The Magic of Birdsong and Blossom – Why exercising outdoors is so good for you

The Magic of Birdsong and Blossom – Why exercising outdoors is so good for you

It’s mid-March – we are eagerly anticipating the return of spring, brighter mornings and later evenings. The temptation to hide under the duvet is strong, or if you are more committed, you may head down to your local gym to keep your exercise regime going while you wait for warmer days. Continue reading

Seven good reasons to take up Nordic Walking in 2018!


Emma on the right of this picture is a busy Mum of three who suddenly realised she was leading a sedentary life. At the end of 2016 she took up NW and this is a picture of her in a Workout Walk (having climbed her first hill!)

By September 2017 when the next picture was taken Emma was competing in the Purbeck 16 mile challenge and had lost 3 stone. Now she is over 4 stone lighter and works at NWUK HQ!

Emma says the challenge gave her the motivation to work hard and is contemplating the 27 event in 2018!

“Having taken up Nordic Walking late last year, encouraged by my wife, I feel that I can honestly claim that it has helped me recover both fitness and body strength after a bad dose of arthritis some three years earlier. Medication helped overcome the initial effects of the arthritis, but soon this gave way to some of the more unpleasant side effects. The most severe of these was an attack on my gut lining resulting in poor absorption of food, which caused me to drop in weight from 12 stones to 9 stones. I am also type 2 diabetic, which means that I have to control my diet carefully.

Stopping taking the medication and avoiding certain food types saw my weight increase to 11 stone, where it has stabilised. Now, having taken up Nordic Walking, I have noticed that I feel much stronger, can walk much further than I have been able to for over three years – and a welcome side effect appears to be that my blood sugars have fallen to their lowest levels for some three to four years. And all of this whilst meeting a great bunch of people!”

It all started about 9 months ago when at the ripe old age of 64 my doctor informed me that my blood sugar levels were getting rather high and I was on the verge of clicking over into the the Type 2 Diabetes zone. He suggested I lose some weight and take more exercise. I wasn’t massively overweight (about 6 kg) but over the years had stopped taking regular exercise. What was worse was that the extra weight was all being carried in the worst possible place i.e. around the middle.

Luckily, my wife had seen a piece on breakfast TV about Nordic Walking. I was sceptical about trying it, since I thought what can walking do for a bloke of my age, but she insisted we give it a go. Thank God she did.

So what’s the position after 8 months of Nordic walking:-

  • I have lost about 4kg in weight
  • I have lost 2 inches off my waist
  • My blood sugar levels are near the normal category for a bloke of my age
  • I feel fitter, stronger and have more stamina and endurance.

– Gerry

‘I started Nordic walking in September and already it has had a significant impact on my life.  Not only is it an extremely enjoyable way to exercise that I very much look forward to, but I have also noticed some significant health benefits.  My posture has noticeably improved which makes exercise much easier, more efficient and pleasurable to do.  However, for many years I have suffered quite severe digestive problems and much to my surprise since I have taken up Nordic walking this has completely disappeared and has not returned. I can see now how bad posture impacts on my body in many ways including my digestive system.  A final unexpected additional bonus,  I have actually lost weight.’

– Richard

I was looking for an alternative form of exercise when I had to give up swimming after developing a sensitivity to chlorine. I had heard about Nordic Walking and decided to try it. I found my Instructor through the Nordic Walking website and attended one of her courses to learn how to do it. I liked it from the start as it involves the upper body as well as the legs and provides a good work out. She is an excellent teacher and supports the mixed ability groups very well on the Adventure Walks. I also enjoy the social side, with conversation as we walk and some après walk treats in tearooms and pubs. Swimming lengths wasn’t very sociable!

– Diana

I was acutely aware, for some time, of the need to introduce some sort of exercise into my busy but largely sedentary routine. Given my age and gender – not to mention appalling levels of fitness and a gradually worsening weight problem – I have an aversion to gyms. I read about Nordic Walking and decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did! The walks are always in varied and scenic locations and leave me feeling energised. Despite having mild arthritis I have found that walking with poles helps to reduce the stress placed on joints and provides an enjoyable workout – it even burns more calories – hurrah! Being able to book walks in advance helps to keep me motivated and each walk is sociable and fun. Kate is a great teacher – her enthusiasm is infectious and she is extremely supportive and encouraging towards every member of the group. I would recommend Nordic walking to anyone wishing to improve or maintain their fitness level and who likes ‘the great outdoors’!

– Andrea

I have decided to Nordic walk 500 miles in 2018 but that’s something I would never have imagined I would ever do!

My husband John died 6 years ago and I was totally exhausted, run down, lost and overweight. I joined Slimming World and started to lose weight. I knew I had to get fit and I was blessed to find Nordic walking and Mercian Nordic Walking in particular. The support from Ian, my Instructor has been amazing.

