Health and life lessons from a puppy
Just going to be up front and let you know this was mainly an excuse to show you a picture of my new puppy Shug. Feel free to admire his cuteness.
If you've ever had a puppy, you know it is much like having a baby. Lot of cuteness, a lot of work, lot of bodily functions on display.
We've had all of that, but there are also a few things that we could all learn from raising a puppy to help increase the enjoyment you get in life.
1. Attack the day
When that little guy wakes up, he is ready to roll! Right away he wants to charge outside and run around. Makes me a little jealous to be honest. He is mainly ready to attack his food and the bush outside, but still. When your alarm goes off, hit the ground running and don't give yourself time to realize how tired you are. Have something you look forward to doing immediately after you wake up.
I get fired up and excited in the morning because every day I have the opportunity to change someone's life. I go over the workout for that day at boot camp, respond to posts on Facebook, and answer questions and provide solutions for my health coaching clients. I am very lucky to love what I do, find something that works for you.
2. Listen to the warning signs
This is one I learned real quick. When the puppy goes anywhere near the door, you better get to stepping and let him out. Or face the consequences.
Aren't we like that with our health? Most people will not start an exercise program until their doctor tells them to, until they are really far out of shape or overweight, until they realize they can't keep up with their kids playing without gasping for breath.
You didn't get like that overnight. There were signs that you chose to ignore. I've been there too. I didn't just wake up one day 50 pounds overweight, it was a steady climb of bad food and not enough exercise. What signs are you ignoring?
3. Have a routine
The body likes to be in a routine as does the puppy. Both like to know what to expect and they respond favorable to a schedule. Eating, drinking, sleeping, exercising, etc... at the same time every day will help your body respond better. On the flip side, having an erratic schedule can wreak havoc on your system.
I did an internship at a tire plant when I was in college. The factory workers worked 12 hour shifts, one from 6AM-6PM and one 6PM-6AM. Then every few months, the AM shift would work 24 hours straight, and then the two shifts would swap up. Job accidents, heart attacks, and job unhappiness all increased rapidly until someone stepped in and put a stop to this crazy idea.
4. Be enthusiastic
Don't you like being around people with boundless enthusiasm? Doesn't it help you feel more energized? Tomorrow is not promised so we might as well soak every bit of life out of today. If you can't be enthusiastic about your workouts every time that's ok! But if you never look forward to your workouts, might be time to change it up. There are so many options in fitness, why choose one you don't like?
5. Forgive and forget
Thankfully the little fellow forgives me when I accidentally step on him, yell at him, or put him in his crate at night. No matter what, he will still be glad to see me and excited for another opportunity to hang out. How much better would our health be if we could be like that?
According to the Mayo Clinic, forgiving someone can lead to:
- Healthier relationships
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go enthusiastically attack my routine of forgiving and checking my warning signs.
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