May 2016. Email from Bev…..”So far I have walked @100km along the Camino de Santiago, only 200kms left! My Nordic walking poles have been invaluable. Today was quite difficult with very rough paths over some mountains of @1,500m, the NW poles helped my get up the mountains and I couldn’t have descended along the steep rocky paths without the stability and balance the NW poles provided. Thank you for teaching me how to use NW poles and making this walking trip possible”. Bev G, Dickson ACT
“We first noticed Nordic walking after spending a week last summer at a place called Wengen in the Berner Oberland in Switzerland – people with poles seemingly cross-country skiing on grass or gravel against a backdrop of stunning scenery. Back in Canberra, my wife – always a keen walker – did some research and found Kristen and Capital Nordic walking. A birthday and gift voucher later, there we were with Kristen at the Dickson Wetlands for our 4 lesson package.
What a great experience! Clearly passionate about the sport, Kristen’s approach to tuition is first class – interesting, very practical, entertaining and richly informative. Each lesson builds on the previous one and Kristen’s patience with those who tend to want to just ‘’take their poles for a walk’ is admirable. Her background as an Occupational Therapist means she can relate quickly to the specific physical characteristics and needs and tailor her tuition to individuals.
We’d thoroughly recommend Kristen and Capital Nordic Walking to anyone who loves walking and wants to take it to a new dimension”
Les H, Higgins ACT
“I took up Nordic walking in mid-2015. I had just read Norman Doidge’s book “The brain’s way of healing” about the neuroplasticity of the brain. He gives a detailed case study of one man, John Pepper, who was able to reverse his severe symptoms of Parkinson’s by carefully planned strenuous regular walking. The theory was that this type of exercise stimulated an increase of dopamine in the brain. The theory is controversial but all agree that regular exercise can only be beneficial. Thus I decided to avail myself of the offer of attending classes especially for those with Parkinson’s.
The course was once a week for 5 weeks and there were 5 people with Parkinson’s in the class. The instruction was excellent, emphasizing correct technique tailored for our individual abilities. Our highly qualified instructor, Kristen Pratt of Capital Nordic Walking, was very pleasant and encouraging. At the end of the course we were advised on the purchase of suitable Nordic poles. I have been enjoying Nordic walking and try to fit in a walk each day. Apart from general fitness, the poles reinforce arm swinging and good posture. They push you along so your patterns of walking can vary. I often walk on the fire trails behind Garran where I find the poles useful for balance over rough ground and for helping climb up and down the hilly sections. For variety I walk on the made walking pathways in the parks and playgrounds around the district.
Marilyn N, Garran ACT
“I read about the benefits of Nordic Walking on-line early in 2014 and tried to teach myself how to do it, without success. Then I learnt that Kristen was a qualified instructor so I become one of Capital Nordic Walking’s first students in late 2014. Kristen is an excellent teacher — clear, observant of her student’s particular (or peculiar!) ways of walking and moving, and patient. What’s more, she imparts an enthusiasm for NW that gives you confidence you too will experience its benefits. I now NW just about every morning for 20-25 minutes. Why? It provides a good workout in the fresh air, it has helped build more upper-body strength, and it’s the best remedy I know for sore knees and muscular aches and pains in the lower body. Mine seem to disappear quite quickly with a combination of floor exercises and regular NW. I particularly notice that when a morning’s gardening leaves me a bit stiff and sore, there’s nothing like a NW to straighten everything out again. I reckon my NW poles were the best investment I made in 2015 and they’ll be giving me good returns for decades to come”
Margaret C of Dickson ACT
“Sometimes I’d wonder why those people walking with poles around flat Lake Burley Griffin were practicing their mountain walking. Then a friend of mine started Nordic Walking while living in Europe and I learnt the difference. But it wasn’t until I took the Capital Nordic Walking course that I really understood how great it is. Nordic Walking has given me the extra benefit of strengthening my upper body and spine/posture while doing the exercise I love out in the fresh air and away from gyms. Kristen at Capital Nordic Walking is an excellent instructor. She teaches the Nordic Walking skills in a calm and non-threatening way, makes learning fun, is very knowledgeable about broader health and fitness issues, and goes the extra mile helping her students with their individual needs. I now find time to walk most days with my poles and am feeling fit and strong”
Janine, Kingston, ACT
“I initially got into Nordic Walking just over a year ago when a friend bought a gift certificate for a set of lessons with Kristen from Capital Nordic Walking. I was a regular walker but immediately saw the benefits in expanding my fitness regime into an upper body workout at the same time as walking. I became hooked probably because of Kristen’s enthusiasm for spreading the word and her total professionalism and expertise in this activity and general fitness and movement issues. Through Kristen’s guidance and support in correct Nordic Walking techniques I have a new awareness of correct posture and movement which is helping me overcome some niggling pain as I get older. In addition, it’s a great social activity and Kristen organises wonderful group walking opportunities in a range of different localities in the beautiful Canberra outdoors”
Judy from Campbell, ACT
I first heard about Nordic Walking through a Southside Community Services forum for arthritis sufferers over two years ago. They had included a talk and demonstration on Nordic Walking. Through them, I then attended a few basic lessons. At that time, I was suffering from arthritis of both hips and I used to go walking with the poles basically to give me confidence and partially as crutches!
Not long after that, I underwent my first hip replacement surgery and my second one three months later. During my second recovery period I often went for walks with the help of the Nordic Walking poles. They were a great help in making walking easier as well as lengthening my strides without too much pressure on my hips.
Since then, I’ve been walking frequently with the poles and recently had some lessons with Kristen to refine my techniques. Thanks to Kristen, now I can walk uphill and down with confidence. I’ve even persuaded my husband to join me in the lessons, so now instead of just me walking with my poles in Jerrabomberra wetlands and around Lake Burley Griffin, there’ll be at least two of us.
I’m sure Nordic Walking has helped me recover much faster from my surgery. It’s been absolutely amazing how fast I can walk now, taking big long strides with no difficulty. And, I feel my posture has improved tremendously, with less backaches to boot! I intend to keep Nordic Walking, taking my special foldable poles (ordered through Kristen) with me to Europe when we go there in July. Thanks Kristen for all the encouragement.
Norah S, Kingston ACT