Until last year (my 65th ) my only exercise was occasionally walking the 20 minutes to work and once or twice a month dragging myself out for an hour’s walk.
Then something unexpected happened. I joined a Nordic walking taster at the Charlotte Keel Health Centre where I work and to my great surprise enjoyed it. It hadn’t felt difficult – my legs hadn’t hurt and I hadn’t been out of breath – and afterwards I noticed that my sciatic pain had gone and I could bend down more easily. Other team members also noticed immediate benefits including less back and shoulder pain. All this after about 30 minutes of
The benefits only lasted a few days, but I found myself wanting to do more. I started Nordic walking several times a week in all weather conditions (unheard of previously), often getting so carried away that I stayed out longer than I’d intended. My mental health is generally good, but I felt happier after Nordic walking and the sense of wellbeing stayed with me afterwards. A big fitness surprise was when I Nordic walked to work. It was 5 minutes quicker, I found it easier, and I was less out of breath which meant I could finish up more elegantly.
Nordic walking has had a profound effect on my body. People keep telling me that I’m straighter and taller, my sciatic pain has gone, my pelvic floor muscles are stronger, and I can now put my hands behind my back to do my bra strap up. As someone who has had breast cancer, I also feel that I am doing something positive to support my long-term health. Thanks to that Nordic walking taster I have gone from a non-exerciser to Nordic walking three times a week. I have learned a new skill and have gone from being someone who never did well in school PE lessons to training as a Nordic walking instructor and supporting others to get fitter too. I really consider it my biggest achievement (amongst the many many during my lifetime) in my life.