Looking after your Nordic Walking Poles

We know its really muddy out there and your poles are likely to be subjected to wet weather, snow and even road salt soon – here are our tips for giving your poles a little TLC to make sure they keep working perfectly throughout the winter months.

To make sure your poles don’t let you down you should:

  • Always clean your poles after use
  • Remove the paws after each walk so they do not get stuck on too tight
  • Loosen your height adjustment regularly rather than keep it tightly at the selected height
  • Not over tighten your adjustment mechanism
  • Store your poles in a dry environment

If you are having trouble with tightening or adjusting your poles our team of experts are on hand to show you how – see videos and explanations for common problems below.

Pole adjustment does not tighten up

This is a common problem on brand new poles and is very quick to fix.  Simply watch this video for a full explanation

To explain this further, the poles are adjusted by tightening an expandable plug to grip inside the pole, which can spin around and not tighten.  By gripping the blue plastic plug in the adjustment collar, this can begin to tighten the adjustment when back in the pole.

Pole Adjustment does not loosen

It is possible to ‘over tighten’ the adjustment mechanism, making it stick.  Also, if the poles have been stored dirty and wet from walks, moisture and dirt can creep up inside the adjustment making damaging the mechanism.  Try heating the outer section of the pole with hot water (be careful) and then with a tight grip and a bit of muscle, unscrew the mechanism.  Sometimes lubricating the join with washing up liquid can also help.

Poles are bent

Sometimes, aluminium poles are bent when you accidentally trip over them or catch them in a hole or drain.  Cheaper models can also bend when excessive force is put through them when used to support your full body weight for example.  However, the most common reason by far is in the storage of the poles – when they are bundled in the back of the car and your shopping piled on top!

Both Carbon and Aluminium poles are very strong but a padded bag can really help protect them in transit. We have a range of pole bags to suit all types and sizes so check out the bag section of our Nordic Walking STORE   

If you have any other questions the Retail team at Nordic Walking UK can help – call them on low cost number 0333 1234 540 at any time.


WALX is born!

The team behind Nordic Walking UK are launching a new walking fitness concept called WALX in 2020.

“For years our Instructors have delivered far more than simple pole walking and now we want everybody to access these classes whether using poles or not” says Gill Stewart Director of Exercise Anywhere the parent company of NWUK and WALX

WALX will be a mix of stunning scenic WALX, Wellness WALX which include elements of yoga and mindfulness and Total body WALX which include a range of ways to turn a walk into a workout – including Nordic walking! These lively clubs will offer unlimited sessions from as little as £16 a month but there will be ‘drop in’ pay as you go option as well.

“We chose the word WALX because it enables us to describe the myriad of WALX our team will provide” says Gill. 

Walking is absolutely the best thing you can do on a daily basis for both your mind and body and this initiative is designed to make it accessible, affordable and a huge amount of fun. Studies show it does not only keep you mobile, ward off weight gain and keep your heart healthy but it is proven to help with mental health too.

It may seem like a simple thing to do without having to join a group but like any other exercise, there are barriers to putting on those walking shoes and getting out there. Some people worry about getting lost and have no idea of finding their way around whilst others worry about being out alone. Its common to worry about keeping up on group walks and also to be unsure of what shoes and clothes to don too.

Other concerns like parking the car, finding start locations and other practicalities like how long you may be out if time is of the essence can also put people off getting started. WALX is the solution because the team know how to overcome any concerns people may have . Every single walk has been pre- walked and risk assessed and will be led by a motivating, sociable leader who will provide all the info you need in order to find it and get booked in.

The team at WALX have also worked hard to make their WALX inspirational, experiential and fully accurate when it comes to how long you will be out, the pace of the group and the type of session involved.

There are themed WALX (everything from History, Foodie, Geology and Literary)  and plenty that end up at a local Pub or Cafe for a real social feel but that’s only the EXPLORER WALX. 

Those who want to get results from their WALX might feel that strolling for hours is not a quick enough exercise hit so the Team at WALX have devised their TOTAL BODY WALX concept which literally turns every walk into a workout. Typically one hour sessions and right on your doorstep, these WALX will include upper body exercises, cardiovascular drills, circuits and strength work.

