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Nordic walking

Siobhan Regan, 18, found that her passion for Nordic walking helped her to get fit, socialise and feel more energetic.

Make walking more enjoyable

  • Walk a dog and let him take the lead.
  • Plan a route so that you can visit friends or family along the way. Visit the Walk it website for more details.
  • Stop off halfway at the park if you're walking with kids or dogs.
  • Arrange to meet a friend halfway.
  • Take a music player with you. 
  • Treat yourself to walking equipment. This may motivate you to walk more.
  • Contact local walking associations and join in.
  • Plan fun exploration walks for the kids. Get out and explore your local neighbourhood.
  • Make it your mission to plan a new walk each weekend. Look out for local parks, country walks, etc.
  • Pick different routes each week so that you don’t get bored.
  • Walk at different times of the day. The sights to see first thing in the morning are different to those of the afternoon or early evening.

Siobhan, from Ilkeston, loved PE and was super-fit at school. But after she left at 16, she stopped exercising. Now her fitness level is back to her best, thanks to Nordic walking.

"When I was at school I was getting exercise in my PE lessons, but when I left I just let myself go and started feeling unfit. I had no energy and felt sluggish, so I decided to do something about it.

"My cousin told me about Nordic walking. I thought it sounded weird, but I was curious, so I went along to the Saturday morning walk in Shipley Country Park. Nordic walking is just like normal walking, but you use a special pole to push behind you every time you take a step. It’s a great work-out because the resistance of the ground exercises more muscles.

"Walking with a group is fantastic. We all encourage each other and keep an eye out for anyone who can’t keep up. We’re all struggling up the same hills after all. Walking in a group definitely makes me push myself harder, because I want to keep up with the fitter people.

"Since I started, I've noticed a lot of changes that I didn't expect. My fitness has definitely improved, so has my stamina, and I'm a lot more energetic on Saturdays after the walk in the morning.

"I feel loads better now, and that’s made me want to try something new. I'm thinking about joining a team to play sport, and I definitely wouldn’t have had the confidence to do that before.

"Nordic walking is great for anyone looking for an exercise that isn’t too strenuous. You can walk at your own pace. The best thing is that you can chat and have a good laugh along the way."

For more information on Nordic Walking in Derbyshire visit the Midlands Nordic Walking and Shipley Country Park websites (see External links, right).

Last reviewed: 17/04/2008

Next review due: 17/04/2010

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