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It’s common knowledge that having a canine companion will make you happier…but did you know that it can also make you healthier? According to a recent scientific study, dog owners roughly the age of 79 had the bodies of those who were a decade younger. What’s that mean? That when you own a dog, you can shave years off your age and add them to your lifespan.

Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Dogs encourage personal activity.

No matter what the condition of the weather (or the condition of your attitude), you have to take your dog for a walk so that he or she can do their business. No ifs ands ors or buts about it.

2. Once you’re motivated, you’re more likely to continue on that kick.

Once you fall into a routine, you’re more likely to stick with it, and maybe even get more ambitious with it, perhaps adding in a weight class or turning those walks into jogs.

3. Pups tend to dawdle.

When a pooch is looking for the perfect place to do his business, he’s not consciously taking forever to keep your heart rate up, but that’s definitely the outcome.

4. Pups love to run.

…So if you’re healthy enough to join in, why wouldn’t you? It looks like so much fun!

5. Dogs encourage you to be outside.

You can’t keep your pup locked up in the TV room all day, and you can’t send him to the lake alone…do you see where I’m going with this?

6. Canines love to play games.

Even if you’re not able to go on long runs, a simple game of fetch or frisbee can do you good. A couple steps to pick up a ball a dozen times a day can really add up!

7. Chances are, you’ll get a good laugh out of your pup at least once a day.

How’s that good for your health, you ask? Laughter can aid blood flow, boost your immune system, moderate blood sugar levels, and also help you catch a good night’s sleep. Basically, everything that is the opposite of stress and worrying, which will deteriorate your body.

8. Your dog will keep you company.

There’s no way you can feel lonely when you have a guaranteed happy-to-see-you face greeting you at the end of each day.

9. Dogs encourage water cooler chitchat.

Or in this case, water fountain chitchat. I’ve seen it happen a million times: one dog says hello to another dog, and their humans are forced to engage in conversation, too. Even the most awkward people understand that this is how the dog park works. How does this help your health? Having friends in your life boosts your morale!

10. Your pooch depends on you for her health.

When you’re in charge of the diet and exercise of another being, like Fluffy here, it makes you more conscious of your own lifestyle choices.

11. Dogs are all-around good workout companions!

As long as you make sure your pup can keep up with you, and that you aren’t pushing him too hard, your dog is happy to spend all the time in the world with you!

(via Bark Post)

If you’ve never noticed these with your pup before, maybe now that you have them under your belt, you’ll be more aware of the health benefits your fur baby brings to your life!

Find more awesome animal stories here:

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Watch Girls Prove, Once Again, That They Aren't Defined By The Limitations Set For Them

Men and women and girls and boys may appear to be equal, but stereotypes and unfair assumptions about gender hold everyone back — especially girls. They’re told they aren’t as strong as boys, they can’t play as rough as boys, they’re given princess dolls over science and math toys, and from the time they’re little even until adulthood, they’re told girls are too emotional (even though guys can be, too).

Feminine product company Always stepped up to the plate last year to help eliminate gender inequality with its viral #LikeAGirl ad — which had a spot during last year’s Super Bowl. Citing that girls’ confidence plummets during puberty, it decided to redefine what it mean to play like a girl. Now, it’s back with a new ad that destroys the gender biases people place on little girls and women.

In a survey conducted by the brand in 2015, 72 of the girls polled say they feel like society limits them. Always then created a video to bring those responses to life. In it, they asked girls the question: “Do we limit girls?” Their answers were heartbreaking.

‘It’s always like the boys who rescue the girls in stories.’

‘I quit trumpet, I quit wrestling, I quit basketball.’

Always then asked the girls to write the limitations they feel people put on girls on boxes.

Then, they had them destroy those boxes, just #likeagirl.

While destroying boxes feels good and sends a powerful message, the limits these girls wrote down are very real. And it’s a real problem.

Women outnumber men in school, but are less likely to make as much as their male counterparts doing the same job. They’re not encouraged to go into STEM fields and when they get there, they’re largely outnumbered by men. And when they do break in, the gender limitations (like shame for taking a maternity leave and not fitting in a bro culture among others) are so prominent, they’re pushed out.

Not only that, but mainstream media tells us that women have to look perfect and perfect is thin. And girls as young as 10 are worried about it.

Recognizing these girls’ limitations (or boxes) is the first step. But they need the rest of us to help seriously destroy them, for real, like a girl.

Because they deserve to be told they’re unstoppable from the start.

