Bristol Nordic Walking now runs two dedicated classes on the Downs for people with Parkinson’s. We also run a Nordic walking class for people with cancer. Nordic walking is an excellent form of physical activity for both Parkinson’s and cancer. Here’s why:
Nordic walking for people with Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s affects the part of the brain that controls movement. It results in aching, stiffness and rigidity, in both muscles and joints. Walking with small shuffling steps is common as is tiredness and depression.
As all of us Nordic walkers know, Nordic walking mobilises the whole body. This helps to ease stiff and sore joints and strengthens muscles. It also focuses on being active with your feet, standing tall and moving with good posture. All of which helps to lengthen stride and strengthen the abdominal core - which makes walking easier. As an aerobic exercises, it releases endorphins helping you to feel better. The icing on the cake is that we walk outside, in a beautiful part of Bristol, with great company and a lot of laughter!
I was interested to read The Parkinson’s Disease Society’s booklet Keeping Moving: Exercise and Parkinson’s. Below is direct extract. You would be forgiven if you thought it was a description of Nordic walking:
“The purpose of these exercises is primarily to work on your posture and balance by improving the connection between your mind and your body when you move. The emphasis is on rotational movements (as used in activities such as turning in bed, looking around, walking etc) and on keeping your posture erect during activities so that you are better balanced when you move.”
If you would like to know more about our Parkinson’s classes please email us or call Ros on 07886 885213. We'll give you all the information you need.
Why Nordic walking is good for cancer re-hab
The treatment for cancer frequently leaves people utterly exhausted with a feeling that their energy is just so low that they lack the strength to exercise. However, exercise is key – both in helping increase energy and also to protect against future cancers. There is evidence to show that exercise is particularly important in reducing your risk of bowel and breast cancer.
The beauty of Nordic walking is that the poles act as support (they’re two walking sticks after all!) and can really help empower you to get out and be active – from the point of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. The whole body nature of it improves circulation and makes it an excellent weight bearing activity for those worried about osteoporosis (Nordic walking uses 90% of your muscles).
Many people with breast cancer have the lymph nodes under the armpit partially or entirely removed during surgery. This has a knock on effect on the lymphatic system and people often end up with lymphedema. The pendulum swing in the Nordic walking technique helps drain the lymph. It also increases the blood flow to the whole shoulder and chest area, helping healing.
We run a dedicated cancer class at Penny Brohn Cancer Care every Tuesday at 2pm. You do not need to know how to Nordic walk to join this class – just come and enjoy being outside in the beautiful grounds at Penny Brohn within a supported group environment. For more information email us or contact Penny Brohn direct.
This week we celebrate another great year for all of us at Bristol Nordic Walking with our Christmas party. Thanks in advance for all the delicious food you've offered to bring and look forward to seeing you there!