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12 Small Pleasures Only Dog People Are Familiar With

12 Small Pleasures Only Dog People Are Familiar With

What is your description of the perfect friend? One that loves you unconditionally? Someone who forgives easily, stays close by your side, and is a really good listener? Well, I have described my dog. Who is, in essence, one of the best friends I could ask for. He brings me joy, and I know for a fact there are millions of other people who feel just the same as I do. Here are 12 small pleasures that dogs give their owners.

1. They give unconditional love

It is a wonderful feeling to be loved unconditionally. Dogs don’t care if we look perfect, say the right things, or act distracted. They love us no matter what.

2. They’re a faithful companion

Dogs don’t get tired of us. They enjoy our company. If they had their way, they would be beside us at all times.

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3. They understand us without speaking

They get us. We don’t have to explain ourselves to our dogs. If we are in a bad mood, they comfort us. If we are happy, they are happy with us.

4. They’re the best listener in the world

Anything we need to say, they’ll listen to it. If we need to blow off steam or say a secret aloud, they have us covered. At times, they seem to like our voices as much as we do.

5. They let us become a good teacher

We burst with pride when our dogs know the simplest of commands. They give us the opportunity from puppy stage to adult stage to experience the gift of being a teacher.

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6. They appreciate of nature

Our dogs get us outside. We get to witness beautiful sunrises and sunsets thanks to our dogs. We can watch how the sky turns different colors during the day and observe beautiful stars at night. We hear birds singing, the wind whistling, and crickets chirping.

7. They’re the best shotgun rider around

All we have to say is “ride” and our dogs are ready to go. They know when you grab your keys they might get a chance of coming along. When we can take them, they hop right up in the front passenger seat and sit happily going down the road.

9. They are a calming force

No matter what we are going through, they are right there beside us offering silent support. We know we all can have an awful day from time to time; however, when we stroke our dog’s head, we feel some of our stress alleviate. Their calm presence rubs off on us.

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10. They show us how quickly time passes

Our dogs teach us just how quickly times goes by. One minute they are puppies, and then we blink and they have become grown ups. While we are busy with our lives, and we know time is passing, we may not realize how precious time is. Then one day we look at our dogs and we realize they have become older, and this makes us appreciate every moment a little more.

11. They are always happy to see us

It’s hard in life to find someone who is always happy to see you. Our dogs, are. They are overjoyed just because we came home or because we are willing to take them on a walk or run. Sometimes they are happy just because we entered the same room they are in.

12. They forgive easily

We all mistakes; however, not everyone we know is very forgiving of our mistakes. Our dogs forgive us. Over and over, they forgive us. They don’t hold a grudge. They live in the moment. If we make a mistake, they forgive us and move right on.

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If you are a dog owner, you are most likely already aware of all the pleasures our dogs can give us. They are our constant companions and faithful friends. They teach us so many life lessons. They bring us much joy, and we are lucky to have them.

Featured photo credit: Arson Dog Daisy/State Farm via flickr.com

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Tomi Rues

Adjunct college teacher, notebook/journal designer, author

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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