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Nordic Walking…a beginner’s guide

Nordic Walking…a beginner’s guide

Now taking place from Bramcote Leisure Centre; Nordic Walking is a full-body exercise that’s easy on the joints and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. It was originally developed in Finland as an exercise for cross-country skiers during the summer season but now it’s big across all of Europe.

Using specially designed walking poles you’ll use your upper body muscles as well as your legs. It engages more muscles than ordinary walking whilst being low impact, and can be taken at your own pace. It works over 90% of your skeletal muscles burning about 50% more calories than regular walking; that’s between 400 – 500 calories an hour (though this does depend on the energy exerted). It’s the poles that help propel you along which means you’ll work harder than usual yet the support they give makes it feel easier!

Perhaps the real appeal in Nordic Walking is that it can be adapted to meet personal needs and abilities. Similar to other forms of moderate activity, regular Nordic Walking can help deal with many health and mobility problems. It can lower your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.

To get the most from a session it’s important to learn the basics of how to use the poles. There are just a few techniques to employ; shortening and lengthening your stride, depending on terrain; double-poling up steep hills and full-speed bounding, for the particularly energetic!  Once you have mastered the walking technique, your posture will benefit immensely – one of its key health benefits. We offer introductory sessions on a Thursday morning at Bramcote Leisure Centre to get you going.

But the best thing about Nordic Walking has got to be the social aspect, it’s just a great chance to chat to other people, whilst in the fresh air and the fitness aspect almost gets lost in the mix, but the physical benefits will be doing their magic too!

Even for people with good levels of mobility and fitness Nordic Walking is an ideal cross-training technique, as it involves whole body muscular activity, high heart rate response and yet a lowered rate of perceived exertion so you can work at a higher intensity for longer.

Come and join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays and enjoy a unique exercise which is available to all abilities at your own pace. Walks take place on Tuesdays at 6pm and Thursday mornings 9:30-10:00 (learner’s introduction) and 10:00-11:00am for the walk.

If there’s anything further you’d like to know please call the centre on; 0115 9173000. Sessions are included in our fitness memberships or you can come along on a pay-as-you-go a session; £5.70 with a Leisure card (£4 concession) or £6.55 for non-members.

Hope to see you out walking soon!

Chris, Fitness coordinator and walk leader, Bramcote Leisure Centre