“I was diagnosed with asthma out of the blue after feeling low and ill for some months. It was the perfect excuse to avoid exercise for fear of breathlessness. I managed my asthma by self-limiting my exercise. My weight increased progressively, especially following (on separate occasions) the incapacity of a broken foot, fractured toes and torn cartilage in my knee.
Following recovery from foot surgery, I heard about Nordic walking from a colleague and signed up for an induction course. I quickly noticed the health benefits: improved fitness; less breathlessness; an improvement in my walking and posture; and an overall sense of achievement. I combined my walking with a healthy eating programme. My weight started to drop and the more walking sessions I did, the more I wanted to do. I felt fit, healthy and naturally energised.
My asthma has receded to the extent that I no longer use steroid or reliever inhalers and, although not yet confirmed by my GP, I feel it has resolved. I am not afraid of the challenge of exercise; I now embrace it and am looking forward to participating in a Nordic walking marathon, something I would not have contemplated eighteen months ago.
Nordic walking ticks all the boxes for me: the de-stressing and the sense of wellbeing, my improved breathing and fitness and, not be underestimated, its sociable nature and the friendships I have developed.
My friends and family laugh at how I have even overcome a pathological fear of mud. I’m now quite happy sloshing over muddy fields and through swampy bridle paths in pursuit of the pure enjoyment of Nordic walking.”