Michael Mosley - Just One Thing - Nordic Walking

Michael Mosley confesses that he misunderstood Nordic Walking in this wonderful podcast.  Together with his guest, Jennifer Reed, a research scientist from the University of Ottawa, he explores the long list of health benefits of Nordic Walking.  He also asks an actor in London who's not keen on exercise, to have a go at Nordic Walking...listen here to find out what they said: BBC Radio 4 - Just One Thing - with Michael Mosley, Nordic Walking

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News now on Facebook

We now share our news from our Nordic Walking activities on Facebook.  Go to Midlands Nordic Walking | Facebook to find out what we've been doing in our classes.

Public Health England recommend Nordic Walking

We are so pleased to see the announcement on 4th July 2019 that Public Health England now recommends Nordic Walking.  Our lead instructor Catherine Hughes presented to senior managers working in public health at one of their CPD days in 2013 delivered by Durham University.  There are so many benefits to health, fitness and wellbeing in taking up Nordic Walking that we can't fit them all in here.  If there is a particular subject area you are interested in, go to the course of research information gathered from around the world on INWA's website INWA research papers.

Midlands Nordic Walking have seen many local people benefit from Nordic Walking since the team started teaching in 2006 with their first class at QMC hospital for staff there, as part of a project to enable NHS staff to do more physical activity.  

If you've not tried Nordic Walking before, book a lesson with with one of our team by contacting us using the form.

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This Girl Can in Nottingham

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Nordic walking is a great way to get active and meet like minded women. Catherine Hughes has been mentoring newly qualified INWA instructor Alison Clark over the last six months.  Alison discovered her new talent as a Community Nordic Walking instructor after retiring from a career in nursing.  Please let us know what you have done to change your life for the better and your #milestonemoments. We would love to hear your inspiring stories of change for yourself or women you have helped.

Hear about Alison's amazing journey on this short video:

Bringing up the rear, by Alison C Clark

A chance meeting with an old friend, in a well-known supermarket cafe, led to me taking up Nordic walking (NW).  I took to it like a 'duck to water’. Four training sessions later I had grasped the basics of the technique and I joined my first group walk.

Off we went, but I soon found myself trailing at the back, slower than the others who were far more experienced and faster than me. I was worried that they had to stop and wait for me to catch up; was I spoiling their walk? I needn't have worried. One walker dropped back and kept pace with me so I wasn’t on my own. Meanwhile I found the walk leader choreographed the walk to keep as all apace. I also found that whilst ' to lag behind'  means 'failing to keep pace' today it also has a more positive meaning 'to move or to develop slowly' when taken from the Norwegian word 'lagga'.  Much better. 

So now I go at my own pace, practising my technique and chatting away to fellow walkers who are happy to keep pace with me.  NW offers you the choice - pace along to get fit (3 miles an hour counts as a brisk walk, and 10 minutes a day is conducive to health) alternatively it seems a little dawdling is also beneficial, socially and emotionally. I have re-established a friendship, met new people and to top it all recently qualified as an INWA Nordic Walking instructor. I took part in the recent ' Beat the Street' challenge with my friend. This meant I was out walking the Nordic way three times a week, walking on a Sunday for the challenge as well as doing two guided walks. This has become a whole new way of keeping fit for me. I am finding it I can put the effort into keeping pace with others during exercises, and now be happily out of breath for short periods, because rests are built in to the walk. I am also happy to bring up the rear.

Fancy a go? Then you need to do some training sessions to get the technique. Both and British Nordic Walking offer individual and group sessions. There are also free taster sessions on offer in some areas.

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Complete a Virtual Nordic Walking Challenge

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Would you like to complete a 5km, 10km or half marathon Nordic Walking distance but find it difficult to make the Exel Nordic Walking Challenge events?  We have teamed up with Virtual Runner so that you can Nordic Walk one of these three distances in your own time in any location, either solo or enjoy doign it with a friend.  

All you need to do is go to the virtual runner and register for the British Nordic Walking virtual medal.  Click on this link:


During August complete your challenge then submit your evidence to Virtual Runner.  We look forward to hearing about your success...


After all that exercise, you will have earned yourself some cake :-)

Exercise gives amazing benefits to our mental health

We know Nordic Walking makes us feel good and here is some more evidence from on a survey carried out online by Toluna who interviewed a total of 2,006 adults between 14 and 16 March 2017.

How does exercise make you feel better (tick all that apply)?

