Did you know your dog may be the best role model for your health? So, here’s how to live like a dog and reap the benefits. This comes from columnist Leslie Quander Woolridge:

  • Your dog demands daily exercise. That’s because their wild ancestors spent their days moving, whether they were hunting, scavenging, or defending their territory. And when our dogs don’t get daily exercise that’s when problems arise – biting, chewing, digging and other destructive behaviors. Basically, they’re going crazy. For dogs and humans, exercise is a mood lifter and a stress reducer. It increases muscle and bone density, but it can also slow down the aging process. So, take a cue from your dog – you both need 30 to 60 minutes of walking daily.
  • The way they eat. We feed our dogs the same size portion, every day, at the same time. Because if you put a giant bowl of food out for your dog, he’d probably eat the whole thing, right? Well, it’s the same for humans. The larger the portion, the more we eat. So, eat like a dog – controlled portions at the same time every day.
  • They forgive and forget. If you step on your dog’s foot, does she hold a grudge and think you must have anger issues? Of course not. So, the next time someone annoys you, let it go. People who forgive are less stressed, anxious, and have lower blood pressure than people who hold a grudge.
  • We should also sleep like our dogs. They sleep when they’re tired. They don’t push themselves to stay up late to watch Jimmy Kimmel.
  • We should bond with our loved ones the way dogs do. Dogs are social animals – and so are we. Maintaining close social relationships helps us manage stress and lengthens our life. And with dogs as with humans, interaction boosts our self-esteem, fights depression, and improves our heart health.