Nordic Walking: celebrating my 50th parkrun

I took up Nordic Walking in 2011 when I was looking for gentle exercise after suffering a tennis injury.

Louise Third completing her 50th park run, Nordic WalkingAnd I love it so much that I’ve now completed my 50th parkrun as a Nordic Walker.

I was attracted to the sport for its all-round body fitness and toning effects, plus it had the added advantage of helping me lose weight.

Nordic Walking is becoming increasingly popular and it’s easy to see why. All you need is some comfy shoes and a set of poles and you’re on your way.

But the exercise has proved to be therapeutic in more ways than one for me. Two years ago I went through treatment for breast cancer, and I used Nordic Walking at Colwick parkrun in Nottingham to aid my recovery.

Looking back, I don’t know how I found the energy to get to parkrun early on Saturday mornings, but with encouragement from my friend and fellow walker Angie Burrows I kept going.

Nordic Walking is such a sociable sport, and even if we only managed 3k some mornings it made all the difference to the way I was feeling.

park run logo and message 'park run is for everyone'The parkruns have become a regular sporting fixture across the UK and are free to take part in.

Anyone can join in for a 5k run, jog or walk. The online registration provides a unique barcode which is used to record your time on each outing.

My instructor Catherine Hughes, Midlands Nordic Walking, is a huge advocate of the sport. She says: “Setting and achieving goals such as this can be a great motivator to exercise and Nordic Walking can be enjoyed by everyone and at all levels.”

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And if you’re still unsure about whether it’s for you, bear in mind that parkruns are open to absolutely everyone – so don’t worry if you’ve never done one before, or don’t feel particularly fit.

They really are a brilliant way of getting active outdoors, meeting likeminded people and reaping the health benefits in the process.

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Louise Third

About Louise Third

I'm the founding director of PR Agency Integra Communications which I run with my husband Andrew. My interests include public speaking, volunteering for the NG11 Food Bank and supporting the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre at Nottingham Trent University. With virtually independent daughters aged 25 and 23, I enjoy life as if I am still in my 20s!