By Gill Stewart at
“After a bad snowboarding accident, my back problems started, with a disc that would slip out at the drop of a hat and trapped nerves in my spine that had me unable to walk, drive and generally out of action for at least 2wks at a time.
Exercise was virtually impossible, riding my horse had to stop too as the impact on my back whilst jumping etc was torture. So, I went from being really quite active to no exercise at all.
I’ve always kept a gym membership, however, in late 2010 and throughout 2011 this also proved difficult as the treadmill was a no go, as too was the rowing machine and the bike, and when you can’t do any of these three it’s kind of pointless going to a gym. I even tried swimming for a while and after doing about 20 lengths my lower back would seize and I’d have to stop that too. For 2 months I spent every night sleeping in one of those heat belts as it was the only thing to ease the pain, along with rather strong painkillers, I wouldn’t recommend this as after a while you will actually burn your skin, not a good idea. My time at the gym for the last 6 months of 2011 was spent mainly in the Jacuzzi and hot tub.
Then at the end of 2011 myself and a friend went along to a Nordic walking session with Melissa Laing, we both knew Melissa from school. I’m not really a fan of the outdoors and unless it’s hot and I can get a tan I can’t really see the point of being outside !, so I announced to Melissa that if it was raining, I would very likely not turn
up. However, after just one session I was hooked! I now NW 4/5 times per week, I’ve lost 11lb in 7 wks and 1.5″ off each thigh, my stomach is much flatter than it’s been in a while and my whole body shape has improved. I’m fitter than I’ve been in a very long time and what’s more I have no more back pain !. My
physio has also remarked that I should keep up the Nordic Walking as, and I quote, “it’s obviously working”, he has seen a massive improvement in my fitness. I can now walk up steep inclines without any difficulty, I’m not able to “chat” much while doing it but that’s how I know I’m doing it right !
For me Nordic Walking has been a huge success, I’m proof that you don’t necessarily have to be super fit to start and it’s suitable for absolutely any age group, gender or ability. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is for me to be able to exercise in the great outdoors and not injure my back in any way, and I would certainly recommend anyone out there who does suffer with any type of back related injury to give it a go, you’ll be amazed at the results, I know I was.
It’s great socially too, you meet a whole lot of new friends along the way, we always have a great time while we’re out walking and we’re getting a fantastic workout at the same time. Melissa is a super instructor, she is always extremely positive and encouraging. She’ll never push you too hard, yet manages to coax that bit extra without you even realising you’re doing it. She is also most considerate, always asking if my back is ok and if any of us have any niggles, aches or pains.
Apart from the fact that after only 2 months of Nordic Walking I noticed a significant increase in my energy levels, I also noticed how fit I was becoming and I can’t lie, was most impressed with my “new body”!
So, my advice?………. find your nearest Nordic Walking Instructor and get walking….. you’ll be hooked in no time too !
Melissa has been really impressed with Helen’s progress too – she says:-
“Helen is a wonderful client who has discovered the far reaching benefits of Nordic Walking; she has improved her fitness considerably and is now regularly at the front of walks, she has made new friends, discovered a love of the outdoors, lost weight and significantly alleviated her back pain. Working with clients such as Helen is always a pleasure and seeing her massive improvements make my life as a Nordic Walking instructor second to none.”
Note from NWUK – If you are experiencing back pain and want to take up Nordic Walking make sure you have checked with your GP or physio first and ensure your Instructor is fully informed about the condition/cause and qualified to help you manage it.