I feel more satisfied with life 37%
I feel happier 51%
I feel less anxious 23%
I feel less stressed 40%
I sleep better 42%
I'm in a better mood 34%
I feel more relaxed 36%
I feel more energized 39%
It doesn't 14%

We also enjoy finding new plants on our Nordic Walks, like these  'cuckoo pint' we saw on our Langley Mill monthly away walk

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Getting into the Festive Mood with Nordic Rudolph

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There's nothing like a Rudolph hat and some colourful leggings that look like cheap xmas wrapping paper to get the Nordic Walking group in the mood for the festive season.  Much fun was had during the Nordic Walking sessions around the park with team slalom, squats and the 'musketeers' balance game.  We like to have some fun whilst keeping fit!


It's also been a busy week for our friends at Bristol Nordic Walking.  Their philosophy: "we don't take ourselves too seriously, but we DO take fitness seriously" was evident during their entertaining Nordic Walking Rap.  Click here to enjoy their performance...


Nordic Walking good for women with osteoporosis

A group of 45 women were randomly assigned to Nordic Walking three times a week for 12 weeks or a control group.  They all had low bone density.   After the study the Nordic Walkers had stronger knee muscles and could walk further in a set period of six minutes.


More about the study can be found here:


The Nordic Walkers also lost body fat too!  

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First Nordic Walker to complete 100 parkruns

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Huge congratulations to Angie Burrows who completed her 100th parkrun on 27th August 2016.  An amazing achievement...Here is a photo from one of her winter parkruns

She was accompanied by a merry band of Nordic Walkers including instructor Rachel Davis and parkrun Nordic Walking buddy Louise Third MBE.

The best bit about celebrating parkrun milestones is ...the cake!  And what a delicious baked treat we enjoyed this time round.  We're looking forward to the next milestone...maybe Louise's 100th?

Why not join us Nordic Walking parkruns?  We are very welcome at all the parkruns across the UK.  You just need to learn the technique first by booking a couple of lessons with us.  We've been teaching people in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire for over 10 years now and finally word is getting out about how it's an easy way to improve your fitness.  You might have seen some Nordic Walkers on BBC breakfast on 10 September.  There is also a video of our Midlands Nordic Walking team on the 'Learn to Nordic Walk' page

Nottingham Girls Can and Wiggle, Jiggle and Move More Freely

This Girl Can is a national campaign developed by Sport England and a wide range of partnership organisations. It’s a celebration of active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets.

Nottingham City Council was particularly successful in their project last year, so have been awarded more funding to help more women find new activities to help them keep fit.

Lots of free sessions are available for women to choose from.  After the session remember to sign up to the Notts #thisgirlcan website WHY? so women can be consulted, know what is happening for women in Nottingham etc.


Wednesdays 10am Forrest Recreation Ground

Wednesdays 7pm Nottingham University Sports Centre

Fridays 10am Wollaton Park

Private Group sessions - do you have a group of female friends in Nottingham?  Contact to book a taster session for them before 16 June.

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FREE - Learn to Nordic Walk in Nottingham

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Great Nordic Walking session today at Forest Rec Ground!

In the photo is Rachel Davis and one of our star Nordic Walkers Chris who picked it up straight away!

Sessions take place at:

Wollaton Park Sundays 10:15-11.15am,

Victoria Embankment Park Mondays 5:30-6.30pm 

Forest Rec Tuesdays 2-3pm.


Book your place here:

Spring forward with Nordic Walking

Spring is finally here.  All the flowers are looking beautiful and we witnessed an unusualy combination of daffodils in bloom at the same time as bluebells.

It's been a busy month for the Nordic Walkers.  On Sunday the 17th the Nordic Ninjas Nordic Walked the RunNTU to riase money for the John van Geest cancer research centre.  All had a fabulous time, especially Eleanor.  It was her birthday and all the runners sang 'Happy Birthday' to her :-)

It's also been a grand week for home baking. Our lead instructor needed to clear out one of her freezers of allotment produce so it was a fine excuse to make individual low sugar, vegan, cherry pies for the Saturday Nordic Walkers.  The recipe was roughly:

Fill a regular pan about 2/3 full with cherries, sprinkle on some sugar then cook for about 30 minutes. Add a generous dash of vanilla extract plus a few drops of almond essence. Place into small pie cases and bake for about 15 minutes.


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No April Fool

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In the first week of April Catherine has been sharing the following information from the Huffington Post:

Scientists have discovered the smell of flatulence may have some surprising health benefits.

