Monday, 9 January 2012

Nordic Walking

For the last two years/eighteen months I have done no exercise at all...and I mean none!! Most of my time has been spent sat on my backside either doing the reading I needed to do for Uni or writing essays...and when I took a break from that I was working on my art which is another activity that doesn't really require much physical exertion! Last year was particularly bad as I struggled to get my dissertation done...basically I got up, went into the study and stayed there till it was bed time. Exercise, even just getting out the house, was the last thing on my mind...I really did become a lesser spotted house dweller!

This year I have decided that I want to be a bit more active...I want to lose some weight and get fit. Not the gym...I've tried that before and I'm just not a gym going kinda gal...its not my thing and I go for a bit and then end up giving up. I had heard good things about Nordic Walking...that it helps with weight loss, improves fitness, helps with posture, is 80% more effective than going to the gym AND it has the added benefit of being something that is done outside and that Chris and I can do together. Soooo...this weekend Chris and I signed up to go on an introductory Nordic walking course. Our guide and trainer was the lovely Steve who runs Gemini Outdoor Adventure ltd and you know what? I can't recommend him or the course highly enough (Seriously, if you live locally then click on the link and sign up...you won't be sorry you did!).

Nordic walking is done in groups (which is a really nice way of exercising cause we all kind of cheered each other on) so there were seven of us that had signed up for the course. We met up on Saturday morning at 10.30am, were all given walking poles that met our specific height requirements and then the day started by learning the basics. It is funny...you look at it and think that it is something that should be really easy to do, and it is, but you do need tuition to make sure that you get it right. The weekend course was brilliant! If we had been only doing an hours class then the next time we picked up the poles I think we would have spent a lot of time going back over the basics again...by the end of the morning I think we had all pretty much got it. We had lunch and then went for a fabulous walk that took us across fields, brooks and through a very pretty little village. Oh, and we stopped for coffee and cake!!

Just before the end of the first day Steve made us do an exercise which was really interesting...and I don't think I would have believed it if I hadn't experienced it for myself...he had us plant our poles in the ground, walk up a small hill and back down again without them and then he had us repeat the exercise using the poles...my god what a difference they make!! Not only did I get up the hill quicker but I felt less exausted the second time! (did you hear that...less exausted the SECOND time!). I was tired at the end of the day (we finished at 4.30pm) but exhilarated.

Day two was amazing! We met up at the same time, got in a couple of cars and drove to a parking area next to part of the Cotswold way. What a way to exercise! The sky was blue, the sun was shining and we were walking along woodland paths with views that took your breath away! Steve was brilliant...he managed to spend some one-on-one time with everyone as we walked, gave tips on technique and was really encouraging which, I have to admit I needed from time to time!. (There was really only one climb that I stuggled with but with support from Steve, Chris and the rest of the group I made it to the top...and that was a great feeling!).

Today my body feels tired and a bit achy but not in a 'OMG I'm never going to be able to move again' way it feels achy in a good way. Put it this way...I have done no exercise at all in about two years, I have just spent a weekend walking (12 miles...that's how far we walked!) and yet I am not long off the phone asking Steve to order two sets of poles for us...yup, we loved it so much that we are buying our own AND we are meeting up with Steve and the group again on Tuesday evening to go for an hour and a quarter walk. I tell you...if I can do it then anyone can!

(If you are interested Steve does cover quite a big geographical area and regularly goes walking all over the country. I'm sure he would probably be more than happy to come to you if you could get a group of people together...there is no harm in asking!)

18 comments:

  1. The scenery looks stunning but, I cannot help wondering what you are going to see on Tuesday evening.

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  2. Walking is just such a pleasure, with or without poles! Last week went walking up in the hills of Derbyshire in the gales, it was really tough up the hills, and amazing getting blown about at the top before the shelter of the down path.

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  3. Happy walking hon. I miss those English hills...

