A Four Letter Word That Can Help Prevent Heart Disease: “WOOF.”

by Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

walkingdogThe American Heart Association issued a scientific statement on Thursday May 9, 2013 that owning a pet may help to decrease a person’s risk of suffering from heart disease and is linked with lower levels of obesity, blood pressure and cholesterol. Get a dog to help your heart? Now there’s a novel concept.

Glenn N. Levine, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston recently commented, “Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.” A study of more than 5,200 adults, cited by the AHA, showed dog owners were more physically active than non-owners because they walk their pets. Other research has revealed the calming effects of pets, which are also used in animal-assisted therapy programs.

This is a win-win for the AHA, the ASPCA , animal shelters and you. Approximately 3 to 4 million animals (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats) are euthanized each year according to the ASPCA. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home. You can make the difference between life and death for a dog, and maybe the dog will do the same for you. Join the 78 million dog owners in the USA and help your heart at the same time. It’s a heart healthy thing to do on two levels: It provides a companion for taking walks and getting needed exercise and it offers you a friend, a pal and a best buddy from whom you can receive unconditional love. This is all good happy heart making stuff. Combine dog walking exercise with a heart-healthy diet and you’ll be on your way to a longer, happier life.

- Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. In the Heart Easy cook book sound nutritional advice is followed by traditional recipes that have been turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make and everyone will love. Learn more: HeartEasy.com

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