Love Actually………… – By Julie Barnes

It’s that lovely but frustrating time of year again where you really want to buy something special for your loved ones but, inevitably, if you are anything like me you will be stuck for ideas or will end up buying the same old thing. At best you will swap vouchers – at worst socks (unless they are Nordic Walking socks of course in which case they are a great present, and you can get them here!). Continue reading

nwTuk enter their first race!

team UKOur new race team was born on 7th April 2013 – complete with a new team logo and funky purple vests, they nordic walked the Lincoln 10k.

We aim to make this the start of regular appearances at events across the UK from long distance walks to charity events. nwTuk (nordic walking team uk) so if you fancy taking part and meeting up with other nordic walkers – get in touch with us today.

All levels are welcome – this is NOT for the fast guys only – it’s about meeting up, taking part and spreading the word!

If you know of an event that will welcome Nordic walkers or have entered something you would like us to promote…get in touch today.

In the meantime whay not get some chums together and enter the Grasmere Gallop a stunning 10k organised by the National Trust which is held in the lake District in June – click here for more information and to enter.

We are giving away FREE vest to the first 5 people who send us their race number for this one so enter today!

Let us know if you are entering a race or event  any where in the UK or abroad and we will put you in touch with other nordic walkers who may be there too.


Instructors in the news

We are so proud of our Instructors and how tirelessley they go out and lead inspirational sessions for people across the UK and we are also grateful for the publicity many of them get because it spreads the word about how great Nordic Walking is

Occasionally though, the stories are really inspirational so we thought we would share these with two you



ALICE DENHAM – Brain aneurysm sufferer

10 months ago Alice was struggling to speak and had an erratic pulse and high pressure following a massive brain aneurysm. Now following a rehabilitation process that included Nordic Walking and the expert interventions of Charles Allen and his exercise referral team at East Coast Community healthcare ….. Alice is a Nordic Walking Instructor herself. Read her story and how Charles beleives that her exercise programme saved the NHS about 4,700 pounds   here :- Another Successful Rehab (1)

Alice is also doing a 110 mile charity walk back to the Hospital that gave her such good care with two other aneurysm sufferers and your support would be most welcome especially if you would like to join for a satge – see this link

MARK RICHARDSON – made redundant and struggled to find work so became an Instructor with NWUK

Mark hit the headlines because he failed to give in to being jobless and cycled around the UK with his CV on his T shirt. Now he is using that tenacity and his love of fitness and being outdoors in a really positive way. He re trained as an NWUK Instructor which is a vocational qualification and enabled him to gain funding from his local jobcentre. He has also become an NWUK delivery partner in order to hit the ground running (or walking at least!) and establish a business that will support his Family. Read his story here


Why take up Nordic walking?

Walking with poles? You may find it strange, amusing even but here are just a few of the messages we have received on our Facebook page which explain, in their own words, what Nordic Walking has done for them. Read on and be inspired!

We also know that many of our readers have similar stories to share so please don’t hold back – tell us what Nordic Walking has given you and help encourage others to give it a go too!


“After six sessions or so weight started to fall off (now 1stone in 5months) Posture improved and walking in higher gears became the norm. Have now done my Leaders Course.Keep walking” JOHN

“I definitely felt a lift with my posture and the stomach muscles started to work, also felt a difference in my arms and wrists. The fresh air is always a tonic regardless of whether iit’s rain or shine. All this gives me  better sleep and relaxation. I try to do a little every day but am not always successful. It is very necessary for my arthritic joints, knees and shoulders in particular. The poles give me added support helping me to stride out with confidence. A great exercise.” PAULINE

“I noticed my posture was better almost immediately.  It toned my arms after about 4wks, however as I had gone from jogging to walking I wasn’t burning as many calories and so I have put on weight, not a lot but definitely a gain rather than a loss.  But if you’re going from doing nothing to walking then I can imagine you’d definitely lose weight.  I much prefer walking to jogging, no getting overly sweaty and you get to take in your surroundings much more.” SHARON

“It took me about four weeks to notice any physical changes, however the feeling of wellbeing from being able to go outside was instant. A year down the line it’s as if I’m a different person. The changes are still happening and will continue to do so as long as I can walk” BOB

“It has greatly improved my knees, as I suffer from hyper mobility, I used to find it difficult to get about without crutches or a walking stick, since starting Nordic walking, I can go all day without any pain in my knees and no longer have to use any crutches or walking sticks…. I can even jog up the stairs in my now permanent job”  Lyndsey

I became a Nordic walker just over a year ago and now join group walks three times a week and walk on my own sometimes – heres the background to why I needed it and how its improved my health ( Shirley aged 70) :-

  • hip operation a few years ago plus having back problems and also two operations on my right hand due to severe arthritis, I limited my exercise to swimming and pilatis, however I really missed being out in the fresh air, so decided to try Nordic walking
  • Results have been amazing and because of the excellent training prior to joining the group walks and the support of the poles I haven’t suffered any discomfort at all. I’ve lost a stone in weight and have toned up everywhere, even my upper arm “bingo wings” ! and I feel much fitter and have more energy. 
  • I’ve also met some very pleasant people on the walks and one of the main things is that Nordic walking is not competitive so everyone can walk at their own speed, it is also something that can be enjoyed by all people of all ages.
  • At my recent yearly medical check up at the surgery all my tests were very good, especially my blood pressure and they were most impressed with my weight loss !!
  • I’d recommend this type of exercise to everyone as a wonderful way of keeping fit and happy. 


