Gift Ideas for Nordic Walkers

Its the season to be Jolly which is perfect for Nordic Walkers who are a smiley bunch all year round as you can see from the amazing pictures in our Calendar (which is available to buy for only £7.50! – click HERE)

However, they can be tricky to buy gifts for especially if you don’t have a clue about Nordic Walking Poles, Waist packs and essential Nordic Walking Kit.

Have no fear, at Nordic Walking UK we have put together some lovely gifts that will suit avid Nordic walkers, occasional Nordic walkers and even wannabe Nordic walkers!

NORDIC WALKING GIFTS FOR BEGINNERS

Obviously Nordic Walking Poles are a good place to start and our tip is to make sure they are adjustable and made of good quality materials. there’s nothing as infuriating as a pair of poles that rattle, are the wrong height or can’t be lengthened as your NW technique improves. Our experts will help you get it right.

If you are buying poles for a Beginner, why not buy them lessons too – our gift vouchers will provide the Nordic Walking UK FREEDOM programme (plus FREE Membership of NWUK) with a local participating Instructor and you can team them up with poles, our best selling Nordic walking book and other kit too!

Click HERE to see the gift packs

NORDIC WALKING GIFTS FOR REGULAR NORDIC WALKERS

If your gift is for somebody who already Nordic Walks, chances are they will have their poles already. However, it could be something they are looking to upgrade (maybe from aluminium to carbon or simply a better brand such as Leki or Gabel). Like all enthusiasts, its nice to have the best or latest kit, especially if you have improved or are doing more than ever. Our most popular quality pole in 2017 has been the sleek black FIzan Carbon pro which is stylish and super light too.

BAGS OF IDEAS

Other key items for Nordic Walkers are lightweight backpacks, waist bags and even bags to carry their poles when in transit – A Backpack needs to be fairly narrow on the back in order to not impede the  Nordic Walking arm swing action and all need to be comfortable and well fitted. Avoid cheap backpacks that do not have padded straps and a design which prevents the back from getting too sweaty. Check out our recommendations HERE

FINGERS, TOES and ANYTHING ‘PURPLE’ GOES

At this time of year, every Nordic walker needs to have a pair of gloves that do not make their pole straps too tight and a good pair of socks to keep their extremities warm!  Waterproof socks like the Sealskinz are a great option if shoes are not waterproof too. See the range HERE. Of course if they really want to look like a Nordic Walking pro, a bit of NWUK Purple goes a long way and this Purple Package contains all the essential NWUK branded items you could ever need

If you are still stumped for ideas, give our experts a call or pop in to our fully refurbished NWUK store in Dorset where we can offer you a cup of tea as we help you choose the perfect prezzie  from the largest range of Nordic walking products in the UK!

Parcels of nordic walking poles leaving NWUK HQ in Dorset

HOW TO FIND US……………

We are based just outside Corfe Castle on the Kingston Road towards Swanage Postcode is BH19 3JP – Open every day 9 – 5 and Saturdays 10 – 2  Call us on 0333 1234 540

CAN’T MAKE IT IN PERSON? –  Order online for next day delivery and superior customer service. We only stock good quality NORDIC WALKING POLES and we know the difference!

 

 

 

Pole walking for neurological conditions

At Nordic Walking UK we are delighted that Nordic walking has been recognised as the amazing rehabilitation tool that it is. However, we do also get concerned that in some instances, actual ‘Nordic’ walking technique and poles are not necessarily the perfect and simplest solution. We therefore feel it’s important to clarify the term and ensure that it does simply become a ‘catch all’ for pole or stick walking in general which could lead to inappropriate or contraindicated exercise being adopted in some cases.

Our team of experts cover all aspects of ‘POLE walking’ and acknowledge that the strict Nordic walking technique (which is based on a cross country ski coaching) and the associated poles with integral glove like straps (as shown), may NOT be the best solution for those with certain conditions.

In cases of neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and Multiple sclerosis, poles without the traditional Nordic walking strap may be preferable. No, we don’t mean old fashioned trekking poles with a simple looped strap (as shown) either! Fitness walking poles that are specially designed to provide an upright posture and additional support can be ideal and as the walker is not literally strapped in safer too. In some cases, it is not advised that  the user is actually strapped to the pole at all as it can increase the possibility of trips and falls and in some instances cause additional injury should they ever actually fall. Typical Nordic Walking poles are also used at an angle in order to gain forward propulsion via the straps and this is not always appropriate.

