Whilst Vicky is away we thought you may want to learn a little more about our wonderful Bristol Nordic Walking instructors. So we've asked them a few questions about Nordic walking (with one exception) and here are their answers. They may or may not surprise you...
Why did you start Nordic Walking?
Marcus “For health reasons really - I was starting to develop a spare tyre and gyms were never an option for me as I found them very intimidating. Vicky and Ros and all my fellow walkers were so friendly, helpful and accepting. I was instantly hooked and quickly became a Nordic walking geek!”
Rachael “I was persuaded to try it by Ros and loved it. I thought working outdoors would be a great mix with my gym work.”
Ros "I met Vicky on a fitness course and she started talking about Nordic walking - it sounded magical and I couldn't wait to have a go. She took me under her wing and I fell in love with this amazing new exercise."
Patsy "I was persuaded to start NW by a good friend who walked with Ros and Vicky. It took her a long time to persuade me - about six months! I did one class with Ros and was hooked, I went home and googled details on instructor training.”
Miro “I love being outside and wanted variety with my work. I had also seen the groups on the downs for a few years and they looked fun.”
Why do I love it?
Marcus “Time flies by on walks and not only am I physically getting a full body workout, my mind is too. We have such a diverse group of people that I've met, people that would've normally been outside my social circle, this has led to many interesting conversations and friendships. I love the camaraderie of Nordic walking as much as the numerous physical benefits, and we always have a good laugh whatever the weather!”
Clair “It’s a lovely form of exercise in the great outdoors.”
Rachael “It’s fun, social, outdoors and really good for me. Above all I have met some really wonderful people and I feel privileged to be part of Bristol Nordic Walking.”
Ros "You can exercise and talk at the same time - there's not many exercises where you can do that . Plus it's not competitive, it works the body evenly and it doesn't hurt you - it's the best all round exercise, ever!"
Patsy “The walkers! And being outdoors.”
Miro “I feel it really helps with my posture and neck - and I love walking in nature. I also find the enthusiasm from everybody gives you a real lift.”
What has been your favourite specific event or day in your Nordic walking career?
Marcus “I can't name just one specific moment! Every time someone says ‘Yes, I see’ and they get a technique tip I’ve gone over with them. When someone new comes on my walk and I see their technique improving and becoming more fluid throughout the walk. Every time a walker notices that their fitness has improved. The Challenge Events with people from all over the country coming together with a common passion. So basically every Nordic walk is my favourite!
Clair “There’s been a few, but the Xmas walk 2016 where I took mulled wine & ginger Xmas biccies. Oh yes, and for entertainment factor I slipped over in the mud!”
Rachael “The very special walk we did with Sheila in memory of her daughter Josephine, who loved the outdoors and watching the sunlight through the trees. It was lovely to all come together.”
Ros "When Bristol Nordic Walking won the award for 'Best Health Business' at the Bristol Life Awards. It was an emotional moment for all of us."
Patsy “A great day is when one of our walkers tells me they've noticed a real improvement in their fitness, or found muscles they didn't know they had, or a back problem has eased. Oh, and I enjoy the socials at The Kings Arms - it's always fun to see how different people look in their everyday clothes and great to have time to chat to everyone without reminding them to focus on their core!”
Miro “Not one specific event but constantly hearing peoples’ positive stories - how it has helped them overcome many health issues is very rewarding.”
What is your favourite part of the Nordic walking technique and why?
Marcus “I'm torn between the heel toe roll (it really works my calves and glutes and is great for preventing trips), or the rotation as it has helped me so much in strengthening my back. Before Nordic walking I used to go to an osteopath every six months and haven't needed one since taking up Nordic walking”
Clair “It’s 'push' as I like to work the core & slice an inch or two off the waist....all in an hour's walk, haha!.”
Rachael “I love teaching walkers to have a good arm swing and to extend fully. Great for keeping the arms in shape (what bingo wings!).”
Ros "I'm obsessed by the push off with the toe as it works those all important bum muscles. These muscles can be easily ignored but are absolutely vital!"
Patsy “I love it when it suddenly clicks with a walker that there is so much power in that push behind.”
Miro “I like doing hills because you can really feel it through your whole body and your heart rate ramps up.”
Scones – jam or cream on top?
Marcus “This is the easiest one to answer! The way science has proven right, the proper way the Cornish way!! Jam first, then cream.”
Rach “Cream on top and don’t forget the butter!! Yummmm.”
Ros "Jam on top, cream below. You can only spread the jam evenly if you have a good base."
Patsy “Jam on top. The clotted cream is instead of butter. And l'll have blackcurrant jam on mine please.”
Miro “None, I'm gluten and dairy free at the moment......very boring I know!”
If you have any feedback or comments for our instructors we'd love to hear it. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the instructor directly. We always welcome your thoughts on how we can improve our Nordic walks.
Vicky will be back next week.