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Dogs are great for stress, but husbands? Not so much. Here's what to know about this week's health headlines.

Can playing with a dog make you feel less stressed? What to know.
Can playing with a dog make you feel less stressed? What to know. (Getty Creative)

Welcome to your weekly check-in on the latest health news you might have missed. This week marked the fourth anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic beginning of the U.S. Women who have gone through IVF are continuing to speak out about crackdowns on fertility treatments. And new research casts doubt on some of the wellness claims associated with the Wim Hof Method and cold therapy (even though you might have just seen actor Josh Brolin do a cold plunge during his Saturday Night Live monologue last weekend).

Keep reading for a rundown of the new health findings that might impact your own well-being. Should you order that lavender latte? Is it worth spending more time with Fido? Are you getting enough exercise? Here's what to know.

🐶 Want to reduce stress? Play with a dog.

There's a good reason why a dog is man’s best friend. A new study from Konkuk University in South Korea has found that spending time with pups can help reduce stress and improve concentration. The researchers had 30 adults interact with well-trained dogs in various activities, all while measuring brain activity using electroencephalography. The results? Activities like playing and walking the dogs increased relaxation, while tasks like grooming boosted concentration. As far as mood, the participants also reported feeling less tired, sad and stressed after interacting with the dogs. All the more reason to find your own Fido to snuggle with!

💑 Women may be more impacted by their partner’s stress.

In a new study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers looked at data from more than 2,000 elderly couples in order to see how stress affected the pair's health over time. While the researchers found that stress levels in married couples are interconnected, the impact of marital stress on physiological markers of stress differed between men and women. Women tended to display more negative physiological markers of stress than their male partners (also known as “allostatic load”), suggesting that women's health may be more affected by a spouse's stress levels in long-term relationships.

💪 Are people in your state getting enough exercise?

New research, which was gathered from Apple Watch data, reveals that not enough people in the United States are getting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 150 minutes of recommended aerobic exercise per week. These results varied greatly across different states. Residents of Massachusetts were the most likely to hit their exercise goals, with more than 67% of people in the study meeting the recommendations, followed by New York, Connecticut and California. Meanwhile, people living in Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and West Virginia were the least likely to hit their target goals. As a reminder, a 30-minute walk five days a week is all you need to achieve your aerobic exercise target — and bonus points if you can add two days of strength training in between.

🫀 Women may be more likely to develop heart issues from depression.

Depression is linked to heart problems, and a recent study from the American College of Cardiology has found that women are more likely than men to experience heart-related issues after being diagnosed. While it’s unclear why this is the case, researchers suggest that women may be more likely to have depression during periods of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause, as well as experience longer or more intense symptoms of depression overall. Mainly, the study’s authors hope the findings allow people with depression to be better assessed for heart issues.

Should you try a lavender latte?

Starbucks just rolled out its Iced Lavender Oat Milk Latte, but are there any health benefits to drinking the plant? Maybe … but probably not in your morning coffee. While research shows that inhaling lavender scent may reduce stress, promote better sleep and even help lower blood pressure, experts tell Yahoo Life that the stimulating effects of coffee’s caffeine likely outweigh any of these benefits. If you want to enjoy the relaxation benefits of lavender, try a naturally caffeine-free lavender tea before bed instead.