Q: “Where’s the snow? Have you lost your skis? Are you in training for an Arctic expedition?”
A: … Are all questions I hear from surprised onlookers from time to time. 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!
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.
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. 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: Can I use trekking poles for Nordic Walking?
A: No. Trekking poles do not have the correct handstraps to allow you to push downwards and 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 takes at least four sessions for people to become familiar walking with the poles, and to learn the correct, safe and effective Nordic Walking technique. If you cannot make the course dates, you can also book in for one-to-one sessions with Laura to suit your schedule.