BMT Go Nordic Walking

Did you know that every few months the BMT practitioners get together? These team meetings give us a great opportunity to catch up with each other - after all we see our clients more regularly than each other sometimes - feed back on any comments, observations or improvements that we think could be made.

At each appointment, I've also invited a guest speaker. This is typically a colleague and friend who specialises in an area outside our massage knowledge & understanding. So far this year, we've heard from two experts:

The great outdoors

Our latest meeting took place at the start of September and had a slight twist, as our expert speaker / demonstrator lead was none other than Mike Anderson. Already part of the BMT team, Mike is not only a sports & remedial massage therapist, but he's a personal trainer as well as an instructor with Bristol Nordic Walking. It was for this specialism that I had asked him to lead us.

I'll be honest: I've clients who have raved about Nordic Walking & yet I still thought of it as walking. One of our other sports massage therapists, John, went so far as to describe it as "walking with sticks." As a keen runner I was interested to see how his perception might change during our session.

For the first 10-15 minutes Mike took us through the basic techniques for using the poles. Sounds mental? Turned out to be vital. Who knew walking and coordination could prove so challenging!

With a slight sense of trepidation I followed Mike's direction and we started what was to be a brisk paced 5km - completed in just under 45 minutes. As you would expect, jackets were dispensed with fairly swiftly, talking was minimal for the outward leg as one by one we received personal guidance on techniques.

At the half way point we stopped and undertook a couple of arm based exercises, but before we knew it we were off again. Conversation flowed a little more fluidly, as did our stride / swing coordination, the sweat starting to tickle the top lip, whilst the breathing and heart rates picked up again.

As an ex-personal trainer myself, what really struck me was how easily accessible Nordic Walking makes exercise. It IS just walking, but at the same time is so much more than that. It is outdoors. It is movement. It requires so little kit, although waterproof trainers or walking boots are a good idea even on dry autumnal mornings.

Find out more ...

So, if you've ever wondered what Nordic Walking is like ... just ask Mike, or go along to a beginners class.

Mike is one of the team of instructors with Bristol Nordic Walking, who host a number of walks throughout Bristol including a walk dedicated to clients who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's. More information about this and all the Bristol Nordic Walking classes can be found on their website. Alternatively please feel free to contact Ros (the boss!) directly by phone (07886 885213) or via email.

As for John's opinion of it now? "It is so much harder than I have it credit for." I think he might stick to running though, and he did reported feeling his glutes a lot more on his run the next day. Glute engagement can only be a good thing!

For our next team meeting? I think I might keep it a little more indoors, given the season change going on at the moment!