For ages, elephants have been depicted as wise, resourceful, and compassionate creatures. They are rightly renowned for their remarkable longevity – elephants in the wild may live as long as 80 years. And throughout their lives, elephants demonstrate extraordinarily high levels of social intelligence and individual reasoning and memory.
So what’s their secret to health and happiness? While they can’t quite speak to us, elephants do communicate a lot about what makes a well-rounded lifestyle – and here are some tusk-to-tail wellness pointers from the earth’s largest mammal.
1. Take your time to grow. Young elephants remain attached to their immediate families for as long as three years – showing that healthy development does not have to be rushed or forced. Let yourself grow into your tusks!
2. Be a social creature. Elephants of all ages draw a lot of strength from families and close friendships within the herd. Don’t be shy – reach out to others when you are in need of a boost.
3. Eat lots of plants. Elephants consume upwards of 300 pounds of food per day – mostly consisting of grass, roots, leaves, twigs, and fruit. You may want to lower the intake slightly… but eating plenty of greens can be a great idea for humans as well as pachyderms.
4. Drink plenty of water. In Africa, India, and other warm climates, it’s important to stay hydrated – which is why the average adult elephant drinks about 11 gallons of water per day. Dip your trunk in the watering hole every now and then to stay cool and refreshed.
5. Exercise often. On the savannah, elephants regularly walk about 12 miles daily – and during mating and feeding seasons they can travel up to 100 miles in a single day. Move your legs frequently to keep a healthy connection with the earth and your body.
6. Rest when tired. Elephants avoid the hottest part of the day by taking midday naps under trees and shady rocks. And they sleep regularly each night – showing that no matter how grown you are, you still need time to recharge.
7. Listen up. Those big ears are there for a reason – trust the advice and wisdom of beloved friends and teachers. When we try to go it alone, we can miss valuable information from someone else who may have walked the same path.