nature at once. Horseback riding also offers an abundance of physical and emotional health benefits.

It teaches you to remain stable despite the unstable ground that is the horse's body, and to coordinate different body parts to do different tasks at the same time. Therefore, you'll learn to concentrate better and to stay attentive both to your own needs and to the needs of others – in this case, the horse. You'll grow your sense of body awareness and coordination, as you’ll find yourself using a variety of body organs while journeying off with your horse.

You'll need to improve your posture to make riding work, which will strengthen your back. You'll also strengthen leg muscles and thigh muscles,  among others, improving your body's flexibility. Understandably, your motor skills and ability to get by in a vast space will get better the more you ride.

Horseback riding will help your joints more and risk your knees less than some other types of sports, such as swimming or even walking. Your cardiovascular system will improve, and even your blood circulation and liver will function better. 

While riding, you’ll need to take your horse under consideration. She or he will be your partner, and you'll need to practice patience as they, too, have their own will. Besides the wonderful love you'll receive from a horse, you'll also learn to master your tension and relax. You'll get better at making decisions in challenging situations and at learning new skills, and you'll find your reflexes becoming faster and better all the time. 

Dolphins

   

Swimming with dolphins is a happiness-inducing activity for all. For children and adults who experience physical, emotional or mental challenges, combining the water's gifts with the affection of an animal can be a game changer.

Dolphins' love of human and their compassionate, curious, intelligent and social nature can make you feel comfortable and welcome in the water.
Once you feel safe, you'll be surprised how fast your learning abilities might expand. Therefore, it'll be easier to learn new things. Your immune system will grow stronger and you'll experience relief of physical pain. Your coordination and motor skills will improve and you'll be able to focus for longer periods of time. This experience will cater to all your senses and will teach you to listen to your body's needs.

If you have challenges with interpersonal affections, dolphins will give you the courage to dare and give a loved one a hug.


How have animals helped you improve your health?