Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Feet up with a cup of tea and browsing through a copy of 'Made’ magazine just after Christmas, I was contemplating how inactive I had become. I spotted a small piece on Nordic Walking. And that was exactly the inspiration I needed! I dusted off my poles, rang the number provided and before I knew it I had booked onto the first Nordic Walking session of the New Year.
The leader, Bryan, told me that a group of all ages and all abilities meets at Clumber Park every Friday morning. He said that there is an induction period for newcomers at 10.15am and that he and his wife Chris, could easily be spotted in the car park, boot up - with a variety of poles available to hire for just £1. Both Bryan and Chris are fully-qualified British Nordic Walking instructors and the sessions costs £5.
So what is Nordic Walking?
Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to enhance the walking experience. With a technique that is similar to the upper body action of classic, cross-country skiing, Nordic Walking becomes a genuine, whole-body exercise that can be enjoyed at many levels, from walking for health to athletic Nordic running!
What are the benefits of Nordic Walking?
Nordic Walking combines the simplicity and accessibility of walking with simultaneous core and upper body conditioning, similar to Nordic skiing. The result is a full-body workout, which means:
- 46% more calories burned, compared to walking without poles
- less tension in the neck and shoulders
- posture and gait is improved
- back and abdominal muscles are strengthened
- the impact on joints is reduced
And most importantly...
... because Nordic Walking doesn’t feel like hard work you’ll be happy to walk further and for longer.
I arrived at the appointed time, along with 3 or 4 other newbies. Chris talked us through some important pointers, demonstrating each one. Checked that we were all getting the hang of it correctly and watched as we eased ourselves into the experience of Nordic Walking. Before very long another 15 or so 'regulars’ had joined us and after a warm-up, we were off... doing it for real! However, by this time it had started to rain steadily and eventually it poured. But we were undeterred. A fifty minute walk through the woods later and we were back where we started for a 'stretch’.
Then, soggy but well-pleased and invigorated, the morning was rounded off with coffee in the Clumber Park Cafe.
Every session since has benefitted from sunshine and the wintry crispness we have had of late in the beautiful environment that is Clumber Park.
Acquaintances have been made with a shared desire to 'do something healthy’. But it’s not all about the exercise, there is the fresh air and who doesn’t love trees? We have quickly become a friendly group with lively banter and some giggles along the way - and there is always space for a few more.
You never know, it might be just what you are looking for.
Our thanks to 'North Notts Uncovered’ for another inspiring article and great images.
North Notts Uncovered helps us discover the wonderful 'gems’ that can be found in North Nottinghamshire.