FAQs

… or all you need to know about Nordic Walking and its benefits, how to book on our sessions and what to expect.

If you have any other questions, please contact me, Sue Holden:

What are the benefits?

How will it benefit my body?

Nordic Walking combines the simplicity of walking with core and upper body conditioning similar to Nordic skiing. This gives you a full body workout, which means that you can:

  • Burn around 20% more calories compared to walking without poles.
  • Release tension in your neck and shoulders.
  • Improve your posture and gait.
  • Strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.
  • Reduce the impact on your joints.

 And because Nordic Walking doesn’t feel like hard work you’ll be happy to walk further and for longer.

Sources: British Nordic Walking and INWA websites

Interested?

Read the latest research

Research continues to be published around the world with regard to both Nordic Walking teaching methods and the health and fitness benefits of Nordic Walking.

Nordic Walking and Pain – Donald Silverberg Professor of Medicine Emeritus Tel Aviv University on the benefits of Nordic Waking

Age UK recommends Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking and Healthy Ageing

Slow walking at 45 ‘a sign of faster ageing’, BBC website: “It would also be an early indicator of brain and body health so people can make changes to their lifestyle while still young and healthy, the researchers said.”

Physical activity guidelines published in the UK Chief Medical Officers’ report on 19 September 2019: “Each week, adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) of moderate intensity activity (brisk walking); or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity; or even shorter durations of very vigorous intensity activity; or a combination of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous intensity activity.” The key points of the report are:

  • Even relatively small increases in physical activity can contribute to improved health and quality of life.
  • Regular activity is important for people of all ages.
  • Increased emphasis on the importance of strengthening activities.
  • New developments in the evidence base for the health effects of sedentary time in adults and children.
  • An emerging evidence base for the health benefits of high intensity interval exercise (HIIT).

Listen further

Listen to inspirational podcasts with instructors and Nordic Walkers. Topics range from the benefits of Nordic Walking for the pelvic floor, stroke rehabilitation, weight loss and many more conditions and topics.

Is Nordic Walking for me?

Do I need prior experience?

We cater for complete beginner to group walks for the well-practised.

Interested?

Do I need to be fit?

We cater for all levels of fitness, running walks at different speeds according to fitness level.

Interested?

Do any of these statements ring a bell?

  • I need to move more
  • I don’t like the gym
  • I’m not a runner but want to be outdoors moving more
  • I spend all day sedentary, hunched in front of a computer
  • I would like to walk further and for longer
  • I enjoy being physically active in a small group and making friends
  • I want to maintain my fitness for cross-country skiing

If you can walk you can Nordic Walk! It really is for everyone. The poles mean that effort is shared between the upper and lower body so it actually feels easier than normal walking, particularly uphill. Nordic Walking puts less strain on joints than other activities and can be very effective for people with mobility issues or those recovering from illness or injury. It’s also great exercise for toning problem areas such as the upper arms and abdominal muscles.

  • It’s an ideal activity if you haven’t exercised for a while or dislike traditional sports or gym activities. 
  • It is helpful if you have had an injury as the poles can support and guide you while you work to improve fitness as part of your rehabilitation.
  • It is great for athletes for cross training.  
  • It provides community groups with a sociable way to keep fit. 
  • And it’s fantastic if you’d like to shed a few pounds.

Whatever your age, from 8 to 80+, you’ll enjoy discovering the benefits of Nordic Walking that improve your quality of life.

Interested?

What do others say?

Having retired recently I have been walking more. As I have hip arthritis I sometimes walk with a limp. I wanted to improve my posture and gait and reduce impact on my joints when walking, and Nordic walking sounded just right for me. I took a taster session in December 2019 and, inspired by Sue’s enthusiasm and professionalism, I signed up for a Learn to Nordic Walk Course in January 2020.

The Nordic walking poles were provided and I was taught the 10 basic techniques of walking and using the poles over 2, 1:1 sessions of 1.5 hours with Sue, at King George V Playing fields in Exeter.

Sue worked at my pace and we consolidated each technique before moving on to the next one. Sue videoed my progress and she was able to advise on how to adjust my posture, and technique. I learnt some useful warm up and cool down exercises, and tips to practice the walking techniques on my own. I found the sessions enjoyably challenging and rewarding.

Thank you Sue for this introduction.

Sarah, recently retired, Exton

Interested?

Could Nordic Walking benefit my organisation?

For Businesses

Exe Nordic Walking offers an introduction to Nordic Walking: learning the basic technique, as well as having some fun during the session. We do not offer corporate packages via our website, but are very happy to discuss your requirements. As a guideline, the cost would be £27 per person for a 2 hour session. You can also read our Terms of Business for corporate clients and Privacy Policy for reference.

