Back in 2012 Bexley Council were asked if they would like to be involved in a Nordic Walking Community project. Since the scheme started in September 2013 the project has grown to over 200 regular walkers with some coming up to 5 times a week. There are 6 fully qualified Nordic Walking Instructors and 19 volunteer leaders who are on a rota to assist on the walks. We offer up to 8 walks a week and organise walks out of the borough every 3 months. We have a choice of ways to pay, you can walk for less than £1.00 per session when signing up to the monthly payment.
Nordic Walking is a great way to improve your activity levels, time goes so quickly when you are having fun and talking to other people and before you now it you have achieved 7000 steps. We are excited to be involved in the WALX brand and to be able to offer additional activities to our clients and the wider population.
I had just started my role as the Health Walks co-ordinator at Bexley Council in 2012 when I was asked to co-ordinate the project along with the Walking for Health Scheme. In February and March 2013 I headed to Hampstead Heath and completed my training. In July I ran a pilot and in September I had my first 12 people sign up.
I have been in the fitness industry for 20 years. I enjoy encouraging people to become more active and improve their daily life through exercise. Along with my Nordic Walking I have a varied background in fitness including exercise referrals, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise for the elderly and Pilates. Committing to an outdoor activity means that you must like the great outdoors and so long as we can get there, we are at the meeting point whatever the weather!
I started Nordic Walking 7 years ago after being introduced to it by my friend Helen. I love being outdoors and meeting new people. In my previous job I spent many years working in central London, so it was a great change of scenery to be out in the open air. After a year of being a volunteer leader in 2013 I trained to be a Nordic Walking Instructor and have enjoyed every moment since.
Nikki started Instructing Nordic Walking in 2015; a fitting choice as her preferred exercise setting is something social, and something outdoors. She first started out as a Fitness Instructor working alongside Helen in the early noughties. Then, when she developed a love of Pilates and Yoga, outdoor cycling, and walking, she found she fell out of love with gyms.
Nikki finds that Nordic Walking is the perfect outdoor exercise; giving you the drive to get outside even when the weather is not perfect. The exercise combined with the social element lifts the mood, improves her emotional wellbeing, as well as the obvious health benefits. To share this is what brings Nikki her enjoyment of Nordic Walking.