Pets and owners benefiting from pioneering fitness classes

A ‘doggy fitness’ revolution is taking off in south west London.

Power Paws Fitness, launched in October on Wandsworth Common, combines getting fit and exercising your dog into one class.

Duo Klara Bilsland, 36, and personal trainer Amber Chichester, 32, have brought the concept to England after meeting in a shop last year.

Klara said: “A lot of people don’t have enough time to walk their dog and then go to fitness. They do one or the other, or they do both a bit short and then feel guilty.

“We want to let people know that keeping active isn’t that hard and especially for people who have a dog as you can combine the two.

“The classes are a perfect combination of the two plus it’s been proven with research that people live longer and healthier when they have dogs.

“We want everyone to join our doggy fitness revolution.”

The concept has proved hugely popular across the pond where businesses such as K9 Fit Club charge up to $20 a session.

Power Paws Fitness classes cost £10 and have up to eight people in each one, meaning there are normally about five dogs attending too.

The classes are the second of their kind in the capital and the pair hope to expand their business across London.

Klara added: “We started off with one class a week and the advertising was us wandering round with flyers.

“We took inspiration from fitness classes with babies, and thought why can’t you a fitness class with your dog.

“At a baby class you bring you baby along, but being able to bring your dog along gives the class longevity because a dog is going to be there with you for 12-15 years, whereas a baby will grow out of it quite quickly.”

The start-up has quickly moved from one session a week on Wandsworth Common to two and classes are starting soon on Tooting Common.

Both dog owners and dog lovers are welcome, and the pups can join in with the high intensity interval training (HIIT) or playing with other doggy companions.

Amber and Klara have designed the classes to be less about getting military fit and instead they focuses on well being and happiness while you shape and tone up alongside your canine companion.

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