Finally the power of walking to improve both mind and body has been captured by the concept too. Imagine walking to a stunning location to enjoy Forest bathing, mindfulness or a few walking based yoga moves? For those with health issues, there is a rehabilitation stream too which ensures those leading have the skills to help manage the condition and use walking as therapy. Gill adds ” We have so many testimonials that prove that walking in a safe sociable group with an Instructor who understands what you should or should not be doing is the best way to get into exercise. In short, people come to us with everything from breathing conditions to joint problems and with the right WALX they can begin to enjoy being active.” 

WALX has a community programme that is delivered by local Authorities (following training form the WALX Team)and is aimed at helping as many people as possible get walking. The first programme to launch will be COMMUNITY WALX SWINDON in early 2020

Watch this space and rest assured…………………. YOU WILL NEVER WALX ALONE!

The first set of WALX groups are already Live in READING, THE PEAK DISTRICT, DORSET , SCOTLAND and KENT with many more going Live by the New Year. Watch this space for new groups in North London, St Albans, Milton Keynes, Tring, Aylesbury, Preston, Swindon, Marlborough, Chester ….all coming soon!

More inspirational WALX Masters are needed though so if you think you could use walking to inspire others to enjoy being active – give Gill a call on 0333 1234 540




We are delighted that so many Purbeck festival goers stay in our lovely part of the world for a few extra days and this year we have made sure they can join us to explore further afield. The local Team have put on some stunning walks and as we know some visyors are still not au fait with the Exercise Anywhere portal used by most of our groups across the UK, we have made these Explorer WALX* which do not require a FREEDOM passport

This also means that your friends and Family are welcome to join us too – with or without poles

Here’s a list of what we have on offer for you:-

Monday 16th  11:00 – 10 Bridge Walk followed by lunch at Parterre Perfumery

Walk over some of the most beautiful Bridges that cross the River Stour before a visit to an artisan Perfumery for lunch

Monday 16th 10.00 – 2.00  A Circuit of Portland Bill

You’ve walked the Isle of Purbeck, maybe Brownsea Island too. Now it’s time to walk the Isle of Portland, or Portland Bill as it is also called.

Tuesday 17th  13:30 – Poundbury to Maiden Castle – Dorchester

Visit the Roman County town of Dorchester including the unique new ‘Village’ of Poundbury the project of HMRH Price Charles before heading to the ancient and fascinating Maiden Castle

Wednesday 18th  11:00 – Cerne Abbas Giant Footsteps

No trip to Dorset is complete without a visit to see our saucy Giant! Carved into the chalk hill above an idyllic Village this ancient symbol of fertility is known for his sheer size and a walk to see him up close as well as from afar is spectacular.

Tuesday 17th  – 19:00 – Sandbanks Evening Walk

A touch of Glamour – join us to stroll the most expensive real estate in the UK – stunning beaches on a peninsula populated by the rich and famous. Got to be done Darling!

To book onto these please click this link which will take you to all local Explorer WALX that week

The amazing local team actually provide over 35 Nordic walks and Explorer WALX a week so if these do not appeal, take a minute to check out their website www.walxdorset.co.uk  

* WALX is a new concept launched by the founders of NWUK.


Purplebeck goes teccy in 2019

Love it or hate it Technology is here to stay and this year at Purplebeck we are embracing it both as a way to keep folk safe and to aid research. So, DON’T SWITCH off from this article because we have two APPS that could save you and others from illness or a serious incident in the future. We also have two concepts more that will help improve how walking is used for health and fitness in the future.

What3words – We have been using this App when doing our route planning and reccies and we love it! In simple terms it has mapped the whole world and divided it in to 3 metres squares which all have a random three word ‘tag’ applied to them. Now embraced by the Emergency services, the App which was originally designed as a way to share your location with others, is a simple way to pinpoint exactly where you are. This article explains it in detail

We would love as many of you as possible download the App this year because Purbeck is an area of low signal and it’s great to have the option of a number of networks in the event of an incident. This will support our leaders who we do advise to use the App. When you arrive at the Festival you will see the local Coastguard teams who are on standby 24/7 and agree the App is a great way for them to locate folk who get into difficulty in remote areas.