Torbay Care Trust launch Nordic Walking

Elaine Mason and Instructor Davinia

Elaine Mason and her team at the Torbay Care Trust have been pleasantly surprised at the response to their Nordic Walking programme and are determined to keep building on that success.

The project is one of many across the UK that have taken advantage of the Nordic Walking UK community package which provides all of the training and support required to ensure a sustainable programme.

The fomula is simple……… NWUK ensures that every project has at least one FULLY QUALIFIED Instructor who receives additional training on how to administrate and market the programme in order to increase participation and ensure sustainability.

The lead Instructor is also trained to CASCADE train their own Nordic walk leaders (who require more in depth training than typical walk leaders due to the intensity levels of nordic walking) These are often volunteers and NWUK feel it is important to protect them fully from the risk of supervising people who may not have a clear understanding of the correct safe levels of intensity. To overcome this, NWUK provide FREEDOM CARDS which are issued by the lead Instructor to signify the participant has been thoroughly screened and has a grasp of how to nordic walk at a level that matches both the current fitness levels (& health issues) and their goals. This is ascertained via the delivery of the bespoke NWUK ‘Learn to Nordic Walk’ course which uses a unique ‘gear system’ and incorporates behavioural change and motivational skills.

The Freedom cards also come complete with the Safety 24 scheme which means projects do not have to ensure that personal data is carried by Leaders in case of accident. In addition, the cards are recognised by other participating groups which means holders can expand their horizons and join in walks across the UK. There are also discounts including a £5 gift voucher towards the purchase of their own poles which has two benefits for the project

1. It ensures their teaching pack of poles is used only during the tuition phase and that regular walkers bring their own poles once they have learned the technique.

2. Many projects also accumulate commission or pass on further discounts via this process

The final benefit of the NWUK Community package is the inclusion in National campaigns managed by NWUK – extra promotion via the NWUK website and finally the use of a marketing tool kit that includes press releases and editable banners, posters and other essential tools for running a full programme.

The NWUK Community package is a set annual fee which includes the use of all additional training, the webpage, marketing tool kit and the issue of unlimited FREEDOM cards worth £7.50 each!

Read more about the Torbay programme here

See all the other successful NWUK community programmes here



From unfit smoker to challenge winner – Stewart’s story

Stewart with his new Gabel Inverso Alu poles

When Stewart McFarlane was smoking heavily it did at least make him go up and down stairs every time he popped out for a cigarette at work!

Once he made the decision to quit in 2007 however, he piled on the weight and realised he was in poor health and not active at all. This is his story about how he gradually introduced walking and nordic walking into his daily routine and how an NWUK challenge inspired him to cover 889 miles in 5 months! Continue reading

From busy Mum to successful Instructor….Kerley’s story

Kerley - NWUK Instructor

Kerley aged 51 a former hospital nurse from Cheshire with 15 years experience of adult medical and surgical nursing had a career break raising 4 sons and 2 dogs during which time she worked in various roles in the voluntary sector including facilitating parenting programmes  and Scouting . Continue reading

From back pain to a Gallop around Grasmere!

Val and the group complete the Grasmere Challenge with Instructor, John Beetham.

Val Sandham had an extremely painful lower back problem which she describes as so bad that a short walk form her chair to the Kitchen was simply dreadful. Her Osteopath agreed that maybe Nordic Walking could help as it would strengthen the back without any twisting or strain.

He was right, and as Val (pictured here on the left in the cap) had previously attended Core classes with NWUK Instructor John Beetham, she decided to join his Nordic walking sessions in the park even though she was a bit apprehensive about the pain. Continue reading

Nordic Walker invited to the Palace!

Regular readers of our blog and newsletters will remember the inspirational story about retired Architect Duncan Barratt who trained as an NWUK Instructor and has never looked back! – see here

Duncan’s passion for encouraging others to be more active has continued to lead to recognition as a community champion and now even Royality have acknowledged his efforts with an invitation to the JUBILEE GARDEN PARTY on the 25th June. Continue reading

My story – Gilly Payne

Gilly Payne

What could be more heartless than telling a woman from a remote back water of North Yorkshire, that she can’t drive for 6 months? That was the outcome of my medical consultation in October last year following a sudden black out.  Shell-shocked, I tried to make sense of the situation, the black-out happened on the eve of my first walk, having just delivered my first ‘Learn To’ series. What now? Should I fold the business for 6 months? Should I try & run a skeleton service for 6 months or should I try & work through it, taking one day at a time?
Continue reading