Having a dog means having to go for walks. This can be a drag. It can also be a great way of making sure to get some exercise. Maybe even a lot of exercise.
It's almost enough to make you go out and get a dog. Almost.
But if you already have a dog, or if you have been thinking about getting one, you've got yourself a gold mine in the exercise department. This could be like having your own canine coach to get you up off the couch and moving.
See how excited your dog is when he thinks you're going to go out together? That's the winning attitude. Catch it if you can. Get into the spirit of the thing, and prance down the street with your pup.
If you go out walking with your human best friend, things can fall apart from time to time if either of you decide to skip it for the day.
But the truth to the saying that a dog is a (hu)man's best friend stands out when it's referring to the daily -- or multiple times per day -- walk.
They have to go. And a well-trained dog really doesn't want to go in the house.
Your sad face will not deter your doggie's readiness and drive. Your excuses and pleading will fall on deaf ears. While you're talking, your four-legged companion is straining toward the front door.
So put on your shoes. Pick up that leash.
Make your dog insanely happy and head out into the sunshine. Or rain. Or snow.
Seriously, your dog does not care about the weather. If you're smart, neither will you. Because hitting the bricks is inevitable.
Your legs, butt, lungs and heart will thank you. And whether you do or not, these organs and muscles will thank your dog for being forced to do what's good for you.
Want some stats on this? Research out of Michigan State University found that of the people who walk their dogs regularly, 60 percent were getting vigorous or at least moderate exercise.
Those walking their dogs were compelled to walk about half an hour a day, for five days a week or more. On the other hand, two-thirds of the participants who did not have dogs to lead the way got less regular exercise.