Testimonials – what Nordic Walking has done for me!

My name us Kathy Townsend and I saw an article in The Redditch Standard one day about a woman who has improved her health and wellbeing by taking up the relatively new sport of Nordic walking.
I am writing to you as I feel that more people need to understand what this amazing activity can do for you.

I am writing as I would really like you to feature my story, to inspire people to become more active.
I joined Mercian Nordic Walking in Bromsgrove 2 months ago.  (Please see my before photo attached.)

I have lost 7lb in weight and 10inches in total of body mass since I joined the group.
(Please see my “now” picture) 
I joined the group as it promised to be “all inclusive” and all I needed to be was fit to walk. I’d taken on a gym membership that I’d lost confidence to go to due to the embarrassment of my size. I love the fact I exercise in walking boots and trousers not Lycra

I have walked and exercised twice a week with the instructor Ian and have taken advantage of the numerous walks all over our beautiful countryside.
I have never found an exercise activity that I have really enjoyed, but this I’m loving. I have completed my “learn to Nordic walk”and my “fit  for life course” and regularly take part in muscle strength and endurance classes too. The walks range from easy to very hard so you can choose your own level once you have completed the above courses
Nordic walking might look a bit strange but the poles offer upper body resistance thereby working 90% of your muscles.  It has, quite simply, changed my life.

I feel fitter, healthier and have more energy, all achieved by going for a purposeful walk.
I hope that i can be an inspiration to others.

I made the conscious decision to start getting fit, in the summer to enable me to carry on outdoor exercising in the winter as I suffer with seasonal affective disorder, the winter depression.I also work night shifts as a nurse and then I became aware of “green prescription advice” for this very reason. I am proof that it works!

Kathy Townsend

 

 

JOIN OUR TEAM – Sponsored Instructor training available in some areas

training courseNordic Walking UK are determined to make Quality Nordic Walking sessions available to all ages and abilities at times that suit them in locations right across the UK. It’s a big dream but with your help we WILL do it! We need more motivated Individuals to help us fill in the gaps in the areas where no walks and classes are currently available on our amazing on line search & book facility. This portal was visited by over 10,000 people in 36 hours following our coverage on BBC Breakfast and demand has been growing steadily ever since!

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Whether you want to offer a couple of classes a week or fancy a complete career change and a new exciting business venture –  we can offer the training and support that you need and help you to build a programme that fits into your lifestyle. In some areas, we are so in need of good motivated Instructors we are also keen to provide sponsored training for the RIGHT people to represent our brand and deliver our programmes.
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No previous experience is necessary as our new DIPLOMA will ensure you learn how to teach technique, deliver motivating classes, manage the admin & finance, promote effectively and GROW a local NWUK programme with support from our team.

It really is a ‘new beginning in a box’ and to help you appreciate the opportunities we are happy to invite you to one of our DISCOVERY DAYS to chat through your ideas and meet our experts plus other Instructors who have been through the training and can answer your questions. These days are FREE and will give you the option to try NW too. Dates right across the UK see below for more info.

COMMUNITY PROGRAMMES

Those looking to develop Community programmes or sessions for specific groups are also welcome to come and meet our team to find out more or to visit our academy website to see how we can tailor make training packages that work for your project see Bespoke Training Programmes.

EXISTING INSTRUCTORS WHO WANT TO UPSKILL

We are also keen to meet up with Instructors who maybe trained a while ago and are looking to be part of our motivated team who deliver the FREEDOM Programme – gain the new Diploma, get lots of support and benefit from national promotion and being part of the most exciting activity club in the UK!

 

Call 0333 1234 540 for more information about a DISCOVERY DAY near you or e mail Lindsay@nordicwalking.co.uk 

Download a Brochure HERE Visit ACADEMY website HERE

 

See what our Instructors say about our training, our systems and our support! –

 

“Just to update you, all seems to be going well with my launch. I had 15 people on my first taster, 8 on my second and I have 8 tomorrow and my conversion rate is really pleasing – 12 from the first session. I am sure the booking system really helps, I am so pleased with it.”

