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Animals Can Improve Your Health
There's little doubt that pets are an important part of many people's lives. And we're at a point where some of the benefits of pet ownership are well known. But it's important to keep in mind that we share our lives with a wide variety of animals. Even plants and insects offer up some unique benefits simply with their presence. And the wild animals we find in the wilderness can offer some amazing joys to hikers.
But there are some benefits from animals that don't receive much attention. And this is really a shame since they're often quite significant. And in particular, the animals that can help improve our health deserve some extra recognition. With that in mind, we'll be taking a look at three unexpected ways in which animals can help improve our health.
They walk us while we walk them.
People often forget that walking can be fantastic exercise. The exact numbers vary on a case by case basis. But one can generally estimate that the caloric burn from walking should roughly come out to around one or two hundred calories every thirty minutes of active movement. In comparison, another rough estimate holds that one pound of fat is around 3,500 calories. Assuming you walk your dog twice a day then that means you might burn off around a pound's worth of calories every nine days or so.
Of course the only caveat there is that you need to actually keep up with your dog walking. However, that's a great thing about a dog's ability to communicate. When they flop on the floor with a reproachful look, it's impossible not to give in and give them their walk. Just remember that when doing so they're essentially taking you for a walk as well.
Fish can treat diabetes.
We're starting things off with something which might raise an eyebrow or two. The idea that fish can help people treat their diabetes might seem far fetched. It might even seem downright absurd. But a study rather clearly demonstrated that fish can indeed help children with diabetes.
The catch is that the fish aren't necessarily acting with intent. Instead they help by keeping kids on a schedule. No child will want to let his beloved pet go hungry. But those same kids might easily forget to take care of their own medical needs. Researchers decided to try linking the two. This resulted in a plan to have children check their blood glucose when they fed their fish. And after a while the children had become far better at logging their results than the base group.
Beetles can offer up reminders as well.
It's hard to see many health benefits from insects scurrying around, or even in our food. And people who've seen a grain beetle or his hundreds of friends crawling around in their cereal can attest that it's not a fun discovery. But at the same time, those same people can attest to something.
They should really think about what happened after they made that discovery. Grain beetles love to get into open containers of packaged food. Things like cereal, and other breakfast foods rank among their favorites. No one wants that. But take a moment to consider the health risks associated with leaving food open to the environment.
The beetle does force us to seal up our breakfast foods. Glass and plastic containers tend to become the norm after one faces down insects. But it's important to remember that we should be doing exactly that anyway. Some pests are far more dangerous than the common beetle. And in a sense these little insects can act like a canary in a mine. They might well alert us of dangers before the threat fully manifests.
Help goes in both directions.
Finally, you should consider just keeping track of the animals you see during your day-to-day activities. Really consider just how much they might be doing for you. And remember, it often goes both ways. Humans and animals have a way of helping each other out in important, but often subtle, ways.