We recently posted some brief Nordic walking Q&As on Facebook and you guys loved them. So here’s a fuller (and I hope entertaining) version – just in case you need them!
Q: Did I see you out walking with sticks the other day?
A: Yes – but they’re poles, not sticks. Nordic walking comes from cross country skiing where the poles have been specially adapted to use for walking.
Q: Ah, so that’s what Nordic walking is. I’ve heard of it – but what’s so special about it?
A: The list is pretty long – how much time have you got?! I just knew that I wanted to get out and exercise a bit more. I don’t like gyms and I’m past wanting to run so, as I like walking and being outside, I thought I’d give Nordic walking a go. It burns lots more calories than ordinary walking, tones me up and it’s fun – I can exercise and still have a chat (mostly).
Q: So have you lost weight? You’re certainly looking pretty trim.
A: As it happens, I have. I walk three times a week and I feel great on it. I’ve lost weight but what I’ve noticed more is that my posture’s improved, my bingo wings are going and my waist is returning – it’s brilliant!
Q: Hmm. That does sound good. But I saw you walking in a group and I’m not as fit or as fast as you.
A: Don’t worry about that, the club has classes to suit everyone. Also the poles accelerate you forwards so you walk much faster than you ever thought you could and it doesn’t even seem like that much effort.
Q: What about the kit? You’ve obviously got to buy those poles. I don’t want to spend money on something I might not like.
A: You don’t need to buy poles – the instructors who run the classes have poles they can lend you. You don’t need any other special kit (or lycra!), just stuff that you’d wear to go for a walk. Admittedly I’ve just bought myself some walking shoes and a good waterproof but they’re handy things to have anyway.
Q: Why don’t you just go out by yourself or with some friends. What’s the big deal about Bristol Nordic Walking?
A: I could go Nordic walking by myself but I know I wouldn’t. Other things would get in the way and I’d lose motivation. With Bristol Nordic Walking I book and pay for my classes in advance which means I have to go and makes me prioritise my fitness. Plus I can switch off to other stuff during the class and either concentrate on my Nordic walking technique (it’s trickier than it looks) or have a good chat. I haven’t yet managed to do both – but apparently it’s possible!
Q: I quite like the sound of Nordic walking. I wouldn’t know anyone though and I think I’d find joining a group intimidating.
A: I did too but I joined on my own and found everyone really friendly. Everyone’s got Nordic walking in common and people are always happy to chat. Plus there are longer walks, socials and weekends away, so you can really get to know people. There’s even a cross country skiing trip to Finland next year.
Q: You know what, I think I’m going to give it a go!
A: Great! Book onto a Beginners Workshop and Ros will teach you the technique. Then you’re ready to go. There’s about 30 weekly walks so you’ll be spoilt for choice. See you at one of the classes soon 🙂
You can find our favourite Nordic walking poles here and if you’re looking for our advice on best walking kit here’s our recommendations:
Bristol & Bath Nordic Walking Team