“Yesterday I had a 9:15am walk with 15 on it (only because 3 cancelled last minute due to illness and a leaky sink, and my 5 walk leaders were on First Aid training). 10:30 a Fast-track Learn To with 12 on it. Then 12:15 a Taster with 14 (due to some turning up unannounced). My Leader also had a walk with 12 on it…so on the FIRST Saturday of 2017 we had 53 people Nordic walking in our local park. Phenomenal start to the year!”

“Through the online booking system I’ve had well over 100 emails forwarded to my private email in the last FOUR days alone. People booking on (and off) tasters, Learn Tos, and regular walks. Others have turned up unannounced. People have booked the Learn To in the car immediately after the tasters.”

“I don’t know what I would have done without this system and support. In fact, in my humble opinion it is virtually impossible to build a solid lifestyle business without it.”

“Almost passed out when I opened this week’s earnings, it’s been my best ever amount. I do have to pay my Assistant out of this amount but still OMG!!! I can’t believe it. I’m so excited, it really can happen, how did that happen!! Did I do that!! Sorry I’m quite delirious…”

“A good start to 2017 – my first ever oversubscribed Taster! Just need to find a suitable weekend slot for the extras (plenty of space on the midweek one!). Also a good split of 5 men and 7 women of those on the Taster. Even had someone book at lunchtime on Christmas Day! All I’ve got to do is up my game to cope with my largest group to date”

 

 

Out ‘n’ About

NWUK Groups across the UK are out there in all weathers keeping active whilst having a ball at the same time – check out what they have been up to recently….

These lovely Ladies in the Lake District completed a 45 mile loop around Lake Windermere in 4 sessions as part of their winter work out regime. We look forward to meeting them when we head to the Lakes for the GRASMERE GALLOP 10K on the 3rd June – Why not come and meet the HQ team and take part in this iconic NW event too?Nics 45 mile loop in the lake

bev and ianThe NWUK passport is a great way to join sociable walks right across the UK and its great to see so many ‘Invitation walks’ being posted on the booking portal. These special walks are where groups pre arrange to meet up for a joint walk. In these pictures Instructor Beverley from Shropshire (on the left) hosted a stunning walk for the Mercian group from Bromsgrove (lead by Ian on the right). A great time was had by all and Ian’s group realised that they might need to do some hill practice before they return next time!

Meanwhile Saddleworth Nordic walkers caught up with old friends from Preston and had a great walk…

saddleworth and Preston meet up

Snow is no barrier to hardy Nordic walkers and it was great to see this group from Wimbledon doing their strength exercises in the winter sunshine whilst others celebrated gaining their FREEDOM passports in freezing temperatures. In fact this January saw record numbers taking up Nordic walking as part of their new year resolutions and we are delighted to welcome them.

frosty workout with jackie
Nordic Walkers in the North west meanwhile have been celebrating the fact that they can visit our first EVER NWUK pro store in order to view and try out nordic walking poles. We have teamed up with Saddleworth Outdoors a forward thinking store that can advise on Nordic walking and stocks a full range of NWUK clothing, accessories too. Local Delivery partner Caroline Fisher and her group often start and finish walks at the store and love the fact that they can browse and try on the latest kit. “An added bonus is that the store also promotes my walks” say Caroline pictured here with Steve from the store and NWUK MD Mike Rollason.

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Dates for your diary

At NWUK we simply LOVE to promote anything NORDIC WALKING so we thought you might like to hear about some courses, breaks and events that all Nordic walkers are welcome to join in. Take a minute to check out whats on and map out your year of Nordic walking!

