Owning a pet can bring a lot of joy and benefits to people, especially to professional athletes. Pets provide love, affection, and companionship, which can greatly improve mental and physical health. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of pet ownership for professional athletes and why they should consider getting a furry friend.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Professional athletes lead demanding lives, and it can be stressful to manage the pressure of competing at the highest level. Pets can help to reduce stress and anxiety by providing a calming presence. Studies have shown that spending time with pets releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps to reduce stress levels (1). Owning a pet can also give professional athletes an escape from their busy lives and provide them with an opportunity to relax and unwind.
Improves Physical Health
Owning a pet can also help to improve physical health. Studies have shown that pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and lower risk of heart disease (2). This is because pet ownership encourages physical activity and exercise. For professional athletes, this can mean taking their pet for walks or playing fetch in the park. This helps to keep them active and maintain their fitness levels, even when they are not training.
Boosts Mood and Mental Health
Pets can also boost mood and mental health. Research has shown that pets can provide emotional support and help to combat feelings of loneliness and depression (3). For professional athletes, this can be especially important when they are away from their families and friends for extended periods of time. Owning a pet can help to provide them with the emotional support they need to stay focused and motivated.
Pets can also help to enhance relationships. For professional athletes, this can be with their partners, children, or friends. Spending time with pets can create shared experiences and bring people closer together (4). Pets can also provide a source of comfort and support when professional athletes are feeling lonely or isolated.
In conclusion, pet ownership has a lot of benefits for professional athletes. Pets can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve physical health, boost mood and mental health, and enhance relationships. Professional athletes should consider getting a furry friend to help them manage the demands of their careers and lead a happier and healthier life.
Kreindler, G. (2012). “Therapeutic Benefits of Pets”. ISRN Psychiatry. doi: 10.5402/2012/250148.
Anderson, W. P., Reid, C. M., & Jennings, G. L. (2009). “Long-term Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association”. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192644.
Kunz, C., & Woolf, E. (2010). “Pets and Mental Health”. Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. doi: 10.4088/PCC.09r00786gry.
Foss, K. A. (2011). “The Impact of Companion Animals on Human Health and Well-Being”. Journal of Social Psychology. doi: 10.1080/00224545.2011.10783701.