For those who are keen to keep fit but low on motivation, a personal trainer is often the best option. But the human version may not be the most effective.
Dog owners get more exercise walking their pet than someone with a gym membership, researchers have found. On average they exercise the animal twice a day for 24 minutes each time - a total of five hours and 38 minutes a week, a study for the pet healthcare experts Bob Martin found.
On top of that, the average owner takes their dog out on three long walks each week, adding a further two hours and 33 minutes to the total. Those without a dog spend an average of just one hour and 20 minutes a week exercising by going to the gym or heading out for a stroll or jog. Worse still, almost half - 47 per cent - of non-pet owners admit they do absolutely no exercise whatsoever.
A spokesman for Bob Martin said: 'A couple of short walks a day soon adds up and this research shows that it amounts to more time than people spend in the gym.'
The study of 5,000 Britons, including 3,000 dog owners, revealed that 57 per cent see walking the dog as their main form of exercise. More than three quarters say they would rather take their pooch for a hike than go to the gym.