  • A great way to encourage your employees to look after their fitness and well-being
  • A fun staff event or team building experience
  • An alternative format for a meeting

Interested?

… then please contact Sue at to discuss your needs

For Community Groups

Exe Nordic Walking offers 4 or 6 week courses to build a community of Nordic walkers, learning, walking and making new friends over the longer period of time.

Interested?

… then please contact Sue at to discuss your ideas

How do I book?

Process

Bookings for One-to-one Workshops and tailored groups are via email.

Group Walks, Group Workshops and Tasters are booked via the website. New walks are regularly added, so please keep coming back. We now have a WhatsApp group for those who have booked the 10 walks block. Please book your walk before 5 pm the day before the walk.

Gift vouchers are available, please email Sue

How we communicate with you:

  • When booking through the website, you will receive a confirmation for your booking.
  • When booking a Workshop or Course you will receive and email near the time of your workshop/course with meeting point, information about what to wear and bring, and PARQ (medical) form and photo permissions forms to complete and return before the start of the session.
  • When booking on the WhatsApp group your request will be acknowledged with a thumbs up emoji.
  • Notification of the cancellation of a session will be communicated as soon as possible by email, text, or phone call.

Please see our Privacy Policy.

Cancellations

Please see our Terms & Conditions.

What can I expect?

Group Walks

Following the completion of a Workshop, you will be able to join small group walks in Ludwell Valley Park, around the Exeter Quay area, on Exmouth beach and at Powderham Castle.

  • Booking is through the website
  • Please book your walks before 5pm on the evening before the walk
  • Cost is £7 per walk, or take advantage of the special offer of 10 walks for the price of 9
  • You will need to complete a PARQ (medical) form, and return it by email
  • It is best to bring you own Nordic walking poles
  • Pole hire is also now available at £2 for each walk
  • The session includes a warm-up and cool-down stretches
  • The route of walk is focused on your level: flat, hills, length, pace

Graded 1 hour walks

One of each walk each week, alternating location and speed each week as we build the groups for these new locations. Sue will be able to help you decide which walk suits your fitness levels.

  • On a Rapid walk, we walk faster, further and climb more hills enjoying being out in the fresh air exercising.
  • On a Ripple walk, we walk at a slow to medium pace and have breaks when climbing hills, engaging with nature along the way.
  • On a Social walk, we walk at our own pace and enjoy the company of fellow walkers. Ripple and Rapid walkers are welcome.
  • On a Wellbeing walk, we take our time, sitting when needed, enjoying time with the group out in nature.

Workshops

One to One Begin Workshop

A 1:45 hour session working through the steps of the INWA 10 Step Teaching Method™.

  • Booking is through the website
  • Cost is £32, pole hire included
  • New and returning clients will need to complete a PARQ (medical) form, and return it by email
  • Takes place at King George V Playing Fields, Exeter or at Powderham

Group Begin Workshop

A 2 hour session to introduce to you the first 7 steps of the INWA 10 Step Teaching Method™.

  • Booking is through the website
  • Cost is £27, pole hire included
  • New and returning clients will need to complete a PARQ (medical) form, and return it by email
  • Takes place at King George V Playing Fields, Exeter

Group Extend Workshop

A 1:45 hour session to complete the 10 Steps. Use of video help you see your progress use drills to extend your technique.

Taster Sessions

A 45 minute session to understand the concept of using poles and learn about Nordic walking before booking a workshop to learn the technique.

  • Booking is through the website
  • Cost is £5 – go on to book a Workshop, and your first group walk and pole hire will be free
  • PARQ form completed by new and returning clients returned by email
  • locations vary

Weather!

We walk in most weathers. We enjoy walks in the rain, but, in the current situation we need to keep ourselves as healthy as possible. Walks may be cancelled if the Met Office issues a weather warning:

  • All warnings of Thunderstorms – we will not walk with poles during the times notified in the warning.
  • All warnings of Heavy Rain, and the forecast is for heavy rain at the time of the walk.
  • Amber and Red warnings of High Winds.

Thank you for your understanding.

Nordic Walking poles and other equipment

Poles are provided for tasters and workshops. They are available for hire on group walks, or you can bring your own. Poles are not provided for the Parkrun.

Please ask about purchasing the correct poles for Nordic Walking. Sue can advise on fixed/telescopic poles and pole length.

You can also purchase the Exe Nordic Walking beanie in the Shop to help you keep warm on winter walks!

Fun!

