Nordic walking in the top 5!

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This week, Nordic Walking has once again been rightly heralded as a significantly effective form of Exercise for certain cohorts.

In this article in the  TIMES NEWSPAPER Nordic Walking was listed in the TOP FIVE EXERCISES for the older Adult something we are really proud of because we have always viewed it as the perfect way to help with balance, mobility and reduction of weight on lower body joints. “It was never just walking with poles for us” says Martin Christie from WALX UK, the founders of Nordic walking UK, “From the outset, our team created CPD modules (see HERE) to introduce elements of behaviour change, falls prevention and exercise referral into our programmes and some of our earliest partnerships were with Age UK. The Integrated Falls service team at St Georges Hospital in London were one of the first to adopt Nordic walking and to date we have returned to train over 40 of their team and support them to deliver peer led programmes for their Patients see HERE

Now we have training programmes and packages for Care homes, Community Physios, Exercise referral teams and firmly believe that Nordic Walking has a huge part to pay in social prescription”

Not only is it affordable and portable but Nordic Walking is adaptable too and in recent years the team at NWUK have worked to perfect it’s delivery with innovations developed by Partners in Canada – Urban Poling.”Typically, Nordic Walking poles have straps like ski poles” say Martin ” but the technicalities of mastering those plus the added risk of falling once strapped in, led us to explore ways to enhance pole walking without compromising it. Now we Use poles with a ‘core ledge’ initially and this helps us to ensure the walker learns how to use the poles effectively rather than just tap and go!” He adds

Denise Page head Tutor at WALX says ” The difference is huge, we now see people mastering the upper body movements which increase the weight sharing and propulsion gained from poles as well as the range of movement involved. Its like a swimmer advancing from a limited movement like doggie paddle to a smooth effective front crawl” she adds. This enables our Instructors and projects to adapt the training and the pole types to suit the participants and the results speak for themselves.

This has made a significant impact on not only our work with older Adults but for our walk with Parkinson’s MS and other conditions where balance, gait and motor symptons are present”

This report in the SAGE JOURNAL also cites the effectiveness of Nordic Walking for this cohort:-

Nordic walking interventions significantly improve motor symptoms, balance, and gait outcomes. After analyzing pooled data of 3 trials (n = 73) comparing Nordic walking interventions with no exercise or sham treatment, Nordic walking had a moderately large effect on motor symptoms and a large effect on the BBS and the 6MWT (Table 1).”

During lockdown the team at WALX produced a video for Parkinson’s UK see below plus a range of videos and a virtual delivery platform that helped Instructors and projects stay engaged with the those who usually take part in over 2,000 walks a week around the UK. This Autumn they will launch an additional CPD programme for their Instructors on how to tailor pole walking for balance/neuro conditions in conjunction with Reach your Peak.

The team at WALX are now keen to replicate the success they have had in bringing Nordic walking to the British Public with a wider range of programmes for all ages and abilities that tap into the power of Walking and the mood boosting effects of being in Nature.

Watch this space…………………..

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