7 Healthy Habits I Learned from My Dogs

by Eugene on February 24, 2011

1. Stretch Often- Especially critical during the winter months when its easy to forgo getting to the gym.  You’ve heard it before, a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion….wants to get back to resting 🙂  Seriously though, taking a few minutes at various moments of the day to flex and stretch your muscles can go a long way in preventing injury and revitalizing your body.  Our dogs have been known to randomly break out into a full stretch after eating, after resting, as they prepare to curl up, and many other times.
2. Basque in the Sunlight- Regardless of the time of year, Muffin and Jazzy will locate a spot on the floor illuminated with natural sunlight and layout as if they are on a beautiful Caribbean beach!  I understand the feeling though because I love the sun!  It feels great on the skin and its a great source of energy for plants, humans, and animals.  The sun provides necessary Vitamin D, the lack of which has been tied to major health challenges.  Take some time today to turn your face to the sunlight, close your eyes, and embrace the energy penetrating your skin.
3. Drink Plenty of Water Daily- Our bodies are 70% water…not soda, not juice, not alcohol.  Good ol’ H2O.  Our planet, mostly water.  Some would argue this is what they call a clue!  Of course you ought to drink the highest quality water available to you.  Its a fact that most people are not drinking nearly enough water.  If you purchased a $250,000 sports car would you pour sugar and gunk into the fuel tank?  Of course not, it would be unthinkable.  Well how much is your body worth?  I’m sure you’d argue much, much more!  So why then, would we treat our priceless bodies any less than we’d treat our high priced sports car?  Treat your apparatus properly, give it what it needs.  And that starts with high quality water in the proper quantity.
4. Work Hard, Play Harder- We’re blessed with 4-legged children from the Terrier family and nothing is allowed to move in their vicinity without their previously written consent.  This goes for leaves and other debris blowing in the wind, squirrels, birds, bugs, of course cats, and any other unauthorized critter.  I’m not sure if its just our dogs or a characteristic of the breed but they possess, at least in our estimate, an unusually high amount of dexterity.  They will swipe, often successfully, at anything  which does not have their approval.  And it’s not over until they win!  The little critter may attempt to seek refuge behind or under furniture and much to their dismay our dogs find a way to get behind or under right along with them.  I’ve learned the importance of having tenacity in all endeavors no matter the size.  Simultaneously though, Muffin and Jazzy, take full advantage of every opportunity to run, jump, and hide just for the sheer joy of it.  So much so the Turbo Run, random bursts of full speed running around the house, has become synonymous with the breed.     
5. Show Genuine Excitement When Seeing Friends- It doesn’t matter if we walk to the curb to take out trash or if we’ve been gone for a few hours, our dogs meet us at the door as if they haven’t seen us for years.  For those of you with dogs in the family you understand the enlivening power of that wagging tail and the “where have you been all day?” expression on your dogs face when you walk in the door.  You may have had a very challenging day but when your dog meets you at the door, all of a sudden you remember the importance of not sweating the small stuff because, as the similarly titled book by Dr. Richard Carlson suggests, its all small stuff!  I encourage you to practice this same excitement when interacting with your friends and family and watch the positive transformations of those relationships.  People will want to be around you simply because of the way you make them feel.  
6. Remain Open & Adventurous with Cuisine-  Muffin and Jazzy are the masters at finding crumbs and all sorts of delicacies on the floor.  They chew it up as if its the best morsel they’ve ever experienced.  Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that you scour the ground for crumbs.  I am, however, encouraging you to try all sorts of cuisine.  Quite honestly, as I reread the previous sentence I have to grin because a few years ago that was the furthest from my reality.  I used to be the type of person who knew what he wanted before walking into the eatery.  I called them my restaurant specials.  I knew what I was getting if we were headed to IHOP or TGI Friday’s or Red Robin and on and on.  And although now, my diet consists mostly of organic products I am much more open and adventurous.  Giving credit where due, my fiance Marla is largely responsible for this change in me.  Her creative ability in the kitchen is nothing short of amazing!  Tonight we had her famous sweet potato, black bean chili with vegan corn bread!  Mmmmm!!  Exquisite + Cuisine = Exquisine!
7. Rest as Often as Possible- As I’m writing this its 2:30am so its almost time for me to hit the sack.  Proper rest is underrated in our hustle and bustle society.  Our dogs get in lots of sleep throughout the day and even if they’re not sleeping they’re relaxing under the bed, on top of the couch, in the middle of the floor, and anywhere else they can steal a moment.  We need quality rest.  So often we go from watching TV to the TV watching us or we fall asleep with lights on and all other kinds of distractions.  We need quality rest which allows the body to rejuvenate and the mind to refocus.  Turn off the TV and lights.  Strive to get a quality 7-8 hrs of sleep every night and as you begin to accomplish the goal, you will see immediate changes in your vitality, in your mental clarity, and in your ability to produce.  Sleep tight!     
Couch Potatoes Getting Plenty of Rest

Thank you for taking the time to read 7 Healthy Habits I Learned from My Dogs and I’m sure there was something helpful here for you.  There are lessons all around us if we’d just take a moment to open our eyes.  God blessed you with 2 eyes to see the whole picture; 2 ears and 1 mouth to listen twice as much as you talk.  Look at and listen to your environment, every answer we need is either in or around us.  Pay attention!

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