Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nordic Walking - Fitness, Fresh Air and Friendliness

Fitness, Fresh Air and Friendliness
by UK Health Radio Guest Contributor. Rodger Matthews

'In six months I lost a stone, said goodbye to those Bingo Wings, rediscovered my waistline and have less cellulite. Even my husband said my bum was smaller'.
'Sitting at my computer all day kills my back. Now I feel more relaxed and I sleep so much better. It was like having my shoulders and neck massaged'

These are just two of the many comments from individuals who have found the benefits of taking up Nordic Walking. Seen by many as an alternative to spending time cooped up in a gym it offers the advantage of exercising in the fresh air and because it is a group activity an opportunity to make friends.

NordicWalking is walking with a difference it's a bit like cross country skiing but without the skis. Ideal, in fact, for those who want to get fit prior to a skiing trip. It was first introduced by skiers in Finland the 1930's as a means of keeping fit during the summer months when snow was not available. They soon realised this form of training was giving them a massive advantage and that it was a perfect way to keep their hearts and lungs in top condition whilst improving their upper body strength. The actively is widely used throughout Europe it is rapidly gaining popularity here in the the combined social and health benefits are becoming increasingly recognised.

Instructor Beverley Boon who operates out of Bushy Park in the London Borough of Richmond is well aware of the health benefits from undertaking a course of Nordic Walking training. 'Whether you are young and feel the need to work out or older and keen to improve your overall fitness, Nordic Walking is more than a stroll in the park. It is a great all body work out using 90% of your skeletal muscles. Regular users see improvements to muscles that have lain dormant for some time (the wobbly bits that women sometimes complain about). Stamina improves, it's good for the heart and helps those who are prone to osteoporosis.'

'What could be better for your overall health and well-being' she adds 'than a fitness regime in the open air. A brisk walk in the morning sunshine or a walk through the seasons on a crisp, bright morning when the frost paints the fronds on the ferns, when the mist hangs in the park or if we are lucky the ground is carpeted with snow and yet inside you are warm and content'

'As an exercise activity it is fairly unique in that it is beneficial not only for the super fit but for those with recognised medical problems. Whatever age you are Nordic Walking offers health benefits whilst being enjoyable.

This fastest growing exercise activity appeals to all ages and fitness levels. Although it involves specialist techniques it is easy to learn. All the activity is undertaken in the open air surrounded by attractive countryside and in a sociable environment where participants can chat as they walk. Additional physical benefits over hiking or a brisk walk in the park are that it tones the upper and lower body at the same time whilst using 90% of the skeletal muscles. Whilst Nordic walking is particularly good for the heart and lungs it also benefits those who may have neck, shoulder and back problems. The poles used by the walkers propel the walkers along at a faster rate without feeling the effort. If you are a sportsman the techniques used are ideal for cardiovascular and endurance conditioning. If you merely wish to lose weight then note NordicWalking burns off 46% more calories than ordinary walking.

So if you are looking to:

·         manage your weight

·         keep your heart strong and healthy

·         reduce your blood pressure

·         give yourself more energy

·         and improve your physical and mental well being

now is the time to give Nordic walking a try. You will feel better for it!

If you would like to experience NordicWalking in Bushy Park or Richmond Park and take advantage of the exciting offers available you can contact Beverley Boon a qualified instructor on 07903 356 092 or 07903 356 092