6 Health Lessons We Can Learn From Sharks
Shark-lovers everywhere can rejoice as Discovery channel’s annual Shark Week returns again. While this infamous week focuses more on the cool, shocking facts about sharks, like the fact that the whale shark is a whopping 40-feet long, or that the gestation period for the spiny dogfish shark is two years—yes, two years—there’s a lot more to sharks that meets the eye.
As some of the ocean’s top predators, the lifestyle of a shark demands that they keep themselves in tip-top shape from head to tail. So, despite the many differences between sharks and humans, when it comes to health, there may be a thing or two we could learn from them.
Eat a diet full of seafood
To a shark, a balanced diet of seafood may include everything from fish and squid to sea lions and other sharks. But for humans, sticking to a variety of fish and mollusks, such as mussels, clams and scallops, are ideal.
The nutritious benefits of fresh seafood are plentiful. With vitamins and minerals like omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and B-complex vitamins, a diet rich in fresh seafood promotes the health of your heart, joints, eyes, skin, mind and immune system. With eating so much seafood, it’s no wonder sharks have such tough, healthy skin.
Get plenty of exercise
If the idea of swimming between 30 and 50 miles a day sounds like too much, then you’re definitely not a shark. And while we may not be able to keep up with sharks, their lifestyle is a great reminder that an active lifestyle is crucial for overall health.
Keep it simple, though. Exercise doesn’t always have to be vigorous or intense to get the health perks. At minimum, stick to exercising at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. Explore different types of exercise, so you don’t get bored in doing the same old thing. And if you’re feeling low on energy, think like a shark and grab a nutrient-rich snack.
This may not be something you’ve thought much about, but as some of the largest sea creatures out there, sharks often have the bowel movements to match. Regardless of size, though, sharks are efficient food converters who stay regular.
Similar to sharks, the regularity and bowel movements of humans can say a lot about overall health. For instance, it may indicate that your diet could be healthier, or that you have an underlying health condition. On top of that, it’s not healthy to fight the urge you have to go to the bathroom. So the next time you feel like you have to go, be more like a shark and let it flow.
Find your school
The social nature of sharks varies from completely solitary to forming schools with other sharks. For instance, Hammerhead sharks form schools around islands during mating season. Even as vicious predators, sharks show that having a social network can be beneficial.
The same goes for humans. Having social support is important for mental health, stress relief, physical health and illness prevention. So don’t be a lone shark, go out and find your school.
Cavity-proof your teeth
Did you know that a shark’s teeth are not only sharp; they’re also cavity-resistant? That’s right; their teeth are covered in fluoride making them resistant to bacteria and acid. While humans aren’t quite that lucky, we could take a note on the importance of dental health.
It is recommended that you brush at least twice a day and after meals. Typically, it should take between 2 and 3 minutes to thoroughly clean your teeth. Don’t forget to floss, too. While dental health may seem like a nuisance at times, remember, great white sharks have 300 teeth and humans have only 32, so there’s no excuse.
Embrace your unique qualities
Shark species are about as diverse as it comes. From the glowing spines of the velvet belly lantern sharks to a 400-year-old Greenland shark living in the Arctic Ocean, sharks come in all shapes and sizes, not unlike humans.
Because we are all unique, shouldn’t our health care be unique, too? With the trusted providers of Gwinnett Medical Group Primary Care, you will receive customized care tailored to fit your needs. With convenient locations, up-to-date technology and the latest treatment options, GMG has all you need to just keep swimming.