Having fun in Eastville Park

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Before I started teaching Nordic walking over 14 years ago I was under the mistaken impression that the chief reasons people started Nordic walking were physical (improved posture, strengthening your upper body and core as well as your legs, better heart health etc) and mental, from being outdoors in a green environment. I am wiser now. The primary motivations are that it’s sociable and fun. 

Start with something fun and sociable and all the other benefits flow from there. 

Our fabulous Nordic walking event in Eastville Park a couple of Saturdays ago is a case in point. Over 50 of us gathered from 5 different Bristol parks and Nordic walking groups to mark International World Nordic Walking Day. The groups have all been established and supported by Let’s Walk Bristol over the last couple of years and this was our opportunity to get together and have a blast.

It included an ambitious idea of some of our instructors to form a Nordic walking ‘train’. It’s almost impossible to get 50 people in a co-ordinated arm and leg movement without a serious amount of practice and ours was a very higgledy-piggledy affair. But we had a go and it made us laugh. The cool-down was a Tai Chi one, beautifully given by Sunita, a Tai Chi as well as Nordic walking instructor. The refreshments in the Nissen hut (the local community building) afterwards were full of tables groaning with food brought by everyone, and the Eastville Park lawn bowls club laid on a bowls taster so we could experience another type of activity and build bonds with other Park users.

So there we have it. A gathering of many different Nordic walking groups, embracing the diversity of Bristol’s population, enjoying a local park, sharing refreshments, trying out something new. Connecting. Having fun. And incidentally increasing our heart health, strength, and fitness as well.

We received masses of thank you’s from walkers after the event and many written comments. Here’s a few.

We would like to say a personal thank you to everyone who supported our event – walkers, instructors, Friends of Eastville Park, the Eastville Park lawn bowls club, and the National Lottery Community Fund whose funding enabled this event to happen.

The Let’s Walk Bristol Team