I now want to combine my love of Nordic walking with fundraising for the homeless charity Socks and Chocs which was set up by Ian.

I would like other Nordic walkers across the country to join me in this goal of Nordic walking 500 miles by opening up their own Virgin Money page for Socks and Chocs or simply donate to my quest via this link.


Nordic Walking offers more than just fitness, it offers a new way to enjoy life and meet new friends and proves that there is life after a sad loss.

– Lynne


If you have a FREEDOM passport already, search for a range of fun walks and simply book in on line. Nordic walkers without a FREEDOM passport can gain one with a participating Instructor via a quick ‘refresher’ session – let us know if you would like us to arrange this for you – e mail


NOW is the time to start planning SKI FIT courses for your regulars and as a way to attract new people to your classes.

Our SKI FIT module is a one day training course that includes ADVANCED TECHNIQUE. Its part of the ULTIMATE NORDIC brand which is gaining popularity across the UK and includes TREK FIT which is a bootcamp based format. Find out more here…. Continue reading

Get into the swing with our daily smovey workout

Smoveys – tone, energise and increase range of movement

Whether you are a regular Nordic walker and very active or somebody who is interested but not yet ventured out with some poles the SMOVEY is the must have exercise tool of 2012. Just 10 – 20 minutes a day will give you NOTICEABLE results.

The Smovey is not simply a weight that you swing as you walk – this clever little device contains steel balls that move when you do and this has THREE amazing effects. First it increases your range of movement and secondly it provides resistance which makes the smovey feel heavier at some points as you swing it – and if that’s not enough….the smovey also VIBRATES with every swing which increases the toning and energising effects. 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

Book NOW to get earlybird rates for the NWUK Instructor’s convention 2012

The NWUK INSTRUCTORS CONVENTION 2012 is shaping up to be THE event of the year with presentations, workshops, research, retail, networking,socialising and even a delicious buffet lunch! Early signs are that it will also sell out very quickly as the Earlybird rates end on July 31st and on line booking has already been very brisk! Continue reading

Play your part in GAMES4LIFE campaign

You may have already seen the TV ads that signal the start of the latest Government campaign aimed at getting people to live more healthily.With the most exciting summer of sport fast-approaching, Change4Life is calling upon the nation to get inspired and get active with the launch of Games4Life. Continue reading


Gymstick outdoor resistance exercise

Want to learn how to keep regular clients interested and attract new ones? Its simple, nobody wants to do the same thing every week so add some variety to your sessions for clients that have mastered nordic walking and use innovative branded classes to target those who may think NW is not for them. Continue reading


This concept was developed to ensure that those who may struggle to keep up with others on even the most gentle nordic walks can enjoy an outdoor exercise class that combines pole walking with balance, flexibility and vital upper body strength work.

The NWUK wellbeing course – Instructors lesson cards

The course includes joint mobility exercises, relaxation via breathing drills and builds up gradually to improve fitness in a functional way. The strap line is:-





Instructors who deliver this concept are trained to combine gentle nordic walking with

NWUK wellbeing balance drills

balance drills, resistance bands, smoveys and EXERSTRIDER strapless walking poles to ensure there are no barriers to taking part and that each participant works according to their own level of mobility and fitness. There is no fear of being left behind, only a friendly exercise class that will overcome any weaker areas and build participants up towards walking more in the future.Great for use with Seniors or those who have been inactive due to poor health but NOT specific exercise referral, this course is ideally placed to help NWUK Instructors to help those who may lack confidence but want to get their bodies moving!

The NWUK Wellbeing programme is being used successfully by community projects and care homes across the UK and can be delivered with minimal equipment & cost.

Instructors who deliver the programme can be identified by the wellbeing icon
on the search page of the NWUK website*Instructors practice balance &
functional exercise

Instructors learn to construct a balanced wellbeing circuit


The training is ONE DAY (from 10 – 4) and a mix of parctical and theory in which they learn how to prepare sessions that cater for the health levels and needs of their clients and to incorporate the elements of fitness into functional exercises that make sense.

They also learn how to utilise EXERSTRIDER strapless poles and understand the difference in technique required.

Exerstrider pole walking technique



Pre requisites are REPs level 2 Fitness Instructor and NWUK Nordic walking Instructor

COST:- £125 to include drill cards and licence to deliver the branded concept & gain access to the specific marketing materials (annual renewal fee of £69 applies)

NWUK Delivery partners get the training FREE and pay no additional licence fee.

For course dates visit the NWUK Website

* ICON only appears if the Instructor or project chooses to have an enhanced listing on the website.