Personal Training

Nordic Walk Fitness


  • Nordic walking (original Finnish "Sauvakävely") is fitness walking with specially designed poles. While trekkers, backpackers and skiers had been using the basic concept for decades, Nordic Walking was first formally defined with the publication of "Hiihdon lajiosa" (translation: "A part of cross-country skiing training methodic") by Mauri Repo in 1979. Works related to hijon at Wikisource.) Nordic Walking's concept was developed on the basis of off-season ski-training activity while using one-piece ski poles.
  • For decades hikers and backpackers used their one-piece ski poles long before trekking and Nordic walking poles came onto the scene. Ski racers deprived of snow have always used and still do use their one-piece ski poles for ski walking and hill bounding. The first poles specially designed and marketed to fitness walkers were produced by Exerstrider of the USA in 1988. Nordic Walker poles were produced and marketed by Exel in 1997. Exel coined and popularized the term 'Nordic Walking' in 1999.


  • Compared to regular walking, Nordic walking (also called pole walking) involves applying force to the poles with each stride. Nordic walkers use more of their entire body (with greater intensity) and receive fitness building stimulation not present in normal walking for the chest, lats, triceps, biceps, shoulder, abdominals, spinal and other core muscles that may result in significant increases in heart rate at a given pace. Nordic walking has been estimated as producing up to a 46% increase in energy consumption, compared to walking without poles.


  • Nordic walking poles are significantly shorter than those recommended for cross-country skiing. Nordic walking poles come in one-piece, non-adjustable shaft versions, available in varying lengths, and telescoping two or three piece twist-locking versions of adjustable length. One piece poles are generally stronger and lighter, but must be matched to the user. Telescoping poles are 'one-size fits all', and are more transportable.
  • Nordic walking poles feature a range of grips and wrist-straps, or rarely, no wrist-strap at all. The straps eliminate the need to tightly grasp the grips. As with many trekking poles, Nordic walking poles come with removable rubber tips for use on hard surfaces and hardened metal tips for trails, the beach, snow and ice. Most poles are made from lightweight aluminiun,carbon fiber, or compositieves. Special walking shoes are not required, although there are shoes being marketed as specifically designed for the sport.


  • The cadences of the arms, legs and body are, rhythmically speaking, similar to those used in normal, vigorous, walking. The range of arm movement regulates the length of the stride. Restricted arm movements will mean a natural restricted pelvic motion and stride length. The longer the pole thrust, the longer the stride and more powerful the swing of the pelvis and upper torso.

British Nordic Walking is run by national Nordic Walking coaches, each with a real enthusiasm for developing the Nordic Walking community in the UK through expert training, creating Nordic Walking opportunities from fun events to serious challenges, and disseminating the latest expert understanding of the benefits of Nordic Walking.

An internationally recognised body: British Nordic Walking is affiliated to the International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA}, This means that our instructor training is always based on the latest research from around the world with regard to both Nordic Walking teaching methods and the health and fitness benefits of Nordic Walking.

A Community Interest Company: Originally formed as a limited company, British Nordic Walking has now adopted the Community Interest Company structure to better reflect our ethos of supporting our growing community of Nordic Walkers and Nordic Walking Instructors. This means that our profits are reinvested in initiatives to further develop Nordic Walking as a popular activity for health, wellbeing and fitness in the UK.

What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to enhance your natural walking experience. With a technique that is similar to the upper body action of classic cross country skiing, Nordic Walking becomes a genuinely whole body exercise that can be enjoyed at many levels, from walking for health to athletic Nordic running. More than 10 million people globally enjoy this outdoor activity all year round.

How will it benefit my body?

Nordic Walking combines the simplicity and accessibility of walking with simultaneous core and upper body conditioning similar to Nordic skiing. The result is a full body workout, which means that you:

  • Burn up to 60% more calories compared to walking without poles
  • Release tension in the neck and shoulders
  • Improve your posture and gait
  • Strengthen your back and abdominal muscles
  • Reduce the impact on the joints

Is it for me?

Nordic Walking is a very accessible activity and something that can be shared by people of different fitness levels. It’s an ideal activity for people who haven’t exercised for a while or who dislike traditional sports or gym activities. An injured person can use the poles to support and guide, working to improve fitness as part of their rehabilitation. Athletes can use Nordic Walking for cross training and incorporate Nordic running. Community groups find it a sociable way to keep fit. If you’d like to shed a few pounds, then Nordic Walking is an enjoyable way to do this. It’s great for fitness enthusiasts who like to try new things. Whatever your age from 8 to 80 plus, you’ll probably enjoy discovering the benefits of Nordic Walking that improve your quality of life.

Nordic walking provides a great opportunity to work in green spaces in the fresh air in rural and urban locations. Our instructors find teaching people to Nordic walk is enjoyable and offers a rewarding lifestyle. Being a Nordic walking instructor can be a full time job or complement an existing career.

Who are Nordic walking instructors?

There are currently more than 1000 INWA qualified Nordic Walking instructors in the UK. They come from a variety of different backgrounds including personal trainers, gym instructors, Pilates teachers, physiotherapists, osteopaths, GP’s, cardiac rehab specialists, community workers, Outward Bound instructors, teachers, park rangers, retired people, walk leaders, outdoor enthusiasts, complimentary therapists, fell runners, mountain leaders, career changers and people who just love nordic walking.

