Even though our pets may not be able to talk to us, that doesn’t mean they don’t have things to teach us! Things that are good (or bad) for pets can also be good (or bad) for us – so let’s look at a few of these practices we would be wise to copy from our four-legged friends!
Our pets don’t multitask. When we’re playing catch with them they are 100% focused on the ball. We, on the other hand, think it’s advantageous to talk on the phone, while checking our email, while watching TV. According to cnn.com “newly released results of scientific studies in multitasking indicate that carrying on several duties at once may, in fact, reduce productivity, not increase it.”
Has your pet ever gone an entire day without taking a nap? It’s doubtful, and for good reason. Healthcentral.net states “Studies show that taking a nap is a great way to increase alertness and reaction times, improve mood, and reduce accidents.”
Walk Every Day
A daily walk is good for pets and it’s also good for us. Getting exercise daily not only helps us lose weight, but according to WebMD.com other benefits of regular walking include: fighting depression, lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes, keeping your mind sharp, and it keeps your bones strong.
Drink Water When You’re Thirsty
Have you ever seen your pet gulp down a sports drink or an energy shot while out playing? No, because these things aren’t good for pets! Likewise, neither of these things is as good for us as plain old water! Our bodies are approximately 60% water, according to Anatomy & Physiology for Nurses, so of course it would stand to reason that we’d benefit from drinking more of it when we’re exerting ourselves.
Cats know what’s good for them! Fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to be good for your heart. Mayo Clinic recommends “fatty fish, such as salmon, herring and to a lesser extent tuna, contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and therefore the most benefit, but many types of seafood contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.”
From the National Institute for Play website: “Anyone who has ever tossed a Frisbee to a beloved dog knows that playfulness crosses species lines. What does this mean? For humans and other animals, play is a universal training course and language of trust. The belief that one is safe with another being or in any situation is formed over time during regular play. Trust is the basis of intimacy, cooperation, creativity, successful work, and more.”
Make Time to Groom
Our feline friends are known to take extensive time to groom and clean themselves, should we do the same? Aside from the cleanliness of it all, personal hygiene can have an effect on your work and personal life. Livestrong.com states: “Maintaining a professional appearance gives you a confidence boost and demonstrates to your supervisors that you are serious about your job.”
Healthguidance.org lists a few benefits of regular stretching, including: an increase in circulation, reduction in stress and fatigue, it serves as a warm up before physical activity, and it can protect you from aches. The website also states: “Stretching regularly helps to relieve the tension within the muscles.”
Seek Out Shade
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dog lying outside tanning. Sure they like the run in the sun for periods of time, but they always take a break in whatever shade is available to them. We would be wise to do the same. Always wear sun block when heading outside and consider a hat or umbrella if you’ll be out for an extended period of time with no shade available.
Stick to a Schedule
Your pet doesn’t know the difference between a Saturday and a Wednesday, and neither does your body’s internal clock. This is why it’s beneficial to try and stick to a bit of a routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time, even eating at the same time, can keep your body in a good rhythm, which can lead to better quality sleep.
Thanks to WebMD.com for this list! I found some additional references for each of the suggestions and added my own remarks. So, in conclusion, our pets can not only be good friends and companions, they can also be good examples of healthy conduct we should implement in our own lives!