Check out the full ad below:

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young love

It was supposed to be the most memorable day of Justice Stamper’s life: her wedding day. High school sweethearts Jeremy and Justice Stamper had the wedding of their dreams on August 1, 2014. But only five weeks later, Justice was rear-ended in a terrible car accident that nearly took her life. Instead, it took her memories.

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“About a month after the accident, Justice finally told me… ‘I don’t want you to be mad… but I do not remember the wedding,'” Jeremy writes on the couple’s GoFundMe page. “I was heartbroken and instantly said I would do it all again for her.”

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“The Stamper Wedding Round 2,” as they’re calling it, is scheduled to take place on their one-year wedding anniversary. This version is sure to be just as perfect as the first. And this time around, they’re receiving an outpouring of love from around the country. In fact, their GoFundMe page has raised nearly $9,000 in donations in only one month.

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Many couples would view this event as a tragedy, but Jeremy and Justice are staying focused on their blessings. “God is such a blessing in everyone’s life whether you think so or not,” they say. “He has blessed us with so much and all we did was trust in Him.”

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As Russia faces a wave of selfie-related deaths, the government has stepped in with an instructional guidebook on for taking pictures of yourself without dying.

A 17-year-old girl died on St. Petersburg railroad tracks after trying to get a dramatic selfie. A woman was hospitalized in Moscow after posing with a security guard’s gun and causing it to go off. And a 21-year-old woman fell off a bridge while trying to capture an especially memorable picture of herself.

These and other incidents prompted Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs to release a formal guide to safe selfies.

“Your health is worth much more than a million likes on social media,” reads the headline of the page hosting the document.

Using images reminiscent of airline safety brochures, the guide elaborates on the merits of not taking a selfie from a moving boat or in front of dangerous wildlife. Of course, you shouldn’t wave a gun around or jump in front of a train while doing this, either.

Ministry of Internal Affairs RF

Ministry of Internal Affairs RF

Death isn’t all there is to be worried about here. There are other drawbacks to reckless selfie-ing.

Russian psychiatrists have suggested that a propensity for taking selfies might be a pathological addiction worthy of classification as a disease. They suggest that the “desire to constantly share pictures of yourself in the anticipation of attracting ‘likes’ from friends and admirers can lead to dependence and the necessity of psychiatric treatment.”

If our increasingly complex selfie sticks are any indication, the idea of taking gratuitous photos of oneself doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

H/T Mashable | Photo via Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs

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George Osborne
George Osborne will present an all-Conservative Budget for the first time

George Osborne will slow the pace of planned welfare cuts when he presents his Budget, the BBC understands.

The chancellor is expected to take three years instead of two to reach his £12bn target.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Osborne would unveil proposals on Wednesday for £8bn of cuts by 2017/8 and a further £4bn by 2018/9.

The first post-election Budget is also likely to cover Sunday trading, inheritance tax and social housing.

Mr Osborne is set to promise “bold” policies that will “secure Britain’s future”.

The Conservatives have pledged to eliminate the UK’s budget deficit by 2018.

A number of measures have already been revealed, including:

Mr Osborne will also announce that the annual amount given to recipients of the highest military and civilian honours for bravery, the Victoria Cross and George Cross, is going to be increased to £10,000 a year.

Recipients have traditionally received an annuity, which was worth £2,129 last year.

The cost of the annual, tax-free award will be met using £3m in banking fines levied by the Financial Conduct Authority, the chancellor said.

The Tories have not yet said where the bulk of the £12bn in welfare savings they have pledged to make will come from.

Tax credits are expected to be in the firing line, with David Cameron having promised to end the “ridiculous merry-go-round” of taxing low earners then handing them money back in benefits.

BBC Newsnight understands tax credits will be reduced for families with more than two children.

The measure, which would apply to new families coming into the system, would save £1.4bn.

Follow the Budget on the BBC

On Sunday, Mr Osborne said he had identified where the savings would be found.

Presenting the first all-Conservative Budget since 1996, he will say “the greatest mistake” the UK could make would be to “think all our problems are solved”.

“You only have to look at the crisis unfolding in Greece as I speak to realise that if a country’s not in control of its borrowing, the borrowing takes control of the country,” he will say.

Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman said the economy needed to be strengthened “but not at the expense of people being made worse off”.

She added: “The Conservatives should be thinking about the economy as a whole, and every corner of the country, not the Tory backbenchers and their fortunes.

“We don’t want to see political tactics; we want a focus on making the economy work for everyone.”

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