Kathryn McDonald, a long-standing members of the club, writes about Nordic walking.
Having decided that, due to an unrelated back injury, I would have to stop running , I looked for an alternative means of getting out into the countryside. I turned to Nordic walking. Nordic walking uses poles so the upper body muscles are used as well as the legs and the poles help to propel the walker along – this means he or she works harder than usual yet the support given by the poles makes it feel easier!
Nordic Walking is a specific fitness technique and is not to be confused with trekking, hill walking or trail running as the poles are not planted in front of the walker/runner but in a specific way that increases the use of the upper body. It can be done by anybody, anywhere and does not require expensive equipment or clothing.
Nordic Walking is believed to be one of the fastest growing fitness activities in the world and is used by individuals, personal trainers, health clubs, physiotherapists, doctors and health promoters because it is highly effective, affordable and fun!
With this I can remain mobile, have less fear of falling and I still get a good cardiovascular workout. I was amazed how much easier walking up hills was with my poles and how I could now cover unstable terrain with confidence. My posture has improved along with my confidence.
Due to constant pain and lack of solutions I took matters into my own hands and trained first as a gym instructor, and then as a personal trainer, before I could embark on training to become a Nordic walking Instructor with Nordic Walking UK last August.
It is a great social activity and I would like to offer the experience to others in the Seaford area. In the holidays I have recently managed parts of both the Pembrokeshire Coastal path and Suffolk Coast path, although where it had been washed away in Suffolk the beach was heavy going. Many enjoyable walks along the South downs from Birling Gap, Crowlink and Seaford Head Nature Reserve are now all within my reach again. I feel I have a new lease of life. Introductory sessions and poles can be provided and once the technique has been mastered the health benefits can be enormous.
I can be found most Wednesday nights at the Downs Leisure Centre with the Seaford Striders at 7 p.m as I hope to set up a Nordic walking group within the club for non-running members. Weekends are also good to get out into the countryside. I can cater for both beginners groups and those who want to extend their range
For further information visit http://nordicwalking.co.uk/