If you have a pet, you know that as domesticated as pets are, their instincts are still, well, animalistic. Observing an animal at close quarters is the nearest you will get to the natural world. Even our postures are no longer as natural as they should be. So what can we learn from our them? Here's looking at what our pets can teach us about health and fitness...
Have you walked your dog lately?
Taking the responsibility of walking your dog is not only great exercise but also a great way to add a little zing to your workout. Try taking your dog for a walk to a park where dogs are allowed off their leash and just run around with your pet. You will be surprised at what a good workout you’ll get. Your dog will suddenly sprint when she sees something that excites her and will take you on a nice little run, slow down, dart to one side, roll over, try and jump up a tree to chase a bird, and generally just take pleasure in being free. I understand if you’re wary of attracting strange stares, but the fun and spontaneity of it all is well worth it. We forget what good spontaneous fun is all about, and playing catch up with your dog will leave you panting and enjoying your workout.
Taking simple pleasure from a long walk.
Even if you can’t find a park that allows you to take your dog off the leash, just taking your dog for a simple walk will show you how much joy your dog derives from just walking and spending time with you. The energy will be something that will help you keep a good pace, as your dog won’t allow you to slack off.
The power of touch
It’s impossible not to notice how good your dog or cat feels when you rub under their chin or scratch behind their ears. The comfort of affection through constant touching and caressing, leads to over all happiness and unless you’re happy you can’t really be healthy, can you?
This may not be feasible in our well-ordained lives but even incorporating play into our schedules on a weekly or bi-weekly basis can make all the difference to our fitness levels as well as help us attain our goals of being active.
Take pleasure in your food
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Your dog lives for her next meal and laps it up with such pleasure. Wouldn’t you want to eat like that? Even if on a diet, take that extra step to add flavours and ingredients that you love to a simple salad that will help you enjoy it more. Eat the right food, but make sure that it tastes good too, instead of merely eating empty calories that don’t do anything for you.
See how your dog or cat always stretches long and hard after a nap? A good stretch in the morning when you wake up, or when you have been sitting for a long time is a very good habit to incorporate, as it provides your muscles with the necessary movement after prolonged inactivity.
Notice your pet’s posture
Look at how erect your cat holds her head or how beautifully she walks. Most people around us can’t sit, stand or walk with good postures due to years and years of misusing our bodies. If you’ve got a bad posture, correct it now!
Our pets provide us with great insight into how nature intended us to be and how we have become. Learn from them, it’s an enjoyable experience.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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