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Welcome to Brockley Nordic Walking!

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Brockley Nordic Walking offer classes in Brockley and Ladywell in South-East London as well as in the City of London. We work in partnership Lewisham Healthy Walks scheme offering beginners’ technique courses and regular sessions, and are very proud to be partners of the London Sport This Girl Can campaign.

London’s many parks and urban pavements offer great opportunities for Nordic Walking inand around the city. Nordic Walking can be done anywhere; there is no need for hills,country paths or even snow! Nordic Walking is a fun, sociable way to exercise outdoors, and is accessible to walkers of all ages and fitness levels. Poles are provided by the instructor, so there is no need for expensive equipment or clothing.

Nordic Walking is a specific fitness technique and is not to be confused with trekking, hill walking or trail running as the poles are not planted in front of the walker but in a way that increases the use of the upper body. Nordic Walking technique must be learnt correctly if the walker is to get the most out of the activity.

Great for all fitness levels & abilities

Nordic Walking is unique in that it provides health & fitness benefits for everybody from those with medical problems to the super fit. Whatever age, fitness level or goal – Nordic Walking is suitable, effective and enjoyable.

Benefits include

  • Tones the upper and lower body at the same time
  • Uses 90% of the skeletal muscles
  • Burns up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking
  • Reduces the pressure on knees and joints
  • Great for the heart and lungs
  • Ideal for neck, shoulder and back problems
  • The poles help to propel the walker along – this means that although they are moving faster and working harder than usual, the support given by the poles makes it feel easier!
  • It can be done anywhere – no need for hills, country paths or even snow!
  • It appeals to all ages and fitness levels
  • No need to wear special exercise clothing, only good comfortable footwear required!
  • It is very sociable; participants can chat as they go!
  • It is easy to learn and to keep up
  • It combines exercise with the outdoors which has been proven to boost mood and relieve stress

A little bit of history

Nordic Walking was developed in the 1960s as a summer training method for very fit competitive cross country skiers in Finland who started to use poles in their training when there was no snow. They soon realised the technique was a perfect training aid that kept their heart and lungs in top condition, and ensured upper and lower body muscles remained in top shape off season. Nordic Walking quickly became a popular fitness method for the general public too, and has a great following across Scandinavia, mainland Europe, North America and as far away as in Japan! It is fast gaining popularity in the UK and London too!

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About the Instructor

Laura Kinnunen, a qualified Nordic Walking Instructor, grew up in Central Finland surrounded by beautiful forests and lakes, and from a very young age developed a love of the great outdoors through walking, cross country skiing and snowboarding.

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Her appreciation for outdoor activities was further deepened during her five year stint studying and working in rural Japan, where she also gained her first Nordic Walking Instructor qualification in 2002 with an International Nordic Walking Association (INWA) Master Trainer.

Laura returned to Nordic Walking in 2011 to relieve recurring headaches and stiffness in her neck and shoulder region caused by a sedentary job, and has not looked back since. Laura retrained as an Instructor with Nordic Walking UK in December 2011 and began working with the Lewisham NHS Trust Healthy Walks scheme delivering Nordic Walking sessions aimed at inactive Lewisham residents. Working with inactive adults sparked her interest in exercising for health benefits and she is currently in the final stages of completing a Level 3 Qualification in Exercise Referral.

 

Laura set up Brockley Nordic Walking in April 2012 and continues to work with the Lewisham Healthy Walks teaching beginners’ technique courses and regular weekly classes in her local parks including Hilly Fields and Ladywell Fields.

Nordic Walking never fails to leave Laura feeling reinvigorated, relaxed and happy, and she hopes to share this with as many walkers as possible!

FAQ

 

Q: What clothing and footwear should I wear for Nordic Walking?

A: You will need flexible soled trainers or walking shoes – ideally waterproof but this is not essential. Clothing needs to be suitable for the weather, something you feel comfortable moving in, and it is always a good idea to wear layers. In the winter months, a waterproof jacket, mittens and hats are a must. If walking after sunset, hi-vis jacket or a vest, and a headtorch are advisable for safety.

Q: Do I need to bring my own poles?

A: No, poles are provided by the instructor for all the beginners’ courses and regular sessions. However, many people choose to buy their own poles after completing the course.

Q: What else should I bring to class with me?

A: It is always a good idea to carry a water bottle, and of course any medication you may need, i.e. asthma inhalors. Some people carry their personal belongings in a rucksack, others opt for sports bum-bags. Handbags and across the body bags are best left at home as these will get in the way of the poles.

Q: Can I use trekking poles for Nordic Walking?

A: No. Trekking poles do not have the correct handstraps to allow you to gain the required forward propulsion. Trekking poles also generally do not have an angled rubber paw for use on hard surfaces.

Q: Do I really have to attend a beginners’ course? Isn’t it just ‘walking with sticks’?

A: Attending a beginners’ course is a must as there is a lot more to Nordic Walking than meets the eye. It generally takes four sessions for people to become really familiar walking with the poles, but this depends on the individual. Some people learn the correct, safe and effective Nordic Walking technique in just a couple of sessions. If you cannot make the course dates, you can also book in for one-to-one sessions with Laura to suit your schedule.

Q: “Where’s the snow? Have you lost your skis? Are you in training for an Arctic expedition?”

A: Nordic Walking requires no snow or skis, but could actually be a great way to train for an Arctic expedition! Nordic Walking can be done anywhere; urban pavements & parks, rolling hills, up & down mountains, in a forest, on the beach – all you need is to learn the correct technique with a qualified instructor, a pair of poles and comfortable foot wear, and you are set!