Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking

Susan Spain

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Our group walk several times a week in Manchester & Salford, & also have a varied programme of walks in the wider Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire areas. Join Susan & her team of fully trained Walk Leaders for Fitness, Fun, Friendship & Fresh Air!! Our aim is to make you feel good about yourself at the end of every session & feel welcome in our friendly inclusive group of walkers. Give Susan a ring to chat things through & find the best session for you.


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Programmes Delivered
  • NWUK Delivery Partner
  • Nordic Wellbeing
  • Ultimate Nordic Ski Fit
  • Power of Poles

Activities by Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking

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    Want to know more about Parks & Pathways Nordic Walking based around Manchester & Salford?

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    Parks & Pathways Nordic Walking was started in May 2017 by Susan Spain. Our group walk several times a week in Manchester & Salford, & also have a varied programme of longer walks in the wider Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire areas. Join Susan & her team of fully trained Walk Leaders for Fitness, Fun, […]


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    Meet the Team

    Susan Spain

    Role: Owner, Nordic Walking & Fitness Instructor

    I love being outside in the fresh air so find Nordic Walking the perfect way to effectively exercise, socialise and relax. It’s the perfect, every changing outdoor gym as you’re always on the move! As a trained classical dancer and musician, a keen Salsa dancer plus having played badminton and tennis for many years I enjoy the camaraderie and social life that comes with group activities. It’s the only form of exercise that I’ve done that has effectively toned, strengthened and relaxed my whole body AND mind. And it doesn’t need to hurt whilst you do it!

    I stumbled on Nordic Walking by chance. In early 2016 I was ready for a major change both career and lifestyle wise. Focussing on my health and well-being for once, I discovered Nordic Walking through a friend who’d seen an article in the Guardian and wanted to learn. With my philosophy of ‘I’ll try (nearly) anything once’ I tagged along, learnt the technique and was hooked!

    It was perfect for me, combining everything I loved doing.  I soon realised I’d found a passion that I wanted to share and teach to other people. So after training and qualifying as a fitness and Nordic Walking UK instructor I launched Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking in May 2017 and a whole new adventure started for me and I hope you too. Since then I’ve undertaken additional fitness instructor courses to be able to offer more than just Nordic Walking within my sessions including Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing, Standing Yoga, Functional Fitness plus Strength & Conditioning.

    With a wonderful team of volunteer NWUK trained Walk Leaders now supporting me as the Instructor, the team hope you’ll enjoy and benefit by being part of the Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking Group and have lots of laughs whilst getting fitter too.  We look forward to meeting you.

    Miriam Kletz

    Role: NWUK Walk Leader

    Hi, I’m Miriam Kletz and I started Nordic Walking with Susan in late 2017 as part of a Trefoil Guild Challenge called the Voyage Award. I have been a keen walker all my life and have led many walks around the Manchester area in my younger days. As I approached mid life, Nordic walking seemed to be the ideal way to improve my fitness levels, lose weight and combine my other interests of local history, industrial archaeology, maps and photography.

    After just a few months of regular Nordic Walking I was several kg lighter and definitely more toned, couple that with fresh air, beautiful scenery and our famous British weather I know I’ve finally found my ideal exercise regime!

    Of course, the social aspect of the classes is a perfect way to make friends and with a Freedom Passport, Nordic Walking across the UK is your oyster (and I’ve now walked with several other groups on my UK travels). Once you have your own poles you can walk anywhere at any time. I am frequently to be found striding out when I have an hour to spare, just for the exhilaration of being in the great outdoors.

    Being a Walk Leader gives me the opportunity to pursue my new hobby and share my passion for the outdoors with others, as well as discovering new parks, pathways and wonderful open spaces. I look forward to meeting you.

    Mike Podmore

    Role: NWUK Walk Leader

    Hi I’m Mike. I had previously been introduced to Nordic Walking during my time in the Army many years ago and in August 2018 decided to do a one day technique refresher private lesson with Susan to gain my NWUK Freedom Passport.

    I have always enjoyed all outdoor activities and am currently a member of several walking & cycling groups as well as leading Nordic Adventure Walks with Susan’s Parks & Pathways Nordic Walking group.

    Whilst the walking and cycling have significantly improved the fitness of my lower body, the key benefits of Nordic Walking have been the improvement to my upper body as well as my overall health and general fitness.

    I have led many walks and bike rides for the above clubs and felt that with this experience by training to become a NWUK Walk Leader I can put something back into Susan’s Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking group and help other people to enjoy the benefits of Nordic Walking.