Why train with British Nordic Walking?

British Nordic Walking offers training across the UK. The cadences of the arms, legs and body are, rhythmically speaking, similar to those used in normal, vigorous, walking. The range of arm movement regulates the length of the stride. Restricted arm movements will mean a natural restricted pelvic motion and stride length. The longer the pole thrust, the longer the stride and more powerful the swing of the pelvis and upper torso.

British Nordic Walking delivers the original INWA education programme for people wanting to become a qualified Nordic Walking Instructor. This 10 Step Method is a proven and effective way to teach people to Nordic Walk and to continue to progress and improve their technique and fitness. Taught over two days the course covers:

teaching Nordic Walking using the INWA 10 STEP

  • using drills to improve technique and problem solve technique issues
  • teaching safely in an outdoor environment planning great classes, interesting routes and fun sessions
  • getting started setting up new Nordic Walking groups and classes, how to market your Nordic Walking and be successful
  • We use video cameras during the course to film your own technique, this accelerates your own learning of the technique of Nordic walking and also develops your observational skills.
  • The whole training is packed full of information and hugely enjoyable. 


  • We highly recommend that you have experienced Nordic walking before coming on the course. We can arrange a lesson for you if you contact us.
  • You do not have to be a fitness instructor to teach Nordic walking, however if you would also like to gain a fitness qualification alongside your Nordic Walking Instructor training then you may want to consider our training program. 

The Cuban Cardio Nordic Walking is an enjoyble session for anyone wanting to lead walks for people who have already been taught to Nordic Walk or for those who want to increases health and fitness benefits. You will:

  • Learn to walk individual and in group Nordic Walks in a safe environment
  • Learn to lead and motivate a group of Nordic Walkers
  • Learn to lead a safe warm up and cool down


  • Supervised by quilfied trainers
  • Cost: from £ 20-100
  • Please contact us for the latest training dates.and master class 

Many Nordic Walking instructors find they need an assistant to help them as their groups and classes grow. The Nordic Walk Leader can work alongside an Instructor as a support for larger groups or to lead walks on their own where all the participants are already able to Nordic walk. Many Nordic walking community projects use Nordic walk leaders, for example Age UK and Age Cymru. People new to Nordic walking complete an 8 week course with a qualified Nordic Walking Instructor and then go on to join regular led walks by a Nordic Walk leader.

The British Nordic Walking Nordic walk  is fun and interactive. You will learn and feel motivate in a group of Nordic Walkers, effective training safe and interesting walks. The training includes learning how to do walk using effective tecniques. You also learn how to set the correct pace and ensure everyone has apositive experience of your Nordic walks. If you have any questions about the training programme please drop us an email or ring us. or contact us

British Nordic Walking has worked with over 80 different community focused organisation to develop Nordic Walking projects. Such projects have been part of successful initiatives in the fields of:

  • Obesity
  • Active ageing
  • GP referral schemes
  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Mental health issues
  • Heart health awareness
  • Obesity in young people
  • Inactive communities
  • Stroke & Parkinson’s rehabilitation
  • Increasing participation in walking for health schemes
  • Accessing green space

These are just some examples. We can email you a free guide designed to give you the information you need for the training programme, including costs, models of delivery and resources needed.

Why does Nordic Walking work?

  • Nordic Walking is a safe, natural, dynamic, efficient and suitable-for-all form of a physical activity that trains the body in an holistic, symmetric and balanced way.
  • Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to enhance your natural walking experience. It is a fun and social activity that can be done in town or country throughout the year.
  • Using Nordic Walking to improve public health. Nordic Walking as part of their national policy to improve health and well being,  is now a national pastime in many countries. Community projects in the UK report high participation numbers, and good retention when compared to other activities they have offered.
  • Nordic Walking engages people who would not traditionally participate in any kind of exercise.
  • The health benefits are considerable and yet the perception of effort is low, in other words people enjoy Nordic Walking and so stick at it.
  • Nordic Walking is sociable and can help to build a sense of community amongst the participants.
  • Nordic Walking is kind to the joints, increases the stability of the walker and works nearly all of the muscles in the body. Nordic Walking is taught in a way that develops improved walking and posture as well as good pole technique. The benefits to the body are functional and so transfer into everyday life.
  • The way we teach Nordic Walking with the INWA 10 Step Method makes it easy to learn and teach. If you are a community or health project looking to add Nordic Walking then please contact us to talk through your ideasand the training process
  • We can offer in-house tailored tarining, advise you on equipment, exercises and all the factors you need to consider when setting up a community Nordic walking project.
  • The British Nordic Walking launched the British Nordic Walking Challenge Series with two events, one in Bristol and one in Swindon. The Challenge Series continues every year with four key events. The format follows the INWA (International Nordic Walking Federation) race rules and distances. Entrants can challenge themselves to complete either a 5Km, 10Km or 20Km distance, usually off road, and if they wish compete against other Nordic Walkers in the following categories:
  1. Fastest man and woman 5Km
  2. Fastest man and woman 10Km
  3. Fastest man and woman 20Km
  4. Fastest mixed team in each distance (calculated on the combined times of the fastest 4 people from any one team)

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