Live and Move is about supporting people to move more every day. And whether it’s something small like getting off the bus one stop earlier, or embarking on a new fitness regime, we know the difference that being active can make to everybody.
One of the programmes that we’ve been supporting recently is the Exe Nordic Walking group. This inclusive group meets at a variety of locations around the Exeter and Cranbrook area, often in valley parks around Exeter’s Green Circle. The groups are small and very friendly, and the activity is suitable for most levels of fitness. But Nordic walking doesn’t just help with fitness – there are a host of other benefits too, including improving posture, stiff necks, back problems, muscle engagement and weight loss, not to mention participants’ emotional wellbeing and the opportunity to make new friends and get out in the fresh air.
Still not convinced? We recently caught up with two nordic walkers, Kate and Ann to see what they thought about it.
Kate says: “I’ve found Nordic Walking is a very good way of getting all over fitness – not just your legs, but your whole body. I broke my ankle and found that for getting back into fitness again, Nordic Walking was absolutely brilliant. It worked for me.”
Kate began Nordic walking when her dog got too old for regular walks. Sadly, the group that she was originally part of didn’t resume after lockdown in 2020, so Kate started to look around for an alternative one. That’s when she came across Exe Nordic Walking, and she soon signed up for a six-week course.
Kate says that the social aspect of the walks is as important to her as the physical aspect.
She added: “For me, walking with poles is very much a group thing. It’s not just about the fitness, it is about the social aspect as well – my mental health as well as physical health.”
Fellow Nordic walker Ann, started walking with the Exe Nordic Walking group when she came across their stand at an event near her home in St Thomas, Exeter. She’d not been doing much exercise and knew that she wanted to get stronger, having suffered a number of falls and taking time out after a major accident in 2020.
Ann says: “I went along to the course without any expectations, more of an expectation that it wasn’t for me but I’ll give it a try … after the first couple of weeks, I felt ‘no, this is for me’. It felt comfortable, it gave me support when I was moving…walking with poles gave me a boost.”
Ann has noticed that since starting Nordic Walking, she is fitter and stronger, and able to walk every day with her husband. She also has the confidence to undertake new routes, thanks to the support from Exe Nordic Walking. And she says that seeing fellow walkers with poles offers the chance to be sociable too!
She added: “While out doing these walks I bump into people who have poles as well…you stop and talk and pass the time of day with them.
We wouldn’t have been doing half of these walks in the places we go without Exe Nordic Walking. My poles are always in the car, ready to come out.” So there you have it. Nordic Walking is a great all round exercise, and it’s good for your mental health as well as your physical health. Fancy giving it a go? Check out Exe Nordic Walking and let us know how you get on!