Pets are good for our health. I’ve always known this. They keep you moving, involved in your life and let’s face it, what better greeting is there when you get home? They’re always happy to see you and happy to be with you. I recently read an article in a farming magazine that pointed out the health benefits from having animals in our lives. It discussed a study done with cancer patients and the benefits of walking. It found that walking 20 minutes a day at average speed (no speed walking) was the most beneficial exercise for your health that there is. This study also included people without cancer and found that you did not increase your health benefit from exercise by adding more strenuous routines to your exercise. Just 20 minutes of regular walking every day. This is where having a dog, helps benefit our health comes in. If we make it a habit to take our dog out for a walk everyday, we benefit not only the dog, but ourselves as well. Once again I thought of my grandparents who lived in a slower time.. It was their routine everyday to eat dinner, then go walking around their neighborhood for about 20 minutes, then come back, clean up from dinner and settle in for the night.
Once again I come back to the fact that we are too rushed in life. We eat fast, work long hours, drive fast, speak fast, and exercise fast. Recently, a friend of mine, who is a fabulous massage therapist, has been posting simple things we can do to reduce pain in our lives. The other day she posted something from the sleep foundation. It said that, bright light helps our sleep-wake cycle. Lower light at night helps us fall asleep and exposing ourselves to sunlight in the morning helps our wake cycle, as well as helps provide the vitamin D we need.
I started thinking about that and realized that my sleep-wake cycle had improved lately. I’ve always been careful about lowering noise, avoiding news, lowering the lights as I settle in for the night but had never thought about my morning routine. I speak a lot about my sons health problems but I too have a few health problems that have a big affect on my sleep-wake cycle. I began to wonder what had changed to cause my sleep-wake cycle to improve and I realized that it was mornings with Molly. Our little snickers fellow has no interest in doing much other than sitting on laps but our Molly is a busy girl and always wants company.
For this reason I’ve been going outside with a cup of coffee or tea to sit with Molly while she dashes this way and that, or sits down to watch a bug walk by. Most of my years I’ve only looked at mornings to get thru, to rush, rush, rush into another crazy day. I never thought that I had the time or even the right, to take a moment to slow down at the beginning of the day. My Molly has forced me to do just that, which I doubt I would’ve ever done by choice. It turns out that, I do have the time to absorb some sunlight in the morning, gather myself before the onslaught of the day and I feel better. Which makes me a better mom, wife and person, which in turn makes other people better at what they are too.
Sometimes I think about the trail horses I used to work with. They would work all day with their heads down, just putting one foot in front of the other, not noticing anything around them but at the end of the day after they were rubbed down and fed a lovely dinner, we’d let them out to run free on 300 hundred acres. It was then, that they picked up their heads, looked around and saw everything around them. They rolled, they played, they ran, they jumped and were very happy. In life things can get that way, we forget to lift our heads up to look around us and enjoy a simple moment. My point with all of my rambling? Nothing really, just something I noticed. I’m grateful for my mornings with Molly. I hope you too can find a simple moment in your day.
You can find my friend the fabulous massage therapist on fb, here’s a link to her page
The other references were from Maryjanes Farm magazine and sleepfoundation.org
Molly and I wish you a very happy day!