On Valentine’s Day, Midlands residents can spend time with their sweethearts and take care of their hearts, and do it while spending time with a lovable dog.
That’s because Lexington Medical Center is hosting a “therapy dog stress break,” on Feb. 14.
Studies show a canine companion can lead to health benefits. It includes helping everything from lowering blood pressure to reducing stress.
Lexington Medical Center is offering the session with the therapy dog to help in these area, and will also offer more traditional medical screening at the same time.
The Valentine’s Day event will be held from 1-3 p.m. in the North Tower Atrium inside Lexington Medical Center. All community members are invited to the event that is free of charge.
During the therapy dog session, clinicians will be on hand to answer questions about how managing stress and finding relaxing activities can help health. Visitors can also receive a free blood pressure screening.
The certified therapy dogs are a popular and important part of Lexington Medical Center’s Volunteer Services department, according to hospital officials.
According to the American Heart Association, pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, can help reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease:
- Studies have found that pet owners have lower blood pressure and resting heart rates than people who do not have a pet, even when they had a similar body mass index (BMI) and socioeconomic profile.
- Research shows dog owners are more likely to be physically active than non-dog owners – tending to walk longer and more often.
- A study found that younger children whose families owned a dog were less likely to be overweight or obese compared with children in families without a dog.
- Additional research has found that pets lower stress and help heart patients live longer.