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Days 26 and 27

Lessons From A Dog: Longevity Comes From Moving

I have a friend who has a dog, a miniature pinscher. The normal lifespan for this breed is 15 years. This dog will be 21 in the fall and doesn’t seem like she’s going anywhere. She has cataracts, which she has had for more than five years and can’t see well. But everyday she walks and walks and walks. She only stops to take a nap, eat her treats and drink water. She is in constant motion.

When this dog was young she had a weight problem. She would literally eat everything she could find (and would even steal food from cabinets because she had amazing leaping ability). But since her vision went, she can’t jump like she used to and is relegated to eating what she is fed: some all-natural sweet potato and apple treats from Whole Foods a couple of times a day, her dinner (Organix Chicken and Sweet Potato recipe) and Essentia water.

That dog eats better than most people. Actually, we drink the same water. While she’s a dog and our bodies are different, there are a few things we can learn from this animal’s remarkable longevity (she’s 147 in people years).

  1. Movement: The constant nonstop movement of this dog has not only kept her at a near zero body fat, it has also kept her limber and supple. She had bad knees and hips as a puppy and most dogs half her age struggle. While she doesn’t have the agility of her puppy years, that she can walk for hours is simply remarkable at any age, let alone 140.
  2. Consistent diet: She eats the same exact thing every day. It’s all natural. It’s all healthy. And her portions are controlled.
  3. She drinks alkaline water.

Over these last 27 days, I have hit my 10,000 step mark without fail. My aches and pains that I allowed to keep me from the gym haven’t gone away completely. But I am moving much better and I can do more than I thought I could.

Today I rode my bike again (I rode my bike to the duck pond yesterday). I threw the orders from The Global Majority in a backpack and rode to my local post office. I used to ride my bike every day when I was a kid. It felt good to be able to be out there, taking the hills, pushing myself and get some business done. I have to get my diet consistent. I have to eat to live not live to eat. While I am transitioning to a plant-based diet, I’m still eating too many bags of Skinny Pop and too many Kind bars. The water is also big. I drink a couple of bottles of Essentia and I’ve gotten fancy with BLK water recently. I don’t know if it’s making a difference. But every time I see my friend’s dog chugging along I think, “It can’t hurt.”

Let me know how you’re doing with the #30Days hashtag on Twitter.

 

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Karen Hunter

Written by Karen Hunter

A former sports and news reporter with the New York Daily News for 16 years, Karen served four of those years on the editorial board of The News, where she was a member of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize- and Polk Award-winning teams. She was also the paper’s first African-American female news columnist. As the head of Karen Hunter Books (KHB), an imprint with Simon & Schuster, Karen has published No. 1 New York Times bestseller True You by pop icon Janet Jackson, New York Times bestselling Kris Jenner and All Things Kardashian by Kris Jenner

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