Positively Nordic

Mike Stead

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Out in the fresh air and beautiful countryside around Harrogate and Knaresborough, Positively Nordic offers ‘Power of Poles Introduction to Nordic Walking’ programmes, and regular walks for all abilities. Nordic walking is a great way to progress towards your health and fitness goals. Sociable too!


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Programmes Delivered
  • NWUK Delivery Partner
  • Nordic Wellbeing
  • Power of Poles

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Activities by Positively Nordic

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Meet the Team

Mike Stead

Role: NWUK Delivery Partner

Mike is a Nordic Walking UK Accredited Instructor and Delivery Partner. He started up Positively Nordic in April 2015, after first coming across the activity whilst on holiday in Austria. ‘You see people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels over there out Nordic walking, and I started to read up on it, and watch videos about it, and realised what a brilliant form of all-round exercise it is. So I learned how to do it. Then I trained to be a NWUK qualified instructor, and then set up our venture. Without doubt it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.’

Mike runs Power of Poles Introductory sessions, the optional, more advanced Power of Poles 2 session, as well as leading regular walks. He particularly enjoys seeing how people progress, from feeling a bit awkward (and perhaps a bit self-conscious) when they first start to learn to Nordic walk, to then seeing them confidently striding out on the walks, looking very natural, and enjoying it. ‘On the face of it’, Mike says ‘Nordic walking looks dead easy and you wouldn’t necessarily think there’s much to learn. But to get the many benefits, it needs to be done properly. As everyone who’s learned the technique knows, the brain and the body tend to do strange things when we suddenly have four legs again!’

‘I love being outdoors, in all weathers, and keeping fit surrounded by our beautiful countryside, and introducing others to Nordic walking. And I have Jo, Cas and Jane to support me and keep me in check. Marvellous!’

Jo Trigg

Role: NWUK Brand Ambassador

Jo is an accredited NWUK instructor, and delivers Power of Poles sessions 1 and 2, as well as leading regular walks.  Jo started Nordic walking in April 2015 and has been walking several times a week since then (with the occasional break for holidays!).

Jo says:  ‘To be honest, I didn’t know much about Nordic walking at all when I signed up for a taster. I was really attracted to the thought of getting fit, in the outdoors, and with other people wanting to do the same. And I haven’t looked back! I noticed very early on how my posture and muscle tone (especially in my arms) started to improve. It’s hard to imagine life without Nordic walking now, and I get a real lift from seeing other people discovering its benefits – and having a good laugh along the way.’

Jo strongly believes that people learn best when they are helped to feel at ease, and once people have learned the technique her aim is help them towards their health and fitness goals in a fun and social environment. ‘I love what I do’, says Jo. ‘I just want other people to love it too!’

Cas Beattie

Role: Walk Leader

I joined Positively Nordic in February 2016. In January 2016 I decided to try a new activity every month until I found something I really liked doing. I booked a Nordic Walking Taster Session that month and was hooked! There was no need to try anything else!

Here’s my list of the positives of Nordic Walking:

  • Enjoying the beautiful outdoors, the seasons, the fresh air, the flora and the fauna!!
  • Improving posture, core strength, fitness and mental health and wellbeing.
  • Making new friends, great conversation, laughter and being made to feel at ease and welcomed.
  • Anyone can do it!

In 2018 I trained as a Walk Leader because I love Nordic Walking so much and wanted to be part of this very special group of people introducing others to this activity.

Jane Pither

Role: Back Marker

Jane is the newest, and very welcome, member of the team. Jane says: ‘I started Nordic Walking in 2017 because I wanted more exercise. I didn’t really know much about it, apart from it originated in Finland as a complement to cross country skiing. To my slight surprise, I loved it – despite a perceived lack of coordination at first.  I’ve explored so many parts of North Yorkshire that I didn’t know previously, made some great friends – and got fitter!  Sometimes this is countered by delicious coffee and cakes after the walks – a tradition that we have continued safely where possible.  I volunteered to take on the Walk Leader training in 2021 so that I could act as a back marker on busy walks and I really enjoyed learning more about what happens behind the scenes and what efforts Mike, Jo and Cas put in to make sure we all have a great, safe, fun experience.’

Testimonials

from members of Positively Nordic

Nordic walking - life changing!

