This is another great article about the health benefits of owning a dog: Forget the Treadmill. Get a Dog.
Apparently, a dog is a greater motivator for people to go for a walk than another person can be.
The article refers to recent research at Michigan State University. "Among dog owners who took their pets for regular walks, 60 percent met federal criteria for regular moderate or vigorous exercise. Nearly half of dog walkers exercised an average of 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. By comparison, only about a third of those without dogs got that much regular exercise."
I may just be buying a dog for some of my loved ones. Because I know you would actually walk the dog. Yes, yes. You know who you are.