2013-05-24 / Sports

Ken And Jen’s Fitness Forum

By Jen Font de Bon and Ken Pena

We’re Jen Font de Bon and Kenny Peña, certified trainers, spinning instructors and nutrition nuts from Suncycle Studios. Our goal is to help people reach theirs. We promote a balanced lifestyle.

Caring for a pet is a great responsibility that comes with wonderful rewards. People of all ages can reap the physical, mental, and emotional health benefits of having a pet around the house. Here are a few ways our animal friends contribute to keeping us healthy and happy!

THEY HELP MANAGE STRESS. Spending time with animals significantly lowers stress and increases feelings of happiness and relaxation. Studies show that people who are accompanied by pets during stressful tasks recover quicker and experience lower stress responses than those who take on the chores solo or with a friend or spouse. Even brief encounters can have positive health benefits, lowering blood pressure and stress hormones such as cortisol, and increasing endorphin and dopamine levels. And we’re not just talking about cats and dogs. Watching fish in an aquarium or fish tank can be even more relaxing than mediation!

THEY KEEP THEIR OWNERS FIT. On average, people who own pets, especially dogs, get more exercise than those who do not. Someone who isn’t a regular walker can lose up to fourteen pounds in one year by walking a dog for just twenty minutes, five days a week. For extra benefits, take your pup jogging across rugged terrain, such as sand, rocks, or hills. Also, play games like fetch or hard-to-get. The lateral movements, squatting, and throwing involved in this type of activity incorporate different muscle groups and helps improve strength, agility, and coordination. For a well-rounded workout routine, make sure to get in a few additional sessions of intense exercise each week.

THEY LOWER THE RISK OF ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA. A supersanitized environment can actually work against your child. Children who grow up with pets are less likely to get sick and tend to build stronger immune systems. Regular contact with animals also makes kids less likely to develop allergies and asthma.

THEY HELP PEOPLE STAY SOCIAL. Whether you walk your dog around the block or bring him/her to a park, you’re sure to bump into other pet-lovers along the way. Having a dog gives people a reason to stop and talk, thereby increasing the number of people you meet and opening the opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances. Maintaining an active social life is important in warding off stress and depression.

THEY HELP BOOST OVERALL WELL-BEING. Pets provide companionship for those dealing with illness, depression, or loneliness. They create a sense of purpose for their caretakers, which increases positive thinking and helps beat the blues.

Questions, comments? E-mail us @ admin@suncyclestudios.com, call 718- 318-3410, or stop by Suncycle Studios at 137 Beach 116th Street to talk in person.

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