From politics to food choices to sport there is one common thread: not everyone likes the same thing. So whilst I love Nordic walking and can see its many benefits, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. On paper, Nordic walking looks impressive: engaging 90% of our muscles; burning up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking; challenging both the upper and lower body to give a total body workout; strengthening your postural muscles and firming your core. But when I’m asked what Nordic walking’s key benefits are I increasingly turn to its less tangible qualities:
- It’s sociable
- It’s outdoors
- It makes us feel good (we have a laugh)
- It’s something we actually look forward to – yes even in the rain.
Two events this week have reinforced this; our quiz night last Thursday and the Cotswold Way walking weekend which I have just returned from. Both were an opportunity for a group of people to meet up, have fun and get to know one another better. In the case of our Cotswold Way weekend it was also a chance to enjoy two days of walking along this magnificent local National Trail. We covered 26 miles over the weekend, took in some breathtaking views and both established and cemented friendships along the way (we also ate a prodigious amount of food!). It was a substantial mileage for all of us and for some it was the longest distance they had ever covered. As for our quiz night, nearly 70 of you came to the quiz itself and thanks to your generosity and everyone else from our club who bought raffle tickets or donated prizes, we have raised nearly £1,000 for Penny Brohn and Parkinsons UK. Now that’s a real feel good factor.
Whether it’s meeting up for a quiz or coming together for weekend’s walking, building fun and friendship into your fitness regime transforms it from being something you ‘ought’ to do to something you ‘want’ to do. Yes we have hour long Nordic walking fitness walks, longer walks and weekends away, all of which challenge and extend our fitness, but the real reason we are getting fitter and able to walk a marathon in a weekend is because we enjoy the company as well as the sport.