If someone had told me even as recently as a year ago that I would be tackling a 27 mile (43.5km) Nordic walk on the Dorset coast run by UK Nordic Walking on September 14th I would have said ‘not a chance!’ However, I am all signed up for the walk and I am loving doing the training with others as we encourage each other up and down Bredon Hill in Gloucestershire and the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, which give us similar walking terrain to the Purbeck coast. I even encouraged my very supportive husband to walk with me on the coast of West Wales in July, so I could keep fitness levels up whilst we were on holiday there.
I am feeling excited and (most of the time) confident that I will complete the 27 miles which will be a personal milestone for me in terms of both my physical and mental health.
I have never been motivated by going to a gym and running for me hasn’t done it for me either, but a friend who lives in the Peak District first told me that she had taken up Nordic walking, and once she explained to me how much fun it was plus how it benefitted  her health and well being, I searched online for a group local to me in Stratford upon Avon,  and came across the Arrow and Arden group run by Kathrin and the rest is history as they say!
Being out in the open air, whatever the weather, and getting a good pace up has done wonders for my fitness levels. I haven’t consciously aimed to lose weight, but I have definitely dropped a few kilograms and toned up generally and people have noticed the difference which in itself is very encouraging for me. Whereas at one time I would have seen fitness as being something other people did, I now see it as a priority for me, as it has brought so many benefits to everyday life. At 61 years old I am probably fitter than I have been in years. After Purbeck I shall seek the next challenge to book on to, as that will encourage me through the autumn and winter months, which are never my favourite time of the year. Last winter was the first in a long time when I haven’t succumbed to SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder - and I attribute that directly to my Nordic Walking.
If you haven't found the activity that is right for you GO and TRY Nordic Walking!

— Ali Berkely, September 2019

Since I joined Arrow and Arden Nordic Walking Group it has completely changed my outlook on life. As a senior walker, I have found the experience uplifting and inspirational. My health has improved and my contact with other walkers has been of great benefit to my social sphere. I have met folk from all walks of life and there has not been a day when I have failed to engage in easy conversation with everybody in the group. We are of various ages and all lend support to each other! There are speeds and rhythms for all abilities and we look after each other. Kathrin produces interesting and varied walks through the countryside most of which avoid public highways and the terrain is easy enough, even for me. Please consider joining her group. You will be surprised how easy it is to get fitter and find welcome banter among like-minded people.

— Rhys W

Nordic Walking has become a very important part of my exercise regime. I love the fact that the walks are a total workout – I certainly know I’ve exercised at the end – and we walk in some lovely parts of the countryside. Having recently moved to the area, it was wonderful to find new places to walk. The other walkers are friendly so exercising becomes a social experience as well. Consequently, the benefits are both physical and mental. Kathrin is an excellent instructor who manages to keep us all motivated. I am now much more aware of my posture whilst walking and use the techniques whilst on dog walks and on our village rambles. The miles seem a lot shorter and I don’t get so puffed out walking uphill. As an “older person”, I can certainly recommend this as a safe and fun way to get and keep fit.

— Evelyn W

I started Nordic walking with Kathrin last September and can honestly say it is certainly one of my best decisions. It is an excellent form of exercise which is fun and sustainable. All the walks we go on are suitable for all abilities and varied. Some are more challenging than others but you can always walk with people of a similar level of fitness or push yourself to a higher gear. Kathrin is a fun, enthusiastic, patient, calm and committed instructor. All the other walkers I have encountered are really lovely friendly people. Everyone is made to feel welcome and included. Each walk that I have taken part in, even under adverse winter conditions such as frost, mud or rain, has been a pleasure even if some times a personal challenge. I thoroughly enjoy Nordic walking and can recommend it as a sustainable exercise regime.

— Julie T

I am so pleased I went along to one of Kathrin Foster's Nordic Walking taster sessions one Saturday morning in September as it spurred me into action to take up this extremely enjoyable and beneficial sport. I was hooked, and booked my 4-week course as soon as I got home. Kathrin is an excellent tutor - she is calm and encouraging, and communicates well explaining technique using imaginative examples - resulting in swift learning! Kathrin makes you feel at ease with her friendly disposition and is very generous with her time and knowledge. I am currently taking part in an NWUK research project and walking regularly under my own steam as well as participating in Kathrin's group walks. Also, I am enjoying training my dog to walk calmly alongside me with my poles - it's good to have canine company! 😉👣🐶🐾

— Lis C

I wanted to find an exercise that would get me outside and fit, however having a few problems with my feet meant that the exercise choice needed careful consideration. My friend suggested Nordic Walking.  Investigation led me to Kathrin and her Learn to Nordic Walk course.  Kathrin's tuition is clear and concise, (Kathrin has a teaching background) and she caters to each participant's needs with kindness and consideration. When joining a class or walk Kathrin is a good host too, introducing everyone and checking in with us all en-route ensuring we are ok or just to have a little chat. The whole experience is a very enjoyable, great way to exercise and meet people. After a month of weekly walks I have noticed that my fitness has improved, I have more stamina and of course being outside is great for general wellbeing. I highly recommend Nordic walking with Arrow and Arden Nordic Walking.

— Sue D