It is thought hydrogen sulfide - one of the potent smelly gases produced by bacteria as it breaks down food in the gut - can stave off cancer, strokes, heart attacks and dementia.

Experts at the University of Exeter found that in small doses, the toxic gas can help protect cells and fight illness by helping to preserve mitochondria, which drive energy production in blood vessel cells and regulate inflammation.

Preventing or reversing mitochondrial damage is a key strategy in treating conditions such as stroke, heart failure, diabetes, arthritis, dementia and ageing.

According to the MailOnline, Professor Matt Whiteman from University of Exeter’s medical school said: 'When cells become stressed by disease, they draw in enzymes to generate minute quantities of hydrogen sulfide.

"This keeps the mitochondria ticking over and allows cells to live. If this doesn’t happen, the cells die and lose the ability to regulate survival and control inflammation.

"We have exploited this natural process by making a compound, called AP39, which slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria. Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive."

For more information from the scientists click here

National and Local Media Interest in Nordic Walking

We’ve had a busy July…

Our lead instructor has been quoted in the Guardian newspaper. Out of 93 responses to the question in the ‘Notes and Queries’ section of “Is Nordic Walking better for you than ordinary walking”, Catherine’s was one of the few printed in the paper. Check out the section [here]'

We also enjoyed reading a lovely article about Midlands Nordic Walking in the Nottingham Post by Brian Palmer who had taken some lessons from instructor Catherine Hughes.  The article is accompanied by a photo from our successful Nordic Walking festival back in May 2015. To read Brian’s article [click here].

We were honoured to be invited to attend the premier of the #thisgirlcan movie at the Broadway cinema in Nottingham.  If you missed the broadcast on Notts TV, you can watch it [here].

And finally, Catherine is in discussions with parkrun about exciting plans to encourage more Nordic Walkers to join in the fun on a Saturday morning. If you'd like to take part, register on put your club as Midlands Nordic Walking or British Nordic Walking (if outside of the Midlands).  More about this in future news...

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Nottingham Nordic Festival in Wollaton Park

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Midlands Nordic Walking Group hosted 150 Nordic Walkers from all over the UK in the first British Nordic Walking Challenge Festival of 2015. The Nordic Walkers were impressed by the beauty of Wollaton Park and the friendliness and efficiency of the organising team.

The ages of the Nordic Walkers ranged from a family including a lady of 84 years young to a seven year old Nordic Walker, called Ben, who was determined to beat his mum and sister in the 5km Challenge distance. His mum Sarah had started Nordic Walking because she'd heard about the health benefits and soon after her son and daughter decided they wanted to follow in her footsteps.

Many people came, not to compete but to challenge themselves to either complete the distance or beat their previous fastest time. All participants enjoyed the chance to meet other Nordic Walkers from areas as far flung as Surrey, Corrnwall and South Wales.

Race Director, Catherine Hughes, thanked her large team of volunteers, without whom the event would not have gone ahead. To see the results of the event go to:

Clare Balding joins EZ Nordic Walking Group

The members of the Saturday afternoon EZ Nordic Walking group were so excited to be joined by the awesome Clare Balding this week to record an episode for her ‘Ramblings’ programme on BBC Radio4.

Claire was interested in finding out more about how this group had made Nordic Walking accessible to a very wide range of people. She picked up the technique straight away and was so fast that the producer had to run along in her wellies to keep the microphone close enough!  Clare enthusiastically joined in the games and drills in our class, in between interviewing the dozen or so participants. Jill Carter, founder of Pulp Friction commented:

"She was absolutely lovely, spoke to everyone, seemed interested in what we said, carried on conversations after interviews had finished, was respectful, caring and considerate, funny, patient, encouraging, insightful, knowledgeable. She is jolly good egg - I love her more now than I did before...."

After two hours of Nordic Walking around Bramcote, we finished with a gentle stretch and a well deserved healthy cookie, freshly made that morning by instructor Catherine Hughes.

Click here for the recipe:


To listen to the programme on iplayer click on this link: Clare Balding goes Nordic Walking

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Birthday Cake makes Nordic Walkers taller!

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Midlands Nordic Walking groups enjoyed three fabulous Nordic Walking sessions on this birthday weekend. Glorious sunshine, crispy frozen ground and of course, plenty of jovial bonhomie.

The gluten free chocolate cake went down so well that we've had to publish it here for you to try out at home.