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  4. Ha! I was into this a few years back and loved it, although I haven't done it in a while. I really should get back to it. But in the meantime, here's my blog on it: http://sueguineyblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/verona-plus-new-form-of-exercise-to.html

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  5. Cheshire Wife - LOL...I think the answer to that is not a lot :-). Steve said he is taking us somewhere tonight where we won't need torches but I have a sneaky suspicion that head torches will be mentioned at some point!

    Fire Byrd - It really is! I had forgotten just how much I love it...and the countryside round here is just beautiful which makes it even better!

    Yikes, not sure I like the sound of being blown about! Still, bet the views made it worth it!

    Jen - Walking is just not something that you can really do in Thailand is it...its too bloody hot! I can't even begin to imagine walking 12 miles in Thailand!!

    Sue - I'm not surprised you loved it (and I never thought I would say that about a form of exercise!). I shall go and check out your post :-)

    C x

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  6. Sue - LOL, I commented on that post that I would probably fall over the poles! I am pleased to report that I didn't *grins*

    C x

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  7. I was very sceptical of using walking poles, but after a week in Austria I couldn't do without them. Take a look at Alpkit.com for really good value poles if they have them in stock.

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  8. Mark - I really couldn't believe what a difference they made! I wouldn't have been able to get up that hill without them!

    Steve is ordering them for us...he get's a discount from the folk he's ordering from and he's passing the discount to us so we're getting them at a good price :-). Thanks for the tip though :-)

    C x

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  9. Oh geeze--he-who-used-to-take-walking-holidays would LOVE it.

    But alas. He's in the middle of the midwest. LOL Poor thing!
    He does find a walk down the gravel road a bit annoying. NOT the same, he says.
    Maybe not, but it's a walk none the less.

    Now if I could just have your scenery........ WOW......

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  10. Mel - Ha, if he used to take walking holidays then he would indeed love it!!

    I can understand where he's coming from...used to enjoy going for walks till we lived in Thailand...can't go for a walk there...you just end up a hot sweaty mess!!

    Yeah, the scenery was amazing!!

    C x

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  11. Walking = wonderful. Doing nothing = not wonderful.

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  12. It is fun! As you can imagine, lots of people do Nordic walking here as you can buy the weighted poles in any sports shop. Of course, you don't have to walk in a group and lots of people do Nordic walking with their dogs.

    Keep it up - it's a lovely way to get some fresh air!

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  13. JJ - It is wonderful and there are so many beautiful places round here that you can walk to :-).

    LadyFi - I think Chris and I would feel a bit daft just going walking ourselves (if it was just round the town...going on an actual walk would be different). We really enjoyed doing it in a group and are actually going out later with our neighbours :-)

    C x

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  14. Carol just picked up our message on the blog today. Congratulations on getting you MA. I am thrilled for you as it is such an achievement. Good for you with the pole walking as it isa great way to get fit - the great outdoors beats and gym any day. All the best for 2012. x

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  15. MOB - I knew that you would want to know how I got on! Thanks hon...I am still totally over the moon about it and still can't quite believe that I got a distinction!

    Yeah, I'm loving the Nordic walking and actually went out again today...that makes three times since last weekend...not bad for someone who is anti-exercise is it :-)

    Hope your doing well lovely lady

    C x

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  16. I adore walking - it is meditative, makes you feel good inside and out. Your gorgeous isle was made for walking! Enjoy!

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  17. Nice blog....love your design at the top.

    NEW follower.

    I am stopping by from the Top Writing Blog competition.

    Just wanted to say hello. This is a great way to find new blogs and visit ones you haven't visited in a while. :)

    Elizabeth - Silver's Reviews

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

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  18. Elizabeth - Welcome and thanks for leaving such a lovely comment :-)

    I've not had time to go check out all the other blogs on the list yet (I'm finding that my drawing a day site is taking up all my spare time...well, when I'm not out walking that is :-D) but I will get round to it at some point!

    C x

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