“I don’t usually laugh so much when I’m exercising!”

Lizz

Joining instructions

For all Walks

Please check the event location and meeting point in advance and arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of the session.

Some sessions may have specific joining instructions. Please read any emails carefully.

For Learn to Nordic Walk Workshops, Courses and Taster Sessions

Please return your completed Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PARQ) form by email or bring it on the day. Everyone must complete one. I will carry blank forms with me.

Please consult your GP for advice about participating in Nordic Walking if you have any concerns about your health when answering the questions on the form. If the doctor recommends Nordic Walking, please bring a note from your GP with you.

What to wear

  • Closed shoes, comfortable, waterproof trainers or walking shoes that have flexibility in the soles – no sandals or walking sandals
  • Layers of clothing, breathable if possible, that don’t restrict swinging arms – jeans are not recommended
  • Waterproof coat and trousers, breathable if possible
  • Gloves in the winter (which need to be thin to fit under the pole straps) and a warm hat (winter) or sun hat (summer)
  • An Exe Nordic Walking beanie!

What to bring with you

  • Water to keep hydrated
  • Tissues and hand sanitiser
  • A basic first aid kit
  • Any medication you need to carry with you
  • Your Nordic Walking poles (not trekking poles) – poles are provided for tasters and workshops, and available for hire on group walks if you do not have your own, but poles are not provided for the Parkrun
  • A slim rucksack that doesn’t restrict swinging arms
  • For evening walks in the dark, a high-vis vest, a head torch of at least 150 lumens with directional beam, and bike lights on your poles/bag – this is all for your safety

What not to bring with you

A reminder to leave your dog at home, please. Walks with Exe Nordic Walking are for you, your fitness and well-being. You can Nordic Walk with your dog when you go out for dog walks and I would positively encourage you to!

Where we walk

Map of locations

These are the locations where we regularly walk. From time to time, we also hold walks in other locations. Please see the individual events.

Exeter Quay

We meet at the bottom of Trews Weir Reach.

Getting there:

  • Lots of bus routes pass this way
  • Free car parking during evenings and weekends, either roadside parking on Trews Weir Reach, or at County Hall with a short walk down to the meeting point

More information:

  • Circuit around the Quay on pavements
  • Head torch and high-vis clothing are required for this route when dark
  • Public toilet at the Quay

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

A lovely green space with with far reaching views across Exeter towards Haldon Hill and along the estuary towards Exmouth.

Meet on Wendover Way to enter the park. Please park sensibly considering the neighbours.

More information:

  • There are plenty of benches to rest on, for Wellbeing Walks
  • No toilets

King George V Playing Fields, Exeter

Weekend workshops – We park in the car park off Countess Wear Road.

Getting there:

  • From Topsham Road, turn down School Lane, then left in front of the Tally Ho! pub. The car park is on the left just after Exe View Road.

Weekday workshops – We meet in the car park just off Topsham Road near the Countess Wear roundabout. But please note that if there is a trailer parked across the gate off Topsham Road we will meet in the car park off Countess Wear Road.

Getting there:

  • Bicycle parking near the main play area
  • Bus stop on Topsham Road
  • Satnav: 386 Topsham Rd, Exeter EX2 6HE
  • Free parking for up to 4 hours

More information:

  • Public toilet
  • Tally Ho! pub for a drink, or lunch from time to time

Riverside Valley Park, Exeter

We meet near the play area at the bottom of Salmon Pool Lane. There is some roadside parking.

More information:

  • No Toilet

Exmouth Life Boat Station

We meet at the Life Boat Station Shop.

Getting there:

  • There is some free roadside parking, but this can’t be guaranteed, and a number of paid-for car parks

More information:

  • There are toilets at Foxhole car park

Powderham Castle

Summer routes – Meet in the Castle car park. Look out for my white car and flag or my cargo bicycle and flag in the car park near the Welcome Hut.

Winter routes – Meet in the Farm Shop car park.

Getting there:

More information:

  • There is a toilet at the Welcome Hut.
  • There are toilets at the at the back of the Garden Centre.

Walking Tips

Get more from your walk

Follow the steps in the videos before you come on a Workshop to help you learn the technique and get more out of your everyday walking.

Notes

  • If anything starts to hurt, stop the movement
  • You may feel some soreness in your muscles afterwards… because you have used them
  • Try these tips at your own risk, and listen to your body

Videos

Brisk Walking Tip 1 – Swing Your Arms

Brisk Walking Tip 2 – Posture

Walking Tip 3 – Hands

Brisk walking Public Health England guidance quoted in the video

Walking Tip 4 – Feet