  • 250g butter,
  • 250g dark chocolate,
  • 5 free-range eggs, 3/4 cup caster sugar,
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence,
  • ½ cup cold strong black coffee, 2 cups ground almonds
  • ½ cup coconut flour, ¼ cup cocoa,
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, ½ cup milk,
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda.

Melt the chocolate and butter then allow to cool slightly. Mix the almonds, coconut flour, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla in another bowl for 5 minutes until thick and pale.  Add the melted chocolate to the eggs, then mix in the dry ingredients. Warm the milk and stir in the baking soda. Add this to the cake mix. Pour cake mix into a 27cm lined cake tin and cook for ~1hr 15 minutes at 180°C.

Cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Turn out onto cooling rack. Serve with flat base upwards. Dust with icing sugar or cocoa. Delicious hot or cold :-)

Big Blue Skies and Bliss Balls

This year’s xmas Nordic Walk had to be the sunniest ever encountered. The Nordic Walkers were greeted by big blue skies, crunchy frozen ground and stunning views of the countryside. 

Partway round the route the group of Nordic Walkers stopped to refuel with Catherine’s ‘Bliss Balls’ – naturally sweet snack made from a delicious combination of healthy dried fruits and nuts. Here are the recipes for you to try at home:

Fruit & Nutty:

Banana & Oat:

Seedy Choco Nut:

Cranberry & Cashew:

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First Nordic Walker in the UK to join 50 Club

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The first Nordic Walker in the UK to join the prestigious parkrun 50 club celebrates the occasion with Midlands Nordic Walking.

Early on a misty morning Midlands Nordic Walkers gathered at Colwick Park to join Angie on her 50th parkrun. Despite the chilly conditions there was a warm atmosphere as the group poled their way around the course. At the finish they were greeted by Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE, the founder of parkrun, who helped them devour the beautiful cake made by Andrew Badley :-)

Angie took up the sport of Nordic Walking in 2011 when she was looking for exercise to complement her golf and Pilates. She found running too hard and was attracted to Nordic Walking for its all-round body fitness and toning effects, so took some lessons in Nottingham from our instructor Catherine Hughes.

Angie says: “I’m pleased to have reached my 50th parkrun; it’s become an important part of my weekly routine and I try to get out as often as I can round Oxton as well as along the Trent from my office at County Hall with my walking chum Louise Third.”

For more about getting involved in parkrun go to:

Two Friends Reunited

Two best friends who hadn't seen each other for over 40 years had an emotional reunion, when they simply walked into each other in a Nordic walking class.

Hilary and Claire lost touch after leaving their primary school in Rochdale, Lancashire. In recent years they'd both tried to track each other down using the internet, but as both had got married, changed their name and moved out of the area, it had proved impossible to find each other.

Then, 40 years later, they both turned up to a Nordic walking class in Rushcliffe Country Park. Thinking that each other looked vaguely familiar, they'd chatted a little, and quickly realised that they were, indeed, long lost friends. Almost as surprised as Hilary and Claire was Catherine Hughes, Nordic walking instructor. "I feel really privileged to be part of their story. It just goes to show that while social media is great, there is nothing like a group exercise class for catching up with friends, old and new."

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Nottingham Evening Post feature Nordic Walking as their Sport of the Week

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Catherine Hughes talked to the Sports reporter at the Nottingham Evening Post about why Nordic Walking is getting more popular and about her plans to develop more opportunities for people to have a go:

Link :

Nordic Walking now available for Adults with Learning Disabilities

An inclusive class for adults with learning disabilities has been launched by Broxtowe. Catherine and Rachel are running the classes at Kimberley Leisure Centre on Saturdays at 2:30pm. Sessions are open to all; they are particularly suitable for people wanting to learn the technique at a slow pace or for people with medical conditions that limit how far they can walk.

Update on 6 September class now moved to Bramcote park on Saturdays, beginners at 1pm, regular sessions at 2pm

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Energy Balls for World Nordic Walking Day

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Nordic Walkers for Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire came together for World Nordic Walking Day. They enjoyed a fun Nordic Walk in the countryside at the very edge of Nottinghamshire. After a few gentle hills they were rewarded with some delicious homemade energy balls. Thank you to Gabby for supplying the recipes – they were so tasty, it’s hard to believe that they were made from such healthy and natural ingredients.

Does Walking help you think?

May was national walking month and there were many articles about the benefits of walking on one’s health. I didn’t know just how many famous authors used to go for long walks to help them with their writing. Find out more here:

Link :