If someone had said to me 10 years ago that I would be a Nordic Walking Instructor in my 60s, I would have laughed at them.
But yet here I am, 63 years young, with a qualification in just that. So many of my friends have asked me - 'what is Nordic Walking and why do you like it so much?'
Nordic Walking isn’t as new as people would like to think. It originates from Finland. Most Finnish people will ski to work. However, in the warmer months when the snow has melted, they need something to keep them active and so Nordic Walking was born!
Using ski poles - which should be held at a 45 degree angle - you push into the ground with the bottom of the poles (the paws, which are sloped) and this helps propel you forward, working the top half of your body. It is said that you exercise 90 per cent more of your body walking this way compared to walking without sticks.
I was like so many people of my age – looking for something new and interesting to try that wasn't too taxing on my poor knees!
I joined a year ago and I haven’t looked back since. I am now a qualified Nordic Walking Instructor which means I lead groups of walkers (young and old) across the wonderful Worcestershire countryside. Myself and my fellow instructors walk across Redditch, Droitwich, Ombersley and Worcester (to name but a few).
There isn't really an average age for the people who join in with the walks. One thing that we do have in common is that we all enjoy a good laugh!
The social benefits of Nordic Walking are just as important as the positive impact on health. We laugh and talk as we go along and we always end up at a café or a pub at the end. It's great if you want to find friends or just as beneficial if you are living on your own and want to be part of a group of friendly people.
If you are interested in joining us then visit our website to find a walking route nearest you. There are four lots of one hour training sessions that new walkers have to undertake but this isn't as scary as it sounds! It's simply to ensure that walkers use the poles correctly, get an understanding of how we work and to get a general feel of what Nordic Walking is all about.
Did you know Nordic Walking burns up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking ?
And Did You Know in some countries such as Holland, Austria and Germany it is now so popular it is regarded as a mainstream activity?