Derbyshire Mind and British Nordic Walking have teamed up to offer Nordic Walking as part of their Enjoying Derby walk programme.
Project Manager Caron Kirkham said
‘We are delighted and very excited to be offering Nordic Walking to our existing walkers and we are also hoping to attract some new participants. At Derbyshire Mind we really know the physical and mental health benefits of walking outside. Our walkers report their moods lifted, walking as a distraction from concerns or anxieties; feeling more confident about walking in the city and getting around on public transport; noticing the changing seasons and wildlife. They also learn about national and local history through visits to local museums and historic sites. Many report feeling fitter, having more energy and losing or maintaining weight.’
Catherine Hughes from British Nordic Walking adds-
‘Nordic Walking has additional benefits over ordinary walking and has a number of benefits for people with a wide range of mental health problems. Nordic Walking poles give extra stability, which is a benefit to people suffering from dizziness (a side effect of some sedatives). Holding a pole in the hand is reassuring (a sensation similar to holding someone’s hand or an object like worry beads), which can be helpful to people with anxiety and/or tremor. Nordic Walking increases the range of motion of the hip, shoulder and spine; some anti-psychotic drugs cause muscles stiffness.
The rhythm and sensation of planting and pushing on the poles at the specified angle can be a distraction from undesirable thoughts, is good for autistic people and can release stress as the walker drives their frustration through the pole strap. By learning to Nordic Walk participants get a boost in self-esteem and confidence.
Nordic Walking works 90% of the muscles. This means one burns 20-40% more calories than ordinary walking and so can help combat obesity; weight gain is a very common side effect of mental health drugs. The effort of movement is spread over all the muscle groups so actually feels easier than it is.’
Derbyshire Mind will offer a programme of free taster sessions so people can try Nordic Walking. Then people will sign up for a six week course to learn the techniques of Nordic walking and then they can access regular 1 hour walks.
The funding to set up the scheme is from the Lottery Awards for All scheme.
Enjoying Nordic Walking will be open to the public, as the Enjoying Derby walk programme is. This helps combat some of the stigma around mental health. The cost is £5 per session including pole hire.
For further details contact Caron on 01332 345966 extension 4 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Details of forthcoming sessions will be advertised on the Derbyshire Mind website – www.derbyshiremind.org.uk
For more information about British Nordic Walking, visit www.britishnordicwalking.org.uk