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Your Walking Friend!

My name is Donna and I am 44 years old, married with 2 teenage children and 2 pugs! I’ve lived in the northern suburbs of Norwich in Norfolk my whole life.  I've always been very active from fitness classes and gym sessions in my 20's, moving on to running half marathons in my 30's.  But pre covid I really struggled to keep motivated and keep up with the running.  There was nothing I liked more than going for a summer evening run with my girlfriends chatting along the way.  But recently my body just kept telling me to stop!  I’d get stomach cramps and ache for days and never seemed to get back into the enjoyment of the run session.  I’d also fail on my calorie control diet as my body would crash and crave sugars especially after a long run.  But if I didn’t run what would I do?  Go back to a village hall for a fitness class lifting kettle bells or doing burpees... this did not appeal, or join a gym where in between pushing weights you simply stare and study everyone around you, no thank you!!  I was stuck!  I was feeling guilty for not exercising as well as slowly putting on a bit of weight as my calorie consumption was slightly higher than what I was burning off.  I was feeling trapped in a circle of guilt and irritation knowing I need to do something but what?  

In the meantime, the only thing keeping me sane and feeling better was to walk my little dog (then a 2 year pug called Honey).  Twice a day I'd get out and walk this little fur baby.  Even through wind and rain, as long as I am clothed accordingly, a walk in the fresh air whilst listening to the birds, always lifted my spirit and calmed my mind.  It was my little escape from the world that undoubtedly makes me feel uplifted and free.

Then in 2019 my mum Isobel joined a Nordic Walking group.  My dad died in 2015 and since our family loss my mum is much better coping when kept busy and active.  She joined a Nordic Walking group and I could see her spirit lift immediately... more calm and simply more happier.  The more she walked the more I was intrigued on how good it is for your body and mind.  

The next minute I’m giving it a go!  It was so much fun!  I am a skier and did think this is the next best thing to skiing in Norfolk!  I strapped on the poles and felt like I was instantly gliding around the Norfolk countryside and it felt fantastic.  I’ve found a sport that doesn’t burn your muscles to exhaustion and doesn’t make you feel sick with heart rate racing.  It just feels nice and so enjoyable and definitely continues to burn the calories!


So when I looked into the history of the sport, it originally started from cross country skiers summer training back in 1930s.  It developed in to PE lessons in Finland then developed into many European countries before hitting the UK in 2000.  And now it is booming all over the world.  


There was something special about this sport that intrigued me.  The movement and feeling of the walk gives you a good and surprisingly all over body workout, and being outside in the fresh air for mental health and well being is exactly what we all need.   I’d found my new enjoyable sport!  But not many people do it so I had a crazy thought I want to train to do it properly and if anyone would like to learn and walk with me then they can!


Norfolk’s Nordics was born!  


If you think Nordic Walking is for 'old' people please don’t!  Of course it is a fantastic sport for older generations as they can go at a more leisurely pace and distance that suits them but for those who want to get outside and have an all over body work out this is the sport for you.  No age group!  I can see kids, teenagers, young mums, professionals stuck behind a desk all day every day, to people wanting to try something new and of course 65+ as it is so important to keep moving and keep active!


I challenge you all to come and join me on a taster session. Once you’ve learnt the simple technique and pushed on with your first walk I think you’ll understand why I’ve become a leader/promoter.  It’s sociable, uplifting, easy to do and burns as many calories as a run without the high impact.

Come and give it a go!  You've nothing to lose... apart from bingo wings, weight, stress, tension... the list could go on!

Keep up to date with the latest news and updates @NorfolksNordics Facebook or Instagram.  Plus you get to see my Nordic Walking adventures!

Donna x

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