    It is a fantastic way to get fitter and healthier in a fun and social environment as well as exploring new walking areas in and around Manchester.

    I look forward to meeting you on one of my walks.

    Sue Kelly

    Role: NWUK Walk Leader

    Hi, I’m Sue Kelly and I have been walking with Susan since September 2018. I had never heard of Nordic walking until chatting with Susan who described it as the perfect way to improve fitness, relax and socialise without having to join a gym. I picked up a leaflet and promised myself that I would try it when the time was right. So last September, as my eldest child prepared to head off to university, I decided that this was the time for new beginnings and signed up for a Learn to Nordic walk course with Susan.

    By the end of the first session I knew I had found something that I was going to enjoy and as the course  continued and I gained in confidence with new techniques, I realised this was the ideal exercise for me. I have always enjoyed walking and being out of doors but struggled to combine this with working full time. Saturday morning walks at Clifton Country Park have enabled me to find the means to exercise in a beautiful location and start each weekend in a positive frame of mind. They are the perfect antidote to a busy and stressful week. Whenever possible I now attend both the Workout and Adventure walks on a Saturday morning and the monthly Sunday Special and feel the benefits both physically and mentally.

    As a NWUK Walk Leader I now hope to help others to enjoy these sessions as much as I do!

    Ruth Evans

    Role: NWUK Walk Leader

    Hi, I’m Ruth Evans, and I started Nordic Walking with Susan back in July 2017. Initially, I decided to “give it a go” since walking (as a hobby) was a form of exercise I’d never really enjoyed nor considered doing, even though I’d played hockey and squash for a long time and latterly, do several exercise classes a week with the occasional recreational bike ride.  Much to my surprise, I found that I really enjoyed Nordic Walking, particularly as using Nordic Walking poles made getting up those hills a lot easier!
    Nordic Walking also complements my other exercise classes in many ways:
        – I can enjoy the freedom of being outdoors instead of staring at gym walls!
        – I get a good all-over body workout without having to haul heavy weights around!
        – It’s nice to be sociable during and after the exercise instead of just afterwards!
        – It’s actually fun, even when it’s muddy (but don’t tell Susan!)!
        – I have been introduced to some interesting local places (not far from my home) which I never knew existed!
    By being a Walk Leader, I hope to be able to make Nordic Walking fun and enjoyable for other people, whilst introducing them to all the wonderful countryside in the local area.”
    Julie McMullen-Hamnett

    Role: NWUK Walk Leader

    Hi, I’m Julie McMullen-Hamnett and I started Nordic Walking in January 2019 but Susan had me hooked from day 1!

    I love being outdoors and having tried most forms of exercise over the years I was looking for something a bit different. The idea of being able to exercise your whole body without putting unnecessary strain on yourself had great appeal PLUS the fact that you can do this whilst chatting, making new friends or even just taking time out for yourself are all added bonuses.

    Nordic Walking also gives you the opportunity to experience some of the beautiful countryside we have around us but don’t always see or know about due to busy lives.
    I jumped at the chance to become a Walk Leader to help Susan & I remain ever hopeful that it will improve my terrible sense of direction (only joking)! I look forward to seeing you in the great outdoors soon.

    Testimonials

    from members of Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking

    The walks are companionable and I have met like-minded people

    A warm halcyon autumnal day in Heaton Park feeling on top of the world with a panoramic view of Manchester and beyond, life couldn't be better!  Following a nasty attack of shingles and feeling that I had  lost some of my 'joie de vie' I feel that I am really benefiting from my walks with Susan. I am rebuilding my body strength and improving my stamina.The walks are companionable and I have met like-minded people. Purchasing my own poles enables me to walk whenever I want to, feel energised and enrich the mind body and soul.  Many thanks for today's walk feel energised.

    CM

    Although I am a slow walker I think I now walk faster with poles than without

    I completed the induction with Susan. I have since been on many enjoyable walls and explored many  different places of interest. My fitness levels have definitely improved and although I am a slow walker I do think I now walk faster with poles than without. Susan was an excellent instructor, patient, and knowledgeable about techniques and the areas we visited. I enjoy the camaraderie and social aspect of walking within a group and being outside in the fresh air. Really pleased I took the plunge!

    DKP

    It has helped me overcome doubt that I could manage such a strenuous trek abroad

    We are off to Bhutan tomorrow for our 6-day trek. We just wanted to thank you for your expert advice - it has made a huge difference to our training, and certainly for me, has helped me overcome doubt that I could manage such a strenuous programme. I walked 12 miles up and down The Pennines last week so feeling very pleased with myself!

