Looking for your best friend?

Many folks nowadays are taking advantage of Internet dating, looking for love from the comfort and safety of their laptops. You’ve heard of FarmersOnly.com?

We put a lot of effort into finding our soulmates. But what if we took that much time to find our “soulpups”?

After all, dogs are traditionally known as our best friends. Our old-man golden-retriever, Walker, is most certainly a best friend and family member.

So why not spin the Internet dating craze to include our four-legged companions? PawsLikeMe.com contends that they’ve created an intelligent algorithm to perfectly match you with the dog of your dreams, and boasts that the matches are accurate an astonishing 90% of the time.

This matching system takes into account personality, lifestyle, and environmental factors when generating a score. The personality assessment is based on personality traits that influence the human-canine bond: energy, focus, confidence, and independence. In other words, if you don’t like a lot of activity, you probably shouldn’t choose a breed that requires a lot of exercise.

The team founded the company in response to the rising rate of unwanted pets in shelters nationwide that have to be euthanized. If people and pets were perfectly matched and happy together from the beginning, PawsLikeMe believes the incidence of shelter abandonment would drop significantly. So if you’ve been daydreaming about your dream pup, check out PawsLikeMe.

Next, they need a farm animal section. I’m pretty sure I’d match up with a Jersey!

Running Wild

I’m a runner. And it’s taken me a long time to say that out loud. What motivated me to finally say it? Well, running is good for you.

Photo Feb 16, 4 47 34 PM

My first running shoes that I actually ran in.

Running regularly improves your health immensely, from increasing bone mass and helping prevent age-related bone loss to keeping your mind sharp as you age. It can prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Running makes you a happier person by releasing those feel-good chemicals known as endorphins, thus protecting you from anxiety and depression. Although I’m super slow (so slow some can walk alongside me), running has made a huge difference in my life.

Photo Feb 16, 4 47 04 PM

Me and my brother after my first half marathon.

One of the comments I hear most often when I talk about running is this: “I’m so out of shape, I’ll never be able to run.” That is simply not true. In my humble opinion, all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes, a little motivation, and the ability to start slow. I would say the last item on that list is the most important.

Turns out, the team at Couch25K agrees with me. This company designed an app that accompanies you every step of the way in a bid for your very own 5K (that’s 3.1 miles!). The designers made it for folks who want to approach running, but want to be somewhat comfortable and in control while doing it. They say the biggest mistake made by new runners is going at it too fast. Their bodies rebel and they wind up miserable. The Couch25K program conditions you slowly over a period of nine weeks, but you can vary that pace to accommodate your own fitness needs. Each session lasts 20-30 minutes, which is the recommended length of time to gain benefits from moderate exercise. You can choose to measure your progress by time or distance, and you can set up the program in a metric version, a treadmill version, even a Poochto5K option, which is all about improving the health of our canine friends. There’s a running forum where you can connect with like-minded souls online, and lots and lots of resources are available on their website.

If you decide to jump in, please keep me posted. Have fun!