It was a really nasty surprise, at the end of the last lockdown, to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I successfully began to shed the weight, but really needed to find a regular exercise regime - ambles around the block and the occasional YouTube workout just weren’t enough any more. I’m so grateful I discovered Nordic walking - from my very first outing, when Jo was so exceptionally patient and good-humoured as my unfit legs and poles were constantly tangled, I knew I’d found the exercise for me. I feel like I’ve really found my tribe - the organisation is superb, the walks in the gorgeous Yorkshire countryside meticulously planned, the company - leaders and other walkers - an absolute joy, and the whole body exercise in the great outdoors is absolutely everything I’d been looking for. I now walk twice a week, am fitter than I’ve ever been before, and enjoy every moment - with thanks to Mike and Jo, the regular exercise really has changed my life.

Anne

Nordic walking - the best activity

Nordic walking has been the best activity I have ever signed up for.  I was looking for something that would provide exercise, fresh air and company. Nordic walking provides all three and more! I have benefitted both physically and mentally in the short time that I have been part of the group. I feel stronger, fitter and have better posture. I feel more positive, less isolated and look forward each week to discovering more of our beautiful countryside. Our group leaders, Mike, Jo and  Cas are always helpful and friendly and good fun and never fail to make everybody welcome. There are different walks to cater for different levels of fitness which allow people to develop their strength and if they wish, move onto the next group. I love the fact that as we are walking along, I can chat to different members of the group or have times when I don’t talk at all, and just enjoy breathing in fresh air and watching the stunning views.  Thank you.

Jill

Nordic walking and heart surgery

Thank you Mike...your Nordic walking classes are excellent and it's thanks to you that my recovery after my triple heart bypass has been so rapid...I’m certainly a new man and I now have loads of energy...without being stuck in a gym...I can now enjoy the wonderful countryside that surrounds us and the added blessing is my lovely wife Lynne and our little puppy Bertie can also join me.

Christopher

Nordic walking - wonderful activity and life changer

Thank you Mike for your patience, and clear, calm instruction. This is a life changer for us. Christopher has come on leaps and bounds since his heart attack and triple bypass this summer. During those dark days we never imagined doing this type of activity - thank you for introducing us to this wonderful activity. We would highly recommend Nordic Walking to anyone wanting to improve their physical health but also mental health. There is nothing like being outside in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside to make any situation seem better. Your guidance has been invaluable. We also appreciate the advice on the right clothing and shoes. Now fully equipped we will be out in all weathers. Looking forward to joining in some walks now that we have our passport x

Lynne

Enthusiastic converts

To show mum and dad, I had a practice round the garden on Sunday with my new shiny poles (lovely). Apart from nearly hanging myself from the washing line it was all good and we are looking forward to our first solo walk on Saturday! Our Nordic walking enthusiasm (not least because of the fun, expert teaching we received!) has encouraged two friends to seek classes in their area. Pity none of us are on commission!!

Angela

Nordic walking and COPD

Almost three months ago I found Mike and Positively Nordic to get back into Nordic walking which I initially learnt six years ago. I was unfit and have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)  which prevented me walking, 'just in case' I came across a slope, let alone a hill, as I knew it would affect my breathing. With the support of Mike and Jo, I was re-assured - stopping to catch my breath was not an issue. In the three months that I've been Nordic walking, I am no longer fearful about hills and slopes. One hill took me three stops to catch my breath the first time I walked it - the last time I did it in one go. What an achievement (for me!). My breathing, stamina, and fitness have all improved immensely. Long may it continue. Thank you.

Sheila

Nordic walking and feeling fitter

I'm so glad that I took the plunge on my own and booked the lesson. I was immediately hooked! I completed the Learn to Nordic Walk course, which was great fun and Mike was very patient and encouraging.   In just a few weeks I have more stamina, feel fitter and, without dieting, have lost weight.  It's great to exercise outdoors whilst enjoying the countryside and meeting new people.

Caroline

Nordic Walking and COPD

Almost three months ago I found Mike and Positively Nordic to get back into Nordic walking which I initially learnt six years ago. I was unfit and have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) which prevented me walking, 'just in case' I came across a slope, let alone a hill, as I knew it would affect my breathing. With the support of Mike and Jo, I was re-assured - stopping to catch my breath was not an issue. In the three months that I've been Nordic walking, I am no longer fearful about hills and slopes. One hill took me three stops to catch my breath the first time I walked it - the last time I did it in one go. What an achievement (for me!). My breathing, stamina, and fitness have all improved immensely. Long may it continue. Thank you.

Sheila

WORKING