We will have a prize for the first person to locate a very special point at the HUB too so check out your Festival Guide to fond out more


Purbeck is known to have a high risk of Lyme Disease as a result of tick bites so we have invited Lyme Disease Action to be at the Festival this year. Lyme Disease is a real issue for walkers and it pays to know how to avoid and manage the risks. If you do get bitten, the LymeApp will help with vital research and the message is that taking early action will reduce the risk of the disease taking hold – for more information this article from the I newspaper is very informative and if you do get bitten or find a tick please use the App. You can follow Lyme Disease Action on Facebook to stay up to date too

NEW E poles and App

Forget the Fit Bit or your tracking APP – How about poles that can not only record the usual activity/steps etc but also the effectiveness of your armswing and the additional exercise benefits more effective upper body engagement can provide.

Join Gianpietro Beltramello the CEO of Gabel Poles (pictured) who has invested in this new technology which is providing amazing feedback on movement patterns and pole technique. It will transform how poles are used for fitness and rehabilitation which is why NWUK are delighted to be involved.

The technology is at trial stage so this workshop will provide vital feedback for the team –  come along and be part of the development of next big thing in fitness walking! The workshop has been added to the schedule on Sunday morning. 

THE SIX MINUTE WALK TEST GOES DIGITAL – help with the research

Want to measure your walking fitness at the Purbeck Festival? NWUK is supporting researchers at Strathclyde University in the development of a new app designed to determine walking fitness, and particularly improvements in fitness through following a fitness programme – such as your nordic walking!

The test is really simple: you download the app onto your phone (sorry, Android-users only at this time); enter a few very basic details; click Start and walk (no poles!) as far as you can in 6 minutes on flat ground.

The 6 Minute Walk Test is a very well researched measure of walking fitness. The aim of the new app is to make the measurement of distance much easier to record than in standard 6MW tests (which rely on walking back and forwards between cones set 20m apart). This should be of interest to anyone who adheres to a walking or Nordic walking programme and would like to measure their improvements. The greatest opportunity, however, may be in encouraging new walkers within community programmes and medical settings. NWUK is supporting the development of this app as it realises the huge public health benefit of motivating those starting out on a walking programme.

If you’d like to measure your 6-minute walking distance, and support the development of the app, come along to the main Hub at any time. We’ll have instructions available for downloading the app and how to perform the test effectively. We’ll then set you on your way! We’re keen to know walking distances achieved, so we’ll ask you to bring your results back to the Hub. It’s not a competition but a personal measure: we’d be really interested in you performing the same test at Purbeck Festival 2020 and seeing your improvements!

If you’d like to download the app before the festival, go to the Google Play Store and search for: 6MW app (the app should appear with this specific search term – to ensure you have the right app, the designer is Mobiquitous Mark)

Lets get teccy and embrace all thats new as we enjoy the age old joy of walking!









We are going Canine crazy at the festival this year – not only will we be doing specific workshops on pole walking with dogs, we have opened up some suitable walks for them to join their owners and soak up the festival fun

We will have a designated Doggie area under a beautiful Oak tree for our furry friends to relax in the shade with their own water ‘Bar’ and Gravy Bones cafe too.

These are the walks they can enjoy ( all hand picked with no cliffs, no roads and plenty of  space – Please note owners must accept responsibility for their dog at all times.

FR014 Swanage to Corfe Castle (return by Steam Train)

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply YES
Date: 13th Sep 2019 | Time: 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Map Location: L10 | Approx Distance: 5 miles
Walk Pace: Gentle | Walk Terrain: Moderate Terrain, Some Hills
9 Spaces Available

FR015 Hub to Harmans Cross Shorter Steam Railway Walk

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply YES
Date: 13th Sep 2019 | Time: 10:15 am-12:30 pm
Map Location: L13 | Approx Distance: 4 miles
Walk Pace: Gentle | Walk Terrain: Moderate Terrain, Some Hills
11 Spaces Available

FR016 Harmans Cross to HUB one way walk

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply NO
Date: 13th Sep 2019 | Time: 10:45 am-12:30 pm
Map Location: L13 | Approx Distance: 4 miles
Walk Pace: Gentle | Walk Terrain: Moderate Terrain, Some Hills
16 Spaces Available