    AB

    My friends have seen a massive improvement in my walking and confidence in just normal everyday walking

    I just wanted to tell everyone how amazing Nordic Walking is for me. I'm 64 yrs old with two replacement knees and I felt my ankles were in danger of giving up - I had to sort myself out! I had heard about Nordic walking and because of the use of poles I thought it would give me confidence to at least do a shuffle round the park. I joined the Clifton Country Park group to learn how to Nordic Walk, initially I was slow ......very slow with no confidence and really felt sorry for Susan teaching me. I discovered that even though I wasn't very good I loved it and that was that. I love going out walking, my ankles aren't wobbly and my friends have seen a massive improvement in my walking and confidence in just normal everyday walking ...e.g. shopping in Chester (couldn't manage a day before). I now attend twice a week and have just booked for tomorrow.

    JO

    I love the variety of local places where the walks are held

    I confess that I had never heard of Nordic Walking until Susan gave me a flyer for her classes! Since doing the induction session I have never looked back and am now fully certified, sorry, the proud owner of a NWUK Freedom Passport! Susan is a great instructor, and I love the variety of local places where she holds her walks, many of which I have never visited in spite of living in the area for over 40 years!! I also find that Nordic Walking complements the aerobic/body conditioning exercise classes I regularly attend: the walks are a great all-over workout, and are kinder on the knees because you're not just using leg-power to propel yourself. It's also good to exercise outdoors, in good company, and frequently with a very welcome brew or coffee to look forward to at the end of the walk!

    RE

    Excellent for posture

    Fresh air, good company, excellent for posture and a full body work out. Highly recommended!

    AB

    I wondered what my crazy friend was up to now!

    I'd never heard of Nordic Walking until I saw a Facebook post and wondered what a crazy friend was up to now. Not a great fan of the gym, with some trepidation I booked a induction session. I needn't have worried, Susan is warm, welcoming, knowledgeable, professional and hilarious, which is just as well because session one was tears of laughter as it seemed I'd lost the ability to put one foot in front of the other. Driving home I told myself "stick with it you idiot, you can walk and that was a lot of fun". Four enjoyable sessions later I've had a LOT of fun, met some lovely people and gained my Freedom Passport. Yesterday I went on my first Adventure walk with Susan; there I was 'Nordic Walking' enjoying fresh air, gorgeous views, exercise and a good old natter with the other walkers. But, best of all I walked all the way up that killer hill without needing a rest part way up (aka stop unable to speak and gasping for air, yes that was me on my first attempt). At the top of that hill with a big smile I thought..... good stuff this Nordic Walking!!!

    FL

    Nordic Walking beats the gym hands down

    Nordic Walking beats the gym hands down! It is such a sociable activity that you rarely notice how hard you are working but there is the thrill of realising, as I did, that you are no longer 200yds behind the lead person of the group, you are that lead person and wonder how and when that transformation happened. Susan is the most motivational instructor one can imagine, always pushing gently to ensure that every individual works as hard as they can without even noticing. When I began Nordic Walking I considered myself to be reasonably healthy and fit for my 59 years. I had no health issues or joint problems but in the last 2 years I have become fitter and leaner than I have ever been. In tandem with a WeightWatchers healthy eating programme I lost 1.5 stone, dropped 2 trouser sizes in 12 months and am proud to be able to say that the weight loss and change in body shape have been maintained for over 6 months simply because I walk regularly. Now, 2 yrs on I wouldn’t be without my 3 times a week fix of Nordic Walking in the out doors. It lifts my mood when I have had a hard day and if I walk in the rain I am definitely smug.

    MK

    I've seen improvements to my overall fitness, upper body strength & muscle tone

    I have been Nordic Walking with Susan since March 2018. In that time my level of fitness has improved greatly and so has my upper body strength and muscle tone. For me Nordic Walking is a great full body workout with fantastic results! All this while enjoying good company and beautiful countryside!!

    SB

    I chased after this group of Nordic Walkers to find out more!!!!

    I saw the Nordic Walking group at Chorlton Water Park from a distance a while ago and thought to myself.. 'That's what I want to do... it looks fab!'. So I chased after them for details and joined soon after. I have never looked back & look forward to going every week. I love the combination of exercise & nature... Best 'club' I have ever joined!

    WE

    WORKING