 

NWUK-Conference-2014-81COURSES FOR NORDIC WALKERS
Our Navigation for Nordic Walkers is informative and empowering. You will never have to rely on your GPS or Phone App again if you master how to know where you are, in all weathers and without the need for a battery! Join our Navigation expert Charlie in an amazing location that will combine a learning experience with a break to remember! Find out more HERE

 



NORDIC WALKING BREAKS
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Choose from a Learn to Nordic Walk course at Champneys luxury Spa, Beatrix Potter weekends in the lake District, Mindfulness in Yorkshire or a trip along the battlefields of the Somme. Just a few of the breaks that are organised by NORDIC WALKERS for NORDIC WALKERS – check them out HERE

 

 

 


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NORDIC WALKING EVENTS

Meet the NWUK team at Countryfile Live in August or the Grasmere Gallop in June, take part in the Women Can marathon or enjoy 3 days on the Coast near Barcelona enjoying some lovely Nordic walks, a fun challenge, meals and organised trips.

For more holidays, events and breaks see our dedicated holiday and events website HERE

If you have a holiday, event or break that you would like us to promote or have something wonderful to offer for our lovely Members please contact sales@nordicwalking.co.uk

Snowdrops – a welcome sight!

snowdrops-01At this time of year, there is nothing better than spotting your first snowdrops of the season! It’s actually become a major event for some of our Nordic Walking groups who make pilgrimages to their favourite local spots to welcome these plucky little blooms which always give us hope that Spring is not too far away.

We asked our groups to share their Favourite SNOWDROP walks with us and here are their top five just a few to whet your appetite.

  1. LYTHAM HALL  (pictured)bart snowdrops

Bart Piotrowicz and his group in Lytham St Annes in Lancashire sent us this picture from their favourite snowdrop walk at the stunning Lytham Hall. The snowdrops are beginning to make an appearance right now but soon they will cover the ground with swathes of white blooms and the hall attracts people from miles around for its charity snowdrop season and the chance to enjoy a cuppa in the cafe too. Eileen Moore ones of the Instructors says “At the beginning of the year, when we are all looking forward to spring, we bring our Nordic Walking groups to the beautiful grounds of Lytham Hall where each visit our walkers are excited to see more and more of the legendary Snowdrops bursting through the frosty soil . As the weeks progress they cover the ground of the extensive woodland until they become a white carpet heralding the end of winter.”

If you are in the area, why not join Bart and his team by checking out their schedule of walks and you can see the snowdrops as you enjoy a bracing Nordic walk with great company.

snowdrops-032. NATIONAL TRUST SALTRAM  – near Plymouth

Pauline Beare and her team of Instructors from On the Go Nordic walking in Devon have voted for Saltram which is one of their bases for both lessons and regular walks. Saltram is famous for its snowdrops too and they host a number of attractions such as plant your own snowdrop towards the end of the season in March. If you fancy joining Pauline and her friendly group on a walk in this stunning location you can view their walks here

3. DUNHAM MASSEY – CHESHIRE

Another stunning park that is literally brimming with snowdrops at this time of the year. This gem in Cheshire also hosts its own regular Nordic Walking sessions with NWUK delivery Partner Anita Lobban who offers beginners courses as well a regular walks in partnership with the National Trust. Check out what’s on offer here

4. SHIPLEY COUNTRY PARK

Graham Beech the Instructor and his group who regularly walk in this glorious park in Nottinghamshire are currently putting plans together for their annual snowdrop walk. Mind you, you can catch Graham and the group in Shipley Country park at any time of the year because its such a a great place for Nordic Walking – find out more here

suffolk ickworth k marshall5. ICKWORTH – SUFFOLK

Ickworth has been a favourite with Nordic walkers for many years – first featuring in our blog way back in 2013. Kevin from Positive Steps Nordic walking regularly walks there with his group and there are plenty of routes that capture the carpet of snowdrops in their full glory.

Purbeck NW Festival 2017 – Bookings NOW OPEN!

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Over 300 Nordic walkers joined Nordic Walking UK for the first ever PURBECK Nordic Walking Festival in Dorset last September. The stunning location was enhanced by amazing late Summer weather and a great time was had by all.

Book for PNWF 2017 NOW!

 

Festival Hub 2016

 

The HUB in Swanage was buzzing with people registering, picking up goodie bags and T shirts or signing up for workshops on the festival area overlooking the Bay (including Masterclass sessions with Marko Kantaneva from Finland). Elsewhere across the wider region there were 64 different walks for all levels from wellbeing to clifftop climbs with 400 steps plus themed walks such as literary, bird watching and foraging.

