Your Heart’s Best Friend

A CA­NINE COM­PAN­ION CAN SNIFF OUT SU­PE­RIOR CAR­DIAC HEALTH – AND FETCH YOU A FEW MORE YEARS

Men's Health (Australia) - - Contents - BY LOUEE DESSENT-JACK­SON

How Fido can help you keep the big killers on a tight leash.

THE WORLD IS OB­SESSED WITH DOGS. If you don’t al­ready fol­low him, there’s a pug named Doug on In­sta­gram that has more than three mil­lion doe-eyed acolytes. On­line, we hang on their every pant. But re­search sug­gests that mak­ing your heart­felt ado­ra­tion for dogs phys­i­cal can track down se­ri­ous re­cip­ro­cal ben­e­fits that you’ll like just as much.

Man’s best friend is a life­saver. Not con­tent with be­ing the ice­breaker for chance meet­ings in the lo­cal park, your loyal pet is look­ing out for your longevity, too. Upp­sala Univer­sity stud­ied 3.4 mil­lion peo­ple in Swe­den over 12 years and found that sub­jects who owned a dog had a 33 per cent lower risk of death over­all, and a 36 per cent lower risk of suc­cumb­ing to car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. With CVD be­ing the most com­mon cause of death world­wide, there’s good rea­son to keep the threat on a tight leash.

Fur­ther re­search has found that time spent with a four-legged friend sinks lev­els of the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol, which can sup­press your im­mu­nity if not kept at heel. It also builds up your re­sis­tance to al­ler­gies and re­lieves the im­pact that iso­la­tion can have on your men­tal health.

And own­ing a dog makes walkies non-ne­go­tiable, guar­an­tee­ing you main­tain your car­dio quota – even on rest days. As for pick­ing up af­ter them? Just think of it as ex­tra squats.

COL­LAR POOR HEALTH TO RE­MAIN A GOOD BOY IN THE LONG RUN.

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