You’ve probably heard about pet therapy from different news channels or sites. Basically, the term covers a form of therapy where animals help individuals recover from health problems starting from heart disease to depression. It also entails activities where animals are used to provide comfort and entertainment to individuals such as nursing home residents. However, what you probably didn’t know is that YOU TOO need a little pet therapy from time to time. And the best place to get this is at a dude ranch, especially since this alternative approach goes well with ecotherapy (i.e. natural healing).
How Animals Can Improve Your Health
You already have a good idea of how consuming grass-fed cattle can be good for your health. However, interacting with animals aside from your own pets offer many physical and psychological advantages, including:
Improved Mood – Be it the antics of a litter of puppies or bleating lambs, watching these cute critters is bound to chase your stress away and reduce your anxiety. In fact, your body goes through a series of changes that affect your mood. For instance, your cortisol (stress hormone) levels decrease while the production of serotonin (well-being hormone) increases.
Increased Physical Activity – Whether you’re riding a horse, herding cattle or just taking a dog on a walk, you’re getting a good dose of exercise. Even if you’re just cleaning the horses’ stalls, grooming them or feeding them, these chores will burn your calories and strengthen your muscles.
Building Confidence – Knowing that you can control a 1,000 pound horse or a much heftier herd of cows will help you feel accomplished. If the animal doesn’t comply, you’ll feel empowered disciplining it and making sure that it follows your orders.
Connecting with Nature – Animals love the outdoors, so you’re bound to step outside more times than you think possible. The outdoors, in turn, will improve both your physique and psyche. Besides, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamin D from the sun, giving your body a fighting chance against diseases such as obesity and cancer.
Improved Digestion – One of the least known advantages of riding horses is improved digestion. Even riding one at a walking pace will stimulate your internal organs, especially your liver. This explains why ranchers have a hearty appetite.
Decreased Isolation – Tending to ranch animals will give you a chance to talk with others who may be experiencing this for the first time like you or veterans who have been coming there for years. As you strike up a conversation, you’re bound to find people who share other interests and make friends. Also, many ranches have family style dining where guests come dine together at a set mealtime. Therefore, you’ll become more sociable and capable of preventing mental health disorders such as depression.
Fewer Allergies – Exposing younger children to animals is bound to make them less likely to develop allergies. In fact, children who live on farms are more immune to allergies and a variety of microbes. As a result, they grow into healthy adults and experience fewer health issues.
Why Dude Ranches of All Places?
You can always head to the nearest petting zoo, but it won’t provide you with the same benefits as dude ranches. You see, you don’t only get to stroke the animals there, you get to interact with them on a different level since you can be in charge of a herd and/or your own horse. Besides, you get to play, exercise or meet up with more animals at once, doubling their benefits every time.
Aside from the animals, dude ranches offer you a wide range of benefits that make visiting them worthwhile. For instance, you get to bond with your family members, be it through an activity such as fishing or around the dinner table. There are also many activities that you can enjoy solo, starting from horse riding to enjoying a spa treatment. However, what you get to experience at the dude ranch depends completely on where you plan your vacation. Therefore, make the right choice for you and your family and giddy up to where all the good animals are. Ranchseeker can help you find the right ranch for your family. Use our free dude ranch search tool.