Doing what it takes to achieve a strong bill of cardiovascular health isn't also glamorous. Establishing a reasonable diet, exercising regularly, and eliminating harmful lifestyle habits can sometimes full mundane and aren't exactly things to write home to mom and dad about. But it need not all be dull work. According to findings from a number of health organizations, a pet may be an enjoyable way to bolster your cardiovascular health. Though it may seem surprising, owning a pet has been shown to reduce the risk of a number of unpleasant cardiovascular conditions.

Physical activity

Pet ownership forces you into a more active lifestyle because happy and healthy pets need physical activity. Much of this will consist of taking your dog or other pet for walks, or engaging in other forms of physical activity. Playing with your pet could be good for you too. According to the American Heart Association, one study showed that Japanese dog owners were 54 percent more likely to achieve the recommended daily exercise threshold than those who didn't have pets.

Reduction of stress

Let's say you come home from a long day at work or a stressful interaction with someone close to you. There are a number of ways that you could deal with this stress, but many of the things we turn to are inherently unhealthy. Animals provide companionship that can help us to relieve this pressure in a wholesome, healthy, and comforting manner. This, in turn, could lower negative physical effects such as high blood pressure or bodily production of cortisol, a chemical released during periods of high stress. In speaking with The New York Times, Dr. Glenn Levine, a professor at Baylor University, extolled on the ways animals can relieve stress in humans:

"Several studies showed that dogs decreased the body's reaction to stress, with a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline-like hormone release when a pet is present as opposed to when a pet is not present," said Levine.

Lifestyle habits

Oddly enough, becoming a pet owner can also reduce your negative lifestyle habits. For example, if you are a tobacco user, you will likely be advised by your vet not to smoke around your dog or cat, as secondhand smoke can be as harmful to their body as it can to yours. Much like the way having a child often causes healthy changes in a parent’s daily life, owning a pet can help you to reconsider some unhealthy behaviors as well.