Why Nordic Walk?

What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to enhance your natural walking experience.

With a technique that is similar to the upper body action of classic cross country skiing, Nordic Walking becomes a genuinely whole-body exercise that can be enjoyed at many levels, at low, medium or high intensity. More than 10 million people globally enjoy this outdoor activity all year round.

At Exe Nordic Walking we work with you at your level, encouraging more movement and enjoying all the health benefits that come with being more physically active.

What is the difference between Nordic Walking poles and other poles used for walking?

This video, from Gilly Davy, an INWA Nordic Walking instructor and respected neuro physiotherapist, explains the difference between Nordic Walking and pole walking, why this difference matters, and how you can tell the difference between Nordic Walking poles and other types of walking pole. 

How will it benefit my body?

Nordic Walking combines the simplicity and accessibility of walking with simultaneous core and upper body conditioning similar to Nordic skiing. The result is a full body workout, which means that you:

  • burn up to 46%, generally around 20% more calories compared to walking without poles – increases maximum oxygen uptake and caloric expenditure
  • release tension in the neck and shoulders
  • improve your posture and gait
  • strengthen your back and abdominal muscles
  • reduce the impact on the joints

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

Is it for me?

Nordic Walking is a very accessible activity and something that can be shared by people of different fitness levels. It’s an ideal activity for people who haven’t exercised for a while or who dislike traditional sports or gym activities.

An injured person can use the poles to support and guide, working to improve fitness as part of their rehabilitation. Athletes can use Nordic Walking for cross training and incorporate Nordic running. Community groups find it a sociable way to keep fit. If you’d like to shed a few pounds, then Nordic Walking is an enjoyable way to do this. It’s great for fitness enthusiasts who like to try new things. It’s for you!

Whatever your age from 18 to 80+, you’ll enjoy discovering the benefits of Nordic Walking that improve your quality of life. Yes, children do Nordic walk too.

Sources: British Nordic Walking and INWA websites


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.

It is up to me now to put all this into practice! I hope to meet up with other novices on some of the planned walks in 2020 !

Thank you Sue for this introduction.

Sarah, recently retired, Exton)

Do any of these statements ring a bell?

  • I need to move more
  • Don’t like the gym
  • Not a runner but want to be outdoors moving more
  • Spend all day sedentary, hunched in front of a computer
  • Would like to walk further and for longer
  • Enjoy being physically active in a small group and making friends
  • Want to maintain your fitness for cross-country skiing

Read the latest research about the benefits of Nordic Walking

British Nordic Walking is the UK representative in the International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA).

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 benefits of Nordic Waking

Nordic Walking and Healthy Ageing

NHS recommends Nordic Walking

Physical activity guidelines: UK Chief Medical Officers’ report, 19th 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.”

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).

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.”