Nearly 100 people took on the tough Purbeck terrain to complete either the 16 mile of marathon challenges and were delighted to gain not only a medal but a bottle of local cider and a pot of Purbeck ice cream too!

Challenges 2016

 

 

 

 

A hog roast BBQ at the hub on Saturday evening plus copious cream teas along the routes kept spirits up throughout the weekend helped massively by the constant support from local Instructors and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make everybody feel welcome.foraging_172646

Over all this inaugral event was a HUGE success with people re booking their B and B’s as they left town tired but happy on the Sunday. We are delighted to say we WILL be doing it all again this year (15th, 16th and 17th Sept 2017) so visit the event website to see the gallery, challenge results and to register your interest for 2017 NOW.

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All you need to do at this stage is to choose the days you wish to come and decide whether you want to take part in the challenges on the Saturday or just the walks and workshops. Once you have registered you will be invited to select the activities that take you fancy each day once the full schedule is released. There is plenty of choice and most walks are repeated in order to give everybody a chance to experience them.

Festival 2016 poles up!

This year we will be grading some walks, doing more flatter, wellbeing walks, some dog friendly routes and more longer adventure walks too.

Beach workout Festival 2016

Book for PNWF 2017 NOW!

Please note:- For safety reasons , only those who have REGISTERED for the event  and are wearing the appropriate wrist band will be allowed to attend the Festival and join the sessions.

What is a Nordic Walking UK SHOP n DROP?

20161114_123406_resizedNordic Walking UK is the largest retailer of specific NORDIC WALKING POLES and ACCESSORIES in the world. Run by Nordic walkers and with a network of independent Instructors across the UK – we can provide unbeatable advice, service and discounts.

Many NWUK Instructors and Community projects now operate the innovative NWUK SHOP N DROP concept which means their clients save on postage and we collectively help to save the planet too!

The concept was born when the NWUK team noticed that following tuition courses in certain areas, there was a rush of orders for poles from those looking to join regular walks. It did not sit well with the team that often several separate parcels were leaving the depot and going to the same town in the same week. Not only did this mean each individual was paying postage costs and had to arrange to be in for collection BUT it meant more cardboard for packaging and more miles travelled by delivery vans. Whilst we appreciate that today’s market for internet shopping does have an environmental impact , we felt that we could minimise this by coming up with a strategy that combined parcels so …. welcome to SHOP n DROP!

Its simple! The Instructor or project arranges for a box to be delivered to them on a pre set date. Our retail team then add this to the postage options in the on line store via a drop down menu and the customer can select to have their products added to the group parcel! Inspired! web store shop n drop

The customer saves £5 on post and packaging costs and does not have to stay in to receive the parcel, we save on packaging and there are less courier miles too! Instructors also report that it creates a buzz when the parcels arrive and they distribute the items before their classes. Sam Armstrong from Derbyshire says ” I feel like Santa handing out presents, my clients love getting their new poles and equipment and it does also encourage them to come back to the regular sessions after they have completed
tuition. As I also deliver the FREEDOM programme, my clients gain free membership of NWUK which saves them a further 10% too. They sometimes save up to £15 by ordering this way and I can help them to set up the poles when they arrive too.

NWUK MD Mike Rollason says ” We believe in customer service and by delivering the poles via the Instructor network it helps us to provide both discounts and support that you simply can not get from the bargain basement retailers”

If you are an Instructor who wants to set up a SHOP N DROP with the team – contact store@nordicwalking.co.uk or call 03333 1234 540

If you are thinking of ordering poles check with your local Instructor to see if they operate a SHOP N DROP scheme.

 

Slip sliding away! Stay safe in the snow

Nothing will stop Danny from Staffordshire!

Maybe a tad too deep for Nordic walking?

CAN YOU NORDIC WALK IN THE SNOW?

