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Why you should make canicross your New Year’s resolution

Some of the many reasons why we love running with dogs

Well, we’re in a New Year again and let’s face it, most of us like the idea of a clean slate and a fresh start to improve our lives a little bit more for the next year and hopefully continue this into a healthy habit. When it comes to our dogs, we always want the best for them and it can be difficult to determine what is going to make them happy and keep them healthiest to give them the longest active lives we can. At K9 Trail Time our motto has always been that active dogs are happy dogs and so for us it’s a no-brainer to combine our physical activity with that of our dogs, to build a bond between us and do something together which benefits everyone.

If you’ve thought about running with your dog but something is holding you back, have a read of our top reasons why you should make canicross your New Year’s resolution this year.

Running with your dog gives you a reason to get out

Canicross gives people a purpose, it’s often hard to be motivated to exercise being stuck at home but if it means getting your dog out too, then it will be worthwhile. Dogs can be fantastic motivators and having to get out every day for their well-being, means you’re getting your daily dose of endorphins too. It’s been proven that people are more successful in keeping their resolutions if they have some form of accountability and what could make you more accountable than seeing your dog’s excitement when you’re getting ready to run.

Running with your dog is safer

Having company on your daily exercise, can not only make you feel more motivated, as mentioned above, but it can also be safer if you have a four-legged friend to accompany you whilst running. This is particularly important if you are running through the winter months when it’s darker outside and the trails are more empty.

Photo courtesy of Lucy Duvall Images

Running with your dog can link you to a social network

Many people choose to start their canicross journey with a group and this can bring you a whole new network of friends who can encourage and motivate you to keep going with your running to make sure you don’t give up on your resolution. I am part of numerous social groups throughout the time I have been canicrossing and every single group I’ve been out with has welcomed anyone new with open arms and people have made lifelong friendships through the sport.

Running with your dog is relatively cheap as far as a new sport goes

If you think about the cost of a gym membership, paid exercise classes, and training lessons for any sport you will find that not only do you need all the equipment and clothing to be able to participate but you also have the cost of the training on top. Whilst there are canicross coaches available for those who want to get started in a structured way, all you really need to get going is your clothing, a decent sport-specific dog harness, bungee line, and belt. A starter kit will set you back anything from around £80 – £180 but if that’s all your initial outlay that’s cheaper than many other outdoor activities, you wouldn’t get a decent bike for anything like that price to start cycling for example!

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Running with your dog can keep you both fit and healthy for longer

The physical benefits of canicross are many but it is estimated that as many as one-third of dogs nationwide are overweight with this figure set to rise to over half of all dogs. Obesity is linked with diabetes, orthopedic disease, heart disease, respiratory distress, high blood pressure, skin diseases & cancer (much the same as in people) so you might even be prolonging your own life as well as your dogs’ with consistent exercise.

Running with your dog is good for the mental health of both you and your dog

Exercise helps release serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happy and calm, and it does the same for your dog too. Scientists have also demonstrated that physical activity can improve the brain’s ability to change and this cerebral flexibility has been seen to be higher among people who are mentally healthy, so it makes sense that this would also translate to our dogs.

So are you convinced to try canicross yet?

If you’ve been convinced that you want to have a go at running with your dog, we have a number of resources to help get you started, the first being our blog which has hundreds of articles starting with how to choose your equipment and taking you all the way to racing with your dog if you find you get hooked!

We truly believe that canicross has been a life-changing experience for us and many, many people in our network, so if you’re thinking of making a New Year’s resolution, make it one that will benefit you and your dog, giving you something that will keep you both fitter and healthier and having each other to keep the motivation for it going throughout the year.

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