If this is your first visit to our website you may well be looking to see whether Nordic walking is for you. Also what we offer here at Bristol Nordic Walking.
What is Nordic walking?
Nordic walking is a very simple concept. It uses two specially designed poles to engage your upper body as you walk and help accelerate you forwards. As you might expect from something that has evolved out of cross country skiing, it is an exceptionally efficient and effective form of exercise. Here’s a few reasons why:
- It is based on your natural walking pattern and you will notice that this becomes stronger and more dynamic once you’ve started Nordic walking.
- It gets your heart rate up and is energy thirsty (with the correct technique you can burn up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking) but because the effort is distributed between your upper and lower body it feels remarkably easy.
- It is a whole-body weight bearing activity, using 90% of your muscles. So it strengthens and tones your entire frame as you walk, with particular emphasis on your postural muscles, supporting your back and taking the strain off your lower body.
Why do our walkers enjoy it so much?
Notwithstanding the above, they key pleasure for most of our walkers is that they are exercising outside in an around Bristol (we walk from six different venues) with likeminded people. It’s sociable and in beautiful surroundings so as well as toning your body it will almost certainly uplift your mood. You can come along not knowing a single person and you will probably end up making good friends. Here are some comments given by our walkers just before Christmas:
“It is the only exercise I am still doing after 6 months and I have signed up for many gym memberships in my time!”
“It's a wonderful way for me to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery Bristol has to offer. The fact I get a full body work-out whilst doing so is an added bonus! It gets me outdoors when often I'd otherwise be tempted to stay home because of aches and pains which get in the way of exercise and socialising. I absolutely always feel better after a Nordic walk, both physically and mentally.”
“Fat unfit and 50+ in January, started Nordic Walking - toned up, happier, fitter and have new chums, the only thing I have stuck at - who needs a gym!”
“Nordic walking is the most brilliant form of exercise and also helps in mental well being, in great company and of course in fresh air. The best thing I've ever done. “
What do we offer at Bristol Nordic Walking?
Our aim at Bristol Nordic Walking is to be a Nordic walking centre of excellence which improves people’s fitness whilst being engaging, informative and fun. We have a team of seven Nordic walking instructors and run nearly thirty hour-long fitness classes throughout the week from the Downs, Blaise, Ashton Court, Oldbury Court and Nailsea. We also run a very popular two-hour stamina walk from Leigh Woods every Saturday. All our walks are structured to include a warm up, technique development, fitness component and stretches. Some of our classes add additional exercises to boost muscle strength and tone and push your fitness that bit further. Others are geared specifically for people with cancer or those with Parkinsons. We also run a 40 minute slower class for walkers who want to take things more gently.
As for being informative and fun, we write weekly blogs on Nordic walking technique and general health and fitness, send out weekly newsletters and put on all sorts of additional walks, socials and events. Take a look at the Nordic walking magazine we produced last year and the crazy video my colleague Ros made for our Christmas social and you will get the flavour of our club. But best of all, just come along and try it out. It only costs £15 for a Beginner Workshop introducing you to the basic Nordic walking technique. It might not be for you – but you won’t know until you try it.
On that note, I’ll leave you with a final comment from one of our walkers: “It's wonderful to have found an exercise that I can do for the rest of my life that has provided so many benefits and also a fabulous set of new friends. My upper body strength is no longer in decline, my arms are fit to be on view, resting pulse nice & low and stamina vastly improved.”
Here’s to a fit, fun and fabulous 2017.