The answer is YES but its best to do it in the softer fluffy snow and where the risk of underlying ice is minimal (i.e over grassy terrain rather than hard surfaces or where frozen puddles may be hidden underneath!)

Here are our tips for staying safe and upright in the wintery conditions.

AVOID CHILLY DIGITS!

Keeping warm is the key to comfy winter walking – we recommend layers of clothing and of course, gloves that will not restrict proper use of the pole straps. Our favourites are the Gabel Long fingered sport glove We also stock the fantastic Sealskinz waterproof gloves and those with touchscreen finger tips so take a look now to avoid missing out.

True Mountain neck warmerSTICK YOUR NECK OUT!

Don’t let heat escape from the top of your jacket or coat, these versatile neck warmers are just the thing to stop heat loss but are far more comfortable than a scarf. Soft, lightweight, breathable and made in England, we think they are a must have for any Nordic walker! They can double up as a head band too!

KEEP FEET DRY!KE691_Thin_AnkleLength-RGB

Like your head and hands, your feet need to be kept warm and this is not easy if your shoes are not waterproof. A few steps in damp grass and hey presto squelchy shoes and cold damp feet! Obviously a good pair of Goretex shoes or lightweight walking boots will negate this but it does push up the cost of footwear by quite a bit. There is an answer though…Sealskinz waterproof socks are a remarkable invention and they really do keep your feet as dry as a bone even if you walk through a stream!


artimateDON’T SLIP UP!

Winter walks always include the risk of icy paths and it’s worth remembering that as the night draws in puddles can freeze over too (Another reason to use a head torch!). Where possible slippery paths can be avoided by simply walking on the grass but a set of ice cleats or snow grabbers like the non slip Artimates can cost you as little as £9.99 and will minimise the risks or a nasty slip.

Silva reflective vest_front_FinalBE SEEN IN FLURO GREEN!

What better way to add a winter layer than to include the safety factor or reflective strips and high viz colour ways? Our Silva high performance reflective gilets can be worn over existing clothing and although lightweight, they cut out the wind and are a handy item to have in your backpack in case it gets chilly or the visibility falls due to foul weather and fog. A sportier look than your usual roadside safety vest, these are more stylish and have a mesh back to avoid that dampness under your backpack (which can cause you to chill too)

 

Finally, it really pays to take time over what you wear underneath your walking clothing x bionic evo tightsbecause you need materials that will wick away the sweat (or even turn it into energy!) rather than things that will leave you with dampness next to the skin which will cause you to chill as soon as you stop moving for any length of time. For comfort too, choose materials such as bamboo, merino wool or breathable sports base layers rather than cotton. The highly technical X Bionic range actually maintain your core temperature at 37 degrees and provide supreme comfort from your undies right up to outer layers…well worth the investment and once worn, never left in the drawer again!

 

Testimonials

Here are just a few of the many testimonials we receive every week from people who have made lifestyle changes and are feeling a lot better than when it started…..

Sue from Reading was determined to complete 5 miles by Christmas having taken up Nordic walking to address low fitness levels, earlier in the year. We are delighted to say…. here she is doing just that with the support from her Instructor and group.welcome sue xmas 2017 sue 5 miles before xmas 2017

 

 

Here are some more motivating quotes accompanied by pictures of lots of people gaining their FREEDOM passports.

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“Thank you Mike (Instructor)  for your patience, and clear, calm instruction. This is a life changer for us. Christopher has come on leaps and bounds since his heart attack and triple bypass this summer. During those dark days we never imagined doing this type of activity – thank you for introducing us to this wonderful activity. We would highly recommend Nordic Walking to anyone wanting to improve their physical health but also mental health. There is nothing like being outside in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside to make any situation seem better. Your guidance has been invaluable. We also appreciate the advice on the right clothing and shoes. Now fully equipped we will be out in all weathers. Looking forward to joining in some walks now that we have our passport x” Lynne G

