Love Actually………… – By Julie Barnes

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It’s that lovely but frustrating time of year again where you really want to buy something special for your loved ones but, inevitably, if you are anything like me you will be stuck for ideas or will end up buying the same old thing. At best you will swap vouchers – at worst socks (unless they are Nordic Walking socks of course in which case they are a great present, and you can get them here!).

Christmas socksThese…..or these? Nordic Walking X-Socks

Well, this year instead of sticking with the normal gifts, why not take this opportunity to encourage a hard to buy for loved one to try out something new. With a Nordic Walking gift voucher or a learn to Nordic Walk course, you will give them a taste of what thousands of people around the world are already benefitting from. You could introduce a friend, mum, dad or sibling to a new hobby that could last long after the Christmas season and hopefully a lifetime.

There are all different kinds of love

As they say in the iconic Christmas film, there are all different kinds of love, and you never know what you will end up loving, and that has certainly been the case with me. I never thought I would say I love Nordic Walking, but I actually do, I mean walking is just walking, and you can do it anywhere and anyway right? Wrong.

Yes, of course you can put your shoes on and go for a walk, but Nordic walking is so much more than that. More than I expected, when after much deliberation and coercion to move me off the couch by a friend, I was persuaded to sign up for a Nordic Walking training session.

I didn’t know what to expect

I don’t know what I expected when we started, but it certainly wasn’t being told to pretend to squash lemons under my feet – but that guaranteed I was laughing from the first minute! Many sessions later I’m still laughing – one of the unexpected benefits of Nordic walking is the camaraderie and friendship with the other group members – a walk is never just a walk – I always come back with a smile on my face.

I also rediscovered how much I love being outside in nature, (in our busy lives how easy it is to forget the simple pleasures) how it relaxes your brain and the only thing to think about is the rhythm of your arms and legs as you use your poles to propel yourself forward. I never realised before experiencing it for myself why Nordic walkers use poles and how effective they are – on a sponsored walk recently I overheard someone comment on why I was using my poles and what was the point of them- this was just as myself and my friend passed them at speed, finished the 10 miles in record speed and were already having breakfast when they arrived half an hour later! The poles give you purpose which leads me nicely on to another reason why I love Nordic Walking…………

Purpose means speed, and speed means a sweat worked up and calories burnt (so you can enjoy a leisurely, guilt-free lunch with your fellow walkers afterwards – another fun and social part of our walks). I didn’t take up Nordic Walking specifically for weight loss (I wasn’t intending to take it up at all!) but to my surprise I have lost over a stone and am generally more toned all over – add this to being surrounded by and appreciating nature, spotting wild animals (herds of deer make a frequent appearance on our walks) and seeing our more of beautiful countryside I can definitely say that Nordic Walking has had a positive effect on my life and I love it!!!


Don’t leave it till the last minute

So, if you are still deliberating what to buy for your loved ones, instead of leaving it till the last minute and giving a gift that may make them smile for a minute, consider something that could make them smile for a whole lot longer and click here to get them …………….

Something they will Love, Actually !!


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