FR040 Wareham Forest Explorer

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply NO
Date: 13th Sep 2019 | Time: 3:00 pm-5:30 pm
Map Location: L28 | Approx Distance: 6 miles
Walk Pace: Moderate | Walk Terrain: Good Paths, Some Hills
9 Spaces Available

SA012 Corfe Castle Circular (loop)

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply NO
Date: 14th Sep 2019 | Time: 9:30 am-11:30 am
Map Location: L13 | Approx Distance: 4.5 miles
Walk Pace: Moderate | Walk Terrain: Good Paths, Some Hills
3 Spaces Available

SA017 Swanage to Corfe Castle (return by Steam Train)

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply YES
Date: 14th Sep 2019 | Time: 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Map Location: L10 | Approx Distance: 5 miles
Walk Pace: Gentle | Walk Terrain: Moderate Terrain, Some Hills
11 Spaces Available

SA025 Studland to Agglestone Rock

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply NO
Date: 14th Sep 2019 | Time: 11:30 am-1:00 pm
Map Location: L15 | Approx Distance: 3.5 miles
Walk Pace: Moderate | Walk Terrain: Good Paths, Some Hills
11 Spaces Available

SA032 Swanage to Corfe Castle (return by Steam Train)

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply YES
Date: 14th Sep 2019 | Time: 1:30 pm-4:00 pm
Map Location: L10 | Approx Distance: 5 miles
Walk Pace: Gentle | Walk Terrain: Moderate Terrain, Some Hills
6 Spaces Available

SA048 Corfe Castle Circular (loop)

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply NO
Date: 14th Sep 2019 | Time: 4:00 pm-6:00 pm
Map Location: L13 | Approx Distance: 4.5 miles
Walk Pace: Moderate | Walk Terrain: Good Paths, Some Hills
15 Spaces Available

SU010 Lost Village and a Ridge with Views

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply NO
Date: 15th Sep 2019 | Time: 9:30 am-11:30 am
Map Location: L23 | Approx Distance: 3.5 miles
Walk Pace: Moderate | Walk Terrain: Moderate Terrain, Some Hills
6 Spaces Available

SU017 Swanage to Corfe Castle (return by Steam Train)

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply YES
Date: 15th Sep 2019 | Time: 10:30 am-1:00 pm
Map Location: L10 | Approx Distance: 5 miles
Walk Pace: Gentle | Walk Terrain: Moderate Terrain, Some Hills
13 Spaces Available

SU031 Wareham Forest Shorter Explorer

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply NO
Date: 15th Sep 2019 | Time: 1:00 pm-2:00 pm
Map Location: L28 | Approx Distance: 2 miles
Walk Pace: Moderate | Walk Terrain: Good Paths, Some Hills
12 Spaces Available

SU042 Corfe Castle Circular (loop)

TypeWalks | Additional Charges Apply NO
Date: 15th Sep 2019 | Time: 3:00 pm-5:00 pm
Map Location: L13 | Approx Distance: 4.5 miles
Walk Pace: Moderate | Walk Terrain: Good Paths, Some Hills
17 Spaces Available

Purbeck Festival – WALKS for ALL

The Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival  will be inviting non polers to join in the fun this year.

It’s all part  of our new strategy to encourage more people to enjoy walking with our qualified Instructors and sociable groups. We recognise that not everybody is ready to master poles and feel that they should not miss out on the other aspects of what we do says Martin Christie of NWUK. That’s why we are launching WALX a sister brand that will offer the same quality and service but be open to all.

