A few years back I came across an article in our local paper of something called Nordic Walking. I had tried a gym to keep fit but found it not my cup of tea.
There were free taster sessions available and so I went along with a friend, who was also a landlady.
At the first “Taster” session you meet a qualified leader who teaches you the advantages of walking with poles and how important the correct technique is to get the best benefits from this form of exercise.
I think from here on I was hooked and so pleased I no longer needed the gym for keeping fit! Why? Well for me there are so many benefits that far outweighed the four boring walls of a gym.
Improved Health & Wellbeing:
You’re giving your body such a good all over workout without even realising it.
When using poles your upper body is working together in harmony with your lower body. You begin and end each walk with stretching exercises led by a walk leader who gets to know everyone and is keyed in to everyone’s individual abilities.
For the Fylde coast we are so lucky to have Bart as our leader who is so enthusiastic and experienced and with his support leaders wife Ewa and colleague Nichola you are always in safe hands: www.stepping-out.org.uk
Learning Something New:
Next step was a “Learn to” course – four sessions where you really learn how to use your poles in the correct way for maximum benefit whether you want to aim for your own fitness goals, use them for speed walking, enter competitions or like me just for fun!
At the end of the four sessions you receive your Freedom card, which can be used to walk with any group in the UK or abroad. It demonstrates you’re aware of the Nordic technique.
It’s Wonderfully Social:
At organised groups you get chatting, there’s no racing involved as you each walk with your fellow walkers at your own pace.
When you walk with organised groups there’s such a friendly vibe and back at base there’s always a café for refreshments and more conversation.
There are often other activities organised so walking becomes a social group you’ve joined too with theatre trips, cinema outings, meals, Christmas parties etc. Some members have organised Nordic walking holidays in Europe.
The Great Outdoors:
Whilst the gains of the Nordic walking on my posture, my joints and overall health, is so brilliant there’s something even more wonderful for me and that’s being outdoors in the fresh air.
There is nothing better than having the good fortune to take advantage of the choices on our doorstep. To be able to walk along the promenade, around Fairhaven Lake, through Lytham Hall grounds or along our wonderful beach.
So much wildlife to see, the changes in the seasons, with all it’s different elements from spring bulbs to watching cloud formations across the sea to a glorious sunny day and even in more inclement weather you still feel great.
Now I talk to everyone and tell them they should try it and have ‘converted’ two other landladies! Whilst the organised groups are many they may not always be at suitable times for us so we meet and walk together.
As we walk we often draw stares and see people perplexed at what we’re doing with these poles. I’ve lost count of the comments “Where’s the snow?” But I rise up and feel proud that I’m exercising in the great outdoors and feeling great. It helps to clear your head too. We all feel pressures in our daily lives but while you’re out enjoying your walk you’re re charging your brain and are able to come back revitalised for your work.
For more information visit Nordic Walking UK and find a group near where you live. When you have your Freedom Card come stay at The Claremont, bring your poles and I can recommend my local group with sessions each day to enjoy Nordic in and around St Anne’s.
We can even take group bookings and Bart will be happy to lead you all.