Researcher Daniel Promislow, who studies aging at the University of Washington, believes that observing the aging process of dogs will help to extend the lives of humans.
He tells AARP:
“Unlike most [animal] models used to study aging, dogs aren’t in a lab. They share the same environment we do.”
This research is groundbreaking and important. But, there’s a lot we can learn from our BFFs that doesn’t require a lab. All we have to do is look at how our dogs embrace life to get some clues on how to age gracefully.
1. Laugh ’til you cry
Never be afraid to be silly. Laughter releases endorphins and lowers stress levels, both of which are good for you heart and blood pressure.
2. Sniff lots of butts
Not literally, obviously. Weekend Netflix binge-watching sessions are fun, but hanging out with your friends will help to keep you young.
3. Tell everyone how much you love them
Unlike dogs, us humans sometimes hold in our joy. We take things for granted, like seeing someone we love. Dogs let that joy rip like it’s a fart. While I don’t recommend jumping on people when they walk through the door, it’s good to smile and tell your loved ones that you’re so very glad to see them.
4. Get your beauty rest
Ah, the leisurely life of a dog! They (frequently) take time to power down and recharge their batteries. All too often, we deny ourselves this rejuvenation process in favor of more “important” things. In reality, getting adequate sleep is one of the most important things you’ll do in life. You’ll have more energy, a better memory, sharper focus, and higher metabolism.
5. Play hard
Everyone knows that exercise is one of the keys to staying young and healthy. But then, most of us are like “Ew, sweating is gross and hard work.” You don’t have to suffer through a grueling spin class to stay fit. Go play frisbee with your dog! Take your BFF on a long walk through the park. Have a dance off with your pup in the living room. (You can even do that in your underwear. Your dog won’t tell on you.)
6. Eat your veggies
Most of us pawrents obsess over our pup’s food. We painstakingly read the ingredients or we go the raw route and give them food that’s way better than anything we eat ourselves. Yet, we scarf down corn chips, chocolate cake (yum!) and processed foods a lot more than we should. Treat your body and mind the same way you’d treat your dog’s, and put some healthy foods into it!
7. Drink lots of water
You’d never let your dog go without water. Staying hydrated is good for every system in your body–your life depends on it. Dehydration causes loss of focus, exhaustion, and loads of other problems. Plus, it keeps your skin radiant!