NEW Nordic walking courses are now being offered in the Lyme Regis area, offering the opportunity to improve fitness and enjoy the local countryside.
Gillian Butcher set up Lyme Bay Nordic Walking after becoming a qualified instructor with the British Nordic Walking Association.
She offers free 45-minute taster sessions and three-week ‘Introduction to Nordic Walking’ courses, with one-to-one sessions and regular guided walks around the area varying in lengths and intensities.
Nordic walking originated in Finland, where it was developed as a summer training activity for the Olympic Cross Country Skiing team.
Specially designed poles with glove style attachments enhance natural walking, turning an everyday activity into a whole body exercise. With good technique, 90 per cent of the body’s muscles are used, consequently burning up to 46 per cent more calories than walking without poles.
The core muscles, triceps (back of arms) and shoulders are activated as walkers push off with the poles and, because the effort is spread over the whole body, Nordic walking is said to feel easier than normal walking, enabling you to walk further and for longer.
The use of poles reduces strain on the joints, helps improve posture and reduces tension in the neck and shoulders.
Gillians said: “It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels and is now enjoyed by an estimated 10 million people worldwide. For obvious reasons it is very popular in the Nordic countries but the Chinese have embraced it big time!
“I began Nordic walking early last year and, aside from the health benefits, exercising outdoors in our beautiful countryside is the best aspect of it and even better if I’m walking with others.”
Poles are supplied for all walks.