STRAPLESS WALKING POLES

At NWUK we have embraced the Exerstrider technique and strapless walking poles developed by pole walking Pioneer Tom Rutlin for many years and we now work closely with Urban Poling who have further evolved this concept in Canada. Mandy Shintani BSc (OT), MA from Urban poling has developed this unique ergonomic handle which can provide many of the key benefits of Nordic Walking but without the need for straps or the need to master Nordic Walking technique.

Like Nordic Walking poles the Urban Poling Activator poles provide upper body engagement, reduce the pressure on lower body joints and add an exercise element plus stability for the walker. In fact, the ledge on the side of the handle actually provides additional stability for those who lose balance and a more upright posture which helps the user to look forwards rather than down. It is almost like having  a small shelf on the side of the handle which can also prove beneficial should the user feel in need of a pause or rest in order to regain their stride. 

Another key benefit is that the Activator poles have a simple push button height adjustment and extremely stable, flexible  rubber ferrules on the bottom of the poles (as shown). The poles are extremely comfortable and simple to use and in many cases transform the walking experience for the user. They are ideal in a clinical setting and as a daily walking aid that is lightweight and portable. It is possible to master their use without tuition although we advise seeking this where possible in order to get maximum benefits from their use.

So, are we saying that only Activator poles should be used for those with Neurological conditions? Absolutely not! We have seen some amazing examples where traditional Nordic walking technique and poles have worked wonders too. These conditions can be complex and each sufferer is an individual so we really want both professionals and potential pole converts to be armed with the facts and the choice to make an informed decision based on their needs and goals.

One thing we definitely do advise though is that if you do choose the more sporty, Nordic style poles and technique PLEASE ensure you learn how to do it properly. The NWUK Freedom programme is a 4 session course that will help you maximise the straps in order to gain forward propulsion and a real exercise affect. This will ensure that you do not simply end up walking with poles that you are strapped to!

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH ACTIVATOR POLES 

  1. Check the height adjustment on the pole shaft and adjust accordingly
  2. Check the handles to make sure that you have each ergonomic handle in the correct hand – they are clearly marked with L and R and this will immediately ensure you have the ‘shelf’ on the outer edge in order to provide stability and an upright stance.
  3. Begin to walk with the poles in front of you at all times and keep your elbows softly bent as you move forward using the natural movement of opposite arm and leg forward at any time. Try to ensure that you use the shoulder joint to move the arm forward rather than simply bending the elbow as this will encourage a wider range of movement

Mandy and the NWUK Physio team have developed specific training modules for NWUK Instructors who deliver our Wellbeing programmes and they will often be able to offer both tuition and walks.(subject to their qualifications and the nature of your condition) Find your local group here

To view the URBAN POLING ACTIVATOR and other strapless walking poles click here 

NWUK can also offer talks and demos for specific support groups and clinical workshops for professionals. Our one day training courses for Physiotherapists, OT’s and other rehabilitation specialists covers all aspects of pole walking and can help with signposting people to suitable sessions too. View our training courses here

Come and see us at PHYSIOTHERAPY UK 10 – 11 November Birmingham click here for more details

 

NEW Membership benefits

NWUK Membership just got even better!

The NWUK Membership card will now give you 15% discount in Blacks, Millets and Ultimate Outdoors as well as Cotswold Outdoor and Rohan. Show your card in store or log in to your membership account on nordicwalking.co.uk

Here at NWUK we have been working hard to find new benefits for our members, like Aquapac drybags, a range of nifty waterproof phone cases, camera cases, backpacks and multi-purposes dry sacks. Aquapac offer a generous 20% discount in their online store to NWUK members – and that includes sale items!

See all the other benefits here…

Membership is only £9.95 but if you have completed the FREEDOM programme and have a unique CC code you can join for FREE for the first year (£2.50 p and p for the membership pack). You can sign up using your CC code at nordicwalking.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testimonials – what Nordic Walking has done for me!

My name is 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
shepherds hut
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.