Nordic walking back to health

Nordic walkers are usually seen in the countryside. Catherine Scott finds out why a group women have chosen the city centre to get fit.

Most of us would like to find a way to stay fit that’s not only enjoyable but at the same time makes time fly by – quite the opposite of the usual gym visit where everyone watches the clock until that last run on the treadmill.

But a group of Yorkshire women who have all been affected by Breast Cancer and are visiting the Yorkshire Breast Cancer Haven in Leeds, believe they have found a way of increasing their fitness whilst making time fly.

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The women take part in a Nordic walk every week around the city, catching up with each other whilst enjoying the landscape at the same time.

Nordic walking is based on cross-country skiing and using poles as you move to increases the benefits of normal walking. Nordic walking can help those with breast cancer manage and overcome fatigue; restore good posture; help muscle recovery and rehabilitation following surgery; and other cancer treatments as well as burning fat.

Alison Walker, mum of two, is a regular with the Haven Nordic walking group.

“We all agree that we get so much out of walking together as a group compared to any other exercise we take individually. The time literally flies by and we can never believe how quickly our hour of Nordic walking goes.”

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The Haven provides, completely free of charge, a wide range of therapies which help people to deal with the physical and emotional side effects of breast cancer.

Their programme of care includes counselling, complementary therapies, emotional support and information to meet the physical and emotional needs of people affected by breast cancer before, during and after treatment.

So next time you are clock watching at the gym or on that weekend run, think about getting together a group of like-minded friends and hitting the road for fitness and a catch up all in one.

If you or someone you know is going through breast cancer and could benefit from some group exercise, then please get in touch with the Haven. The Haven receives no government funding and relies entirely on charitable donations and fundraising events to meet all its costs.

For more information on the Haven call 0113 284 7829 or visit