At Purplebeck 2019 the following WALX will be open to everyone


FR002 Bracing Beach Blast

Sandbanks Ferry Car Park  Ferry Road Studland   13th September 2019 8:30 am – 10:00 am

FR015 Hub to Harmans Cross Shorter Steam Railway Walk

Festival Hub Norden Corfe Castle  13th September 2019 10:15 am – 12:30 pm

FR016 Harmans Cross to HUB one way walk

Harmans Cross Car Park  Haycrafts Lane Harmans Cross  13th September 2019 10:45 am – 12:30 pm

FR028 Corfe Castle Cream Tea Walk

Festival Hub Norden – Corfe Castle 13th September 2019 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

FR042 Hardy Trail plus optional visit to his birthplace

Thomas Hardy’s Cottage Higher Bockhampton Dorchester 13th September 2019 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

FR062 Jerk Shack Caribbean Supper Short Walk

Houns Tout Car Park West Street  Kingston 13th September 2019 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm


SA055 Corfe Castle to 9 Barrow Down ridge loop walk

Festival Hub Norden  Corfe Castle 14th September 2019 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

SA022 Brownsea Island Walk

Brownsea Island Ferries yellow kiosk, Poole Quay Poole Quay  Poole 14th September 2019

11:45 am – 3:45 pm

SA027 Swanage Pier to Durlston Loop

Swanage Pier Pier Approach  Swanage   14th September 2019 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

SA032 Swanage to Corfe Castle (return by Steam Train)

Ulwell Layby Ulwell  Swanage 14th September 2019 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm


SU001 Corfe Castle Breakfast Walk

Festival Hub Norden Corfe Castle 15th September 2019 8:30 am – 9:30 am

SU011 Sculpture by the Lakes Walk

Sculpture By the Lakes Pallington 15th September 2019 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

SU018 Victorian Walk

Shore Road, Swanage 15th September 2019 10:30 am – 11:30 am

SU027 Worth Matravers Smugglers Loop

Worth Matravers Car Park Swanage 15th September 2019 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

SU031 Wareham Forest Shorter Explorer

Wareham Forest Sika Trail Bere Road  Wareham 15th September 2019 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

SU032 Bushtucker Trail

Festival Hub Norden  Corfe Castle 15th September 2019 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

SU047 Brownsea Island Walk

Brownsea Island Ferries yellow kiosk, Poole Quay Poole Quay  Poole 15th September 2019 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

To take part it will be necessary to book a BEGINNERS TICKET for your chosen day and then you can select the walks you fancy joining us on. Book Tickets here but HURRY as we will be closing soon.

Testimonial of the month

This testimonial from Chris is a great example of how NWUK Instructors literally go the extra mile in order to make sure everybody achieves their goals. Well done Chris for putting in the effort – you look amazing!

“A few years ago, my husband and I thought we were fairly fit for our age, around 66/67, and thought we had a healthy lifestyle. We walked quite regularly with a group of friends. But without realising it, we had gradually put on weight, and consequently often felt tired with not a lot of energy.

One day, I saw an advert in the local paper for Nordic Walking. I thought that might be quite good to do and I worked quite hard in persuading my husband to join me! We went along to 4 ‘Learn to’ sessions in an extremely wet and miserable January. Despite that we enjoyed it and decided to continue all helped by a very enthusiastic leader in Ian (from Mercian NW in Bromsgrove)

We soon met some great like-minded people and began to look forward to the walks and other activities, despite the weather! Ian began to introduce more and more varied activities to the week and we began to join in and were soon very active.
More importantly, we began to realise that we were enjoying ourselves with our new activities and looking forward to each one. Last February, Ian introduced a Healthy Living Course, which seemed to be the trigger for me. I concentrated on my diet, combining it with hard work in indoor and outdoor fitness sessions. It was very hard work at times and I pushed myself far more than I had ever done before, even at a much younger age, when my life involved a lot of sport at a high level.
Soon I began to see results with a loss of weight and having to wear clothes of a smaller size! I have actually lost over 2 stone in about 8 months. That is a brilliant feeling. I began to realise that all the effort was paying off – I can walk faster, am stronger and I feel much, much better and look forward to my NW activities. In fact, on holiday recently, I really missed the NW sessions!
All this involved a lot of effort and hard work on my part, with commitment to regular sessions, but more importantly, a brilliant fitness programme from Ian with continual encouragement and the right amount of ‘pushing’ and also great encouragement from our friends in the group.
Another positive from joining NW is the joy of having made some really great friends and having an incredible amount of fun!”

