I don't love exercise! No secret about that although I do still do it. I do enjoy walking though. But I tend to be a fair weather walker - well rain makes my hair go frizzy and the dogs get so wet and muddy.
But I was recently invited to join a Nordic Walking Class with Claire Winter which also happened to coincide with National Walking Month.
I used to get involved with the Walk to School initiative - many moons ago when my children were at primary school, I was the School Travel Co-Ordinator. It was fun and as we lived a distance away from school, necessitating a car journey, we would 'park and walk' the last bit which was good for us and reduced congestion around the school gates. I was also delighted to help with fundraising and secured the purchase of a wet weather shelter and I loved doing 'scooter training' with the younger years!!
So on Friday I joined Claire and ten other lovely ladies near Pinkney's Green at Maidenhead. The area is stunning - it's National Trust owned and very pretty, there were lots of wild flowers and bluebells. It was easy to get to and easy to park.
What is Nordic Walking - well it is just like normal walking except you use two poles to help propel you along. It is a full body exercise and was originally devised by cross country skiers who used it for their summer training. It can be as gentle or as challenging as you wish.
We started off by doing a quick stretch to warm up. Claire then showed the new ladies how to use the poles, how to hold them and how to walk with them so you get the maximum calorie burn. All very important! Apparently Nordic Walking burns more calories per hour than running and it's low impact. That sold it to me. I really don't 'get' running. I have done it in the past but it just doesn't interest me.
I had to find out more about the benefits of Nordic Walking then. I looked it up on the British Nordic Walking website. Here is what they say about the benefits:
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 that you:
After our warm up and initial instruction we set off properly. It was a beautiful morning and I especially enjoyed meeting the other ladies in the group and chatting as we walked. It makes it seem less like exercise and more like just a nice social thing to do.
And that brings me back to my new interview series - Embracing Life (in Midlife) - there are so many successful, inspirational and amazing women out there. I met two that morning, juggling family life, studying, running businesses etc but doing a fantastic job.
We passed through the bluebell woods, stopped for the all important blog photos and a drink of water. The whole walk took an hour and I did about 7,000 steps!
At the end there is a cool down stretch and that's it. Claire provides the poles but you can buy your own of course. Once you learn how to do Nordic Walking you can practice yourself whenever suits you. I liked joining the class though as it makes you go. It is easy to find an excuse without the accountability of booking in and meeting others.
Claire charges £8 for the one hour class/walk and you can find out more details on her website - Stealth Health, she offers two walks a week, Monday or Friday morning. Or if you do not live near Maidenhead then go to the British Nordic Walking website and you will find a directory of qualified instructors and classes near you.
Let me know if you have ever tried Nordic Walking or if you fancy giving it a go now? I'd love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: Claire did not charge me to attend this trial class but I was under no obligation to write a review, the opinions are entirely my own.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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