I became a Nordic walking instructor quite simply because I love being outdoors and I also love activities where you get to hang out with your friends, have a catch up and share an experience while you are doing some good for your body.
Once you overcome any initial fears of looking silly while walking with the poles (I like to imagine I’m cross-country skiing – from which the style is derived), you find that you become a proud Nordic Walker with great posture, walking miles with ease.
If you’ve been thinking about giving it a go, you really should and here is why:
- Anyone can try Nordic Walking
Nordic walking takes only a little more effort than normal walking. The poles both propel you forward and help to train the muscles in your upper body and back, yet they are also a useful stabiliser. Nordic Walking is great for improving fitness as it is accessible to all, but it is also useful as a method of cross training for people who enjoy a wide range of activities.
It takes just takes a couple of sessions to learn the technique with an instructor and then you can join in with any guided walks or buy your own set of poles so that you can enjoy Nordic Walking along your own routes.
- Helps improve posture and reduce back pain
Nordic Walking is particularly great for people who have jobs that involve sitting for most of the day and for those who care for children and so spend a lot of time doing forward facing activities that can shorten chest muscles and cause a rounded effect through the shoulders. Nordic Walking exercises a full range of large and small muscles throughout the back in a way that balances and strengthens those muscles.
- It is a great alternative to running
You can Nordic walk in a range of styles. You can vary the route, pace and incline making it a great activity for cross training. Using poles distributes your weight more evenly throughout the body and can reduce pressure on the lower body and knees. This is particularly great if you find running uncomfortable or if you have an ongoing injury that prevents you from running.
- Reduces stress
Any regular exercise will result in an increase in endorphins that will improve your buzz. But because you are outside, the fresh air, the colours of the landscape, the light and the act of looking long distance will help to reduce stress and make you feel energised.
- Ideal for pregnancy and beyond
Because of the poles, Nordic walking is great for pregnancy – pre and post-natal. The poles add stability which is perfect at a time when the ligaments between muscles are more flexible than usual, and as above, Nordic Walking will improve posture which will help with confidence. You can also Nordic walk while your baby can be held in a carrier.
To find a Nordic Walking instructor, simply go to the Nordic Walking UK website where you can search for qualified instructors in your area. Click here for the latest Beginners Nordic Walking course dates or arrange a bespoke introductory Nordic Walking lesson by contacting Nathalie at: firstname.lastname@example.org