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Walk the dog to a healthier you

No time for the gym? No problem. If you have a dog and a leash, you have the perfect fitness partner standing ready and waiting anytime you feel motivated to get up and move. Whether your New Year's resolution is to lose some weight or just feel more toned and less sluggish, a walk, jog or run with your best friend may be just the ticket to a fitter you.

Need a quick workout? All you need is your dog, a leash and some quality time.
Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Check out this super short video for some helpful tips for how to make your dog a regular part of your fitness routine.

As any dog trainer will attest, walking your dog is one of the most effective things you can do to establish your position as alpha dog or pack leader. It also provides an ideal avenue for spending quality time apart from the distractions of work and everyday activities. At the very least, you will be making your dog incredibly happy. And you might find yourself closer to your 2014 fitness goals than you'd expected.

If your dog pulls on the leash and generally makes walking miserable, the ASPCA has several tips for teaching your dog to walk nicely on a leash. Personal experience has proven their "collar correction" method most effective, but all are viable options for teaching this essential skill.

Wherever you find yourself, now may be the perfect time to dig out the leash and hit the pavement.