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“Within a few weeks of starting Nordic Walking, I noticed a huge improvement to a shoulder problem I have had for some time. The NW technique with poles has given me a workout for my shoulders without even realising it. Together with the stretches in the ‘warm up’ I have regained almost all range of movement in my ‘bad’ shoulder. More importantly, I have been able to use my shoulder without pain. What a fantastic and enjoyable way to get fit. Thanks Ian “

 

 

 

I have just completed my 4 weeks training in Nordic walking with St Albans Nordic Walking and can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I was encouraged to try it by a friend but was dubious because I have recently been diagnosed as having significant arthritis in my knee and exercise was proving to be painful. I have been trying to find a form of exercise that would strengthen my knee without causing further damage and Nordic walking appears to be perfect. I can walk at a rate that suits me whilst being part of a group and the use of poles means that pressure and impact on my knees is greatly reduced. I also have some arthritis in my hands and Savita has worked with me to find poles that are comfortable to use.
I was surprised to find that Nordic walking exercises not only your legs but also your upper body. This improves your posture which stays with you after you have finished the session. It is also a very sociable exercise with options to join groups on several days during the week.”

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“It’s such a great workout. And it’s one of the most accessible and mentally comfortable for someone like me who is overweight. You have a lot of the strain taken off your joints, you get a great workout, and you don’t have to worry about loads of people staring at you in a gym.” 

 

 

 

 

freedom 2I learnt the basics of Nordic Walking in April and haven’t looked back.  I enjoy being outdoors so started joining my local group to enjoy activity with others. There is great group cohesion and where possible walks end with a drink and chat. I went on to choose walks with more emphasis on my technique in order to reap extra body benefits. Presently I am half way through a ‘Fit for life’ course, also attending other workout walks to support me so that my end of course assessment is good!
More importantly, I am changing my mindset to enable me to face the temporary discomforts that accompany fitness training (previously avoided where possible) and I am now enjoying life. Many walks are near home but with the help of the group I am extending the area that I cover and am looking forward to joining others in pastures new.”

WELL? What are you waiting for? BOOK a FREE TASTER today here 

Nordic Walking gift guide

Every year we get calls from confused non Nordic walkers who thought that it would be easy to buy something for the pole walking enthusiast in their family until they realised it can be more technical than they thought! . SO – here’s our ULTIMATE NORDIC WALKING GIFT GUIDE 2017

xmas gift book and polesGIFTS FOR BEGINNERS

If you know somebody who wants to get started why not choose one of our STARTER packs which include a book and a pair of poles?

Alternatively, we can supply vouchers which can be redeemed with the local Delivery Partner Instructor for a four session ‘Learn to Nordic Walk course’ or maybe a one to one trial session.

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For the ultimate Luxury gift why not book them into the exclusive NWUK Learn to Nordic Walk spa breaks with our partner CHAMPNEYS – tuition from the NWUK experts, spa treatments, luxury accommodation, delicious healthy meals and a pair of poles! For something a little more rustic, why not book a mindful Nordic walking break in a shepherds hut with views over the Yorkshire Wolds. Check out these breaks and more on our amazing holidays and events website

GIFTS FOR NORDIC WALKING ENTHUSIASTS

Although most regular Nordic Walkers already have their own poles there are some models that most would be more than happy to upgrade to. Those with Aluminium poles may welcome a pair with carbon shafts for instance or a more luxury model with enhanced adjustment mechanisms or straps. Others may be seeking telescopic poles for when they go travelling if their current ones do not fit inside a suitcase. If you get stuck, our team of expert elves can really help you to get it just right – call 0333 1234 540

Accessories are a great choice and there are plenty to choose from – we asked a local group and here’s what they said they would like…..

LESU paws were top of the list – perfect for keeping hands clean as you never have to take them off and the L.E.D. ones are a great safety feature during the darker months (only fit Leki poles though) See HERE

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Gloves were also a popular gift choice for this time of year and we only supply ones that will fit into NW straps to help you get it just right

Waist belts, Sealskinz Waterproof socks and of course the lovely purple Nordic walking UK headbands and neckwarmers all featured quite highly too – The list goes on but you can see all of our NW accessories HERE