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3 Healthy Habits You Can Learn from Your Pet

By Alpert Schreyer on July 18, 2014

Maryland HealthWhether you’re an avid dog or cat lover, anyone who owns a pet is well aware of the joy and playfulness that a furry, feathered, or scaly creature can bring to our lives. And while many people are guilty of anthropomorphizing their critter (even going so far as to play dress up with the ever-indulging pet) it is not as common for us humans to take a cue from our furry friends when it comes to day-to-day life.

Even though we may not be able to live our lives unemployed, pampered, and well fed the way our favorite furry friends do (such a hard life, to be a cat!) we can still learn a few habits from these often so fortunate animals.

1. Use Your Feet!

When a cat wants to go somewhere, she gets up and walks. When you get home from work, what’s the first thing your dog wants to do after bounding up to greet you? Go for a walk. It may seem simple, but walking is a surprisingly healthy activity that many of us forgo for the sake of convenience or even sheer laziness. Numerous studies have found that walking improves your overall health, from your brain to your heart to your mood. So, if you can walk to your destination, go for it without question.

2. Focus!

You may want to text your friend, make dinner, and catch up on your work emails all at once, but if you divide your attention among too many things at the same time, you’re not doing any one of them very well – not to mention possibly hurting yourself in the process. Have you ever known an animal to multitask? Nope. If your dog is eating, nothing will drag her away. If your hedgehog is running in his wheel, you can bet he’s not trying to eat at the same time. Researchers at Harvard have discovered that multitasking can hinder your brain’s ability to retain information and stay agile. So, put down the Smartphone, frying pan, and tablet – pick what’s important at the moment and focus.

3. Go Play!

Pets of all ages never lose their sense of playfulness. (Yes, even the grumpiest of cats can be swayed into a moment of friskiness by a wiggled strand of yarn or feathery toy.) We may think as we get older that we have no use for playing games or other silliness, but it is as essential for our health and well being as any other physical activity. Playing fetch with your dog, throwing a Frisbee with your friends, or even just telling some jokes to your coworkers can improve social skills, increase brain function, relieve stress, and boost creativity.

What lessons on life have you learned from your pet? Let us know on the Alpert Schreyer, LLC Facebook page!

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