Looking for a way to get in shape but don’t want the expense of a gym membership?
Walking with sticks may sound like the preserve of the elderly or infirm, but Nordic walking is a great way to get fit.
It’s enjoyed by more than 10 million people around the globe, and local walking groups are springing up all over.
The sticks, or to give them their correct term, Nordic walking poles, are specially designed to provide support for the walker and give a whole body workout at the same time.
It’s suitable for all levels of fitness, and the sticks can be used on any surface.
Nordic walking leader Frank Slate leads an over-50s group every other Sunday. At 71 he is the oldest member on his walks, and testament to Nordic walking’s health benefits.
He said: ‘’It keeps people moving and I enjoy the company, we all suffer the punishment for the nourishment. My walks in Bicester always start and finish at a pub or cafe.’’
Fellow walker Mavis said: “Its’ a social event as we always finish up with a cup of coffee.’’
Not initially keen, Mavis was persuaded to join in to help ease her arthritis. She said: ‘’I thought it was funny walking with sticks, I think unfortunately that is why a lot of people don’t get involved because they feel that it looks stupid.
“But it is actually good for you and I would recommend it.’’
> Watch our video to see Frank and his fellow walkers on a Sunday stroll.