Bexley Community Project

This is a Nordic Walking group set by the local Council in 2013 using the NWUK Freedom programme . They offer 6- 7 walks per week, a mix of FREE walks once a quarter plus a monthly package of £15 a month which provides access to Workout Walks. Currently attracting an average of 558 walkers per month. 4 Instructors and 19 volunteer leaders

The Team issue FREEDOM passports to participants as part of the wider NWUK Freedom Programme. The group has grown into a really sociable and supportive community activity run by a keen team who also organise trips and even a holiday to Sardinia (see picture below)

What Helen Sadique the project co-ordinator says

“When I was asked to do the Nordic Walking course by my Line Manager I thought why not, let’s try this ‘Walking with poles!’ After a trip to Hampstead Heath one very wet weekend in February 2013 I was hooked straight away. I couldn’t wait to get started, so the pilot ran in July and I started the community project in the September. I have never looked back I often find myself being thankful for having such a great job, being outside getting my steps in, meeting a mixture of people also enjoying the outdoors, I have made many friends as have the walkers – what more could I ask for. Thank you to Nordic Walking UK for bringing pole walking to the UK!”

Testimonials from participants

I attended a Nordic Walking Taster Session back in October 2018, followed by the NW training and I loved it!I had wanted to find a hobby / pastime that combined exercise and being out in nature, together with being social within the community where I live. 

Nordic Walking definitely ticks all these boxes! I have found Nordic Walking Bexley to be a very inclusive and friendly group, that is non-competitive and open to people of all ages and abilities.The Instructors, Helen and Jemma do a great job with keeping you motivated with the variety of Nordic Walks that are available, always encouraging you to get the best out of yourself and walk that extra step!I have recently been on a Nordic Walking holiday to Sardinia which was fabulous…I highly recommend the experience!!

Trudy Abraham

Nordic Walking has helped us improve our fitness levels and is a great aid to a weight loss plan regardless of your age. Meeting like minded people regularly who have similar goals, together with social activities creates a bond of friendship.
Our instructor Helen is the best.

Two 70+ year olds
Bexley N.W.

Swindon Community WALX project

Launching in the Autumn 2019, The Community WALX Swindon project is an initiative set up by Swindon Borough Council and the Live Well Swindon team in collaboration with WASPs (Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Partnership) and funding via a Sport England bid

This initiative aims to provide low cost peer led WALX Activator pole walking in green spaces all over Swindon and is the first project in the UK under the new brand of WALX set up by the team behind Nordic Walking UK

The Exercise referral Team will deliver 12 week courses for rehabilitation and a wider network of WALX community Activators will set up community WALX at set locations where poles are provided.

The Team are able to cascade train more volunteers to help them grow the availability of low cost walks. They will be also be adding more walking fitness initiatives and participants will also be signposted on to the wider WALX network and encouraged to join the full range of WALX available via independent WALX masters who are trained to deliver safe, sociable and inspirational activities.


Errdig National Trust Community Project


The group started about 7 years ago as part of a National Trust initiative called ‘Let the Outdoors Move You’ but has since evolved into its current form since late 2015. NWUK provided FREE Training to the Instructors to help improve the tuition provided to the public and have supported the group with advice since 2017

They offer two walks per week at Erddig – Wednesday and Saturday.  On Mondays they offer our ‘On Tour’ walks at a variety of different venues. They also offer evening walks and longer walks e.g. The Mawddach Trail.

Walks are bookable and information made available via the NT but FREEDOM passports are not issued or accepted. They average 80 and 100 walkers over the 3 walks per week and ask for a voluntary contribution of a £1 per walk. The monies raised is used for the benefit of the group-purchase of equipment and courses (first aid)

They have four Instructors and three Technique Coaches all trained by Nordic Walking UK we also have 12 Volunteer Leaders.

Project Leader Gareth says

’Nordic walking is the finest way to exercise the whole body and mind. It is a positive activity in developing mindfulness and well being. Starting the week with our ‘On Tour’ walk, taking  in the beautiful  locations of North East Wales really sets me up  and allows me to enjoy my whole week, whatever the weather!  I’ve met new people from a wide variety of backgrounds and the opportunities to chat and socialise with these people has meant that we have become good friends. I came to Nordic Walking following a serious illness about four years ago but I can honestly say that Nordic walking has helped me change my lifestyle and is a massive part of my life now”