What are the benefits of Canicross and Nordic walking?


Janine now shares her passion of Nordic walking and dogs by introducing canicross to our Nordic Walking Program. Some of you will already have met either Tag and Annie, two of her dogs that join some of our walks.

This opens up your world to endless opportunities to get out with your dog to not only get fitter but explore and walk out in new places when you are on holiday or with friends and family. The best part is that you are hands free (essential for the poles!!) and no longer have your arm wrenched out of the shoulder socket if you have an enthusiastic mutt keen to get out for their walk! We call it Pawdic walking, when we have combined the two activities.

Nordic walking is a technical fitness walk that minimises impact on the joints, increased your calorie burn to 40-77% and you effectively use 90% of your muscles. Why would you not want to turbo charge your ordinary dog walk with this exhilarating technique? You are toning up, reshaping and getting fitter whilst exercising your best friend and not adding to life’s pressures about fitting in a trip to the gym (or wasting the membership fee!). You are strengthening your core which improves your posture and melts away related issues. There are the many benefits of exercising outside and releasing those endorphins which is a fantastic way to start the day and receive the stresses of your day, in the evening. Your body is more thankful too as it minimises postural imbalances when your dog is pulling you from your centre of gravity. You wear a harness that absorbs the impact and doesn’t topple you.

Some dogs do have a variety of added issues such as being reactive, or have poor recall or pull too hard. Canicross helps you overcome and work with a variety of these.

There are benefits on many levels for both you and your dog, including:

  • improved health and fitness.
  • more energy, better sleep.
  • slows the aging process, live longer (a lean dog lives, on average, up to two years longer than an overweight dog).
  • healthy appetite.
  • more responsive with commands and other training (agility, obedience, etc).
  • less aggressive (good for socialisation).
  • less destructive (relieves boredom).
  • relaxed owners who have dogs with selective hearing.

We hold monthly K9 Induction sessions specifically for owners and their dogs to have a go at our unique Canicross sessions which we call Pawdic walking. You both get to try on the harnesses; this is perfect as you get to try before you buy. I also go through the code of conduct and etiquette. This helps to reduce the number of issues and makes our sessions focused on fun and is relaxing for everyone.. All dogs must have 3rd party insurance so this is confirmed too. To participate in any of our Nordic walking sessions, owners must complete a separate Nordic walking Beginner Course, either as a 4 week or 2 hour session, or have their Freedom Passport. These are shown on the activity diary and can be easily booked on to. If there is not a compatible K9 Induction session just speak Janine to arrange a private session either by calling her on 07792 550191 or emailing janine@3jfitness.co.uk.

I don’t take Annie or Tag to the taster sessions, as I like to meet the owner and their dog and assess their partnership and the dog’s personality first. Taking Annie and Tag often confuses other dogs and also if there are behaviour issues, she adds to the consequences!

The K9 Induction session is not just about trying the kit but also learning what canicross is AND how it feels. Words can not convey the energy, the brain fizz and the exhilaration of the partnership. It’s not as easy at is looks either.

Janine will talk you through the initial novice phase, demonstrating how commands are used, anticipating how to put in commands, help the dog understand who is in control, control the speed and most importantly, teach you how to move, especially if you are new to moving faster. She will demonstrate how to put in the commands to teach your dog the manners to allow other dogs to be close by and avoid or minimising sniffing and scenting . It also helps your dog to relax and understand their space will not be invaded and that they are safe, which is important if you have a reactive dog

For those that wish to canicross without poles, she run a separate group called Pawfitness. She can teach a low impact style of running similar to barefoot and chi running. This helps you to run with positive posture and foot strike t

hus avoiding the typical runner injuries or lower back, hamstring and calf issues. She will pace you through a couch to 5km program slowly building up your strength, endurance and core stability.

We currently have dog friendly walks on Wednesday morning, Friday morning and Saturday morning. Members can only join in with their dogs if they have attended the K9 Induction sessions AND have the appropriate harnesses and line.

Related blogs to read:

What is Pawdic Walking?

11 Top Pawdic walking tips.

Annie shares her K9 canicross story.

Perfect Posture Prevents Pain.