13th January 2017



Many of the same FAQ’s are asked before people attend the sessions. Please read through and if you need to ask something else please email me. I can add it to the list for the future too.


We walk in a variety of locations across North, Central and south Bedfordshire villages, and within Bedford Borough itself.

If you would like more information on locations please see our Maps Page

  • Trainers are ideal if the ground is dry. If you don’t have any, then walking shoes are fine, but not walking boots.
  • Do not wear shoes without a good tread. This is important. Fashion shoes are not suitable nor are indoor court trainers that do not have a substantial grip.
  • Your feet need room to spread in the shoe and have a flexible sole for correct foot plantation. Please do not buy anything new for the taster session, just use what you have at home and then I can advise you what to look for in a perfect shoe If you wish to continue with the activity. Please read more info about footwear on my blog page.
  • Layer your clothing It is always best to choose layers. Our groups are not about the latest fashion or looking great in coordinated clothes, we wear clothes that are comfortable and protective and keep us warm and dry in winter or cool in summer. 
  • Base layer – that wicks sweat away is perfect as the first layer as it keeps the skin at a constant temperature. Other materials can absorb sweat resulting in you become very cold when your body temperature drops as you cool down. You can get some garments that have anti-bacterial properties, so your sweat does not then turn smelly. These come as long or short sleeved and are great for all weathers.
  • Mid layer – This layer provides the insulation and it needs to be breathable. This could be a fleece, a Gillet, or something similar. It should not be bulky but should be made of a material to keep you warm.
  • Top layer – Windproof/waterproof. Needs to be breathable. This layer keeps the wind and rain out. This layer should be big enough to go over your other layers and allow you to move your arms freely. If this layer is compact enough to be stored in your backpack, as you get warmer, this is perfect!
  • Please do not come with items tied around the waist as these clothes will get caught up with arms swings and poles.
  • Trousers – Ideally made of a material that dries quickly. Should be comfortable enough to walk in – not too tight anywhere. Material like jeans and heavy cotton, jogging bottom is not suitable as you can get uncomfortable and should be avoided.  A pair of cheaper walking trousers will be a good choice. There are some available for about £20.
  • A small back-pack to go on your back to safely carry your keys, mobile, drink etc. NOT a handbag that hangs to your side. Please choose a bag that has good fitting straps, not one that has strings that drop down your shoulders, as this is very distracting for you when you are trying to learn the technique.
  • Please bring your glasses, if you need them, to fill out your health questionnaire. Sunglasses and cap in summer and hat and gloves in the winter.
  • A foldaway mac is a great investment, as we never know when it will rain which can be popped in your backpack. We can get caught out in spring days.
  • Yes, we do and then a few extra bits of clothing are required. A headtorch and a high viz jacket. I see amazon does a very nice pink one. 
  • All poles are provided for Technique sessions. You will not be required to buy your own poles at this stage.
  • You can follow a link to buy your own pole when the times comes.  You may hire poles in the meantime for £1 per walk. We do not use trekking poles as they do not have the correct strap.
  • This will vary from person to person. Nordic Walking technique does involve swinging from your shoulders, with every step (typically, 1,000 swings each side, per mile). For some conditions, this will help provide much-needed mobility, for others it may aggravate it. It will only be you who can say if this activity is helping or not, but if you have any concerns please ask your GP first. If after one session it has aggravated an old injury, please listen to your body. You will need to fill in a health questionnaire before you can take part in any activity. If you answer yes to any question you need to get clearance from a GP to reduce any further risks to you.
  • Some people will notice the difference after just one session. If you have any lower body joint problems, Nordic Walking can be very beneficial as the poles take the weight off lower limbs.
  • For others, it can help you to walk faster and further, with a much better posture. Most people will feel a benefit after a few sessions.

Please arrive 10 minutes before the advertised start time. This gives you a chance to chat and be mentally prepared for the session. Please give yourself enough time to park, as some meeting points can be busy at various items (Foster Hill Road can get very busy due to kids swimming lessons.)

Please do not request we wait for you or ask if you can catch us up, as this is not possible. You need to arrive in good time to get your poles and participate in the warm-up. If you are struggling to get to a session, on time regularly, please speak to the leader and we will see what can be done or choose a different session. If you have your own poles and have pre-paid, then arriving at the beginning of the warm-up may be accepted, occasionally, but is not ideal. If you need to use our poles, then it is disruptive for other group members if the leader to has to return to the car for poles for you and it causes discontentment for those who have arrived on time and are ready to start.

This can vary from session to session. An average group of actively retired adults, who are fit and healthy, will walk about 3 miles. This will take an hour but includes 4/5 minute warm up and cool down. This pace is brisk so it will provide the required fitness benefits. Each week you can walk a little faster and keep up with the rest of the group a little better. These sessions will be marked as fitness. Many of the sessions take place at Priory Country Park.

If you have mobility problems then the poles can add support and allow you to walk further, faster and for longer but it may be a mile in Bedford Park.  This will still provide many benefits. There are other categories. Please see our sessions.

You are required to complete a basic health questionnaire. Please declare any injuries /conditions to ensure we are informed. These are then stored in a locked cabinet. When you buy a card you will be required to put any conditions and medications on the back. Please carry this with you. It is your responsibility. Thank you for your co-operation

Please remind the instructor of ongoing injuries. Ie: My knee is playing up today, can I take a shorter loop, etc. NWWU see you as an individual and you will form a good relationship with the instructor due to small groups.  You are not just a number so we encourage you to communicate with us if you have a new injury, or an old one playing up. If you don’t feel yourself, do not try to do what you normally do, take a shortcut, don’t do the hill so many times etc. Take it at your own pace. Only you can feel what is going on in your body so please communicate that with your instructor. For the best exercise outcome possible.

We understand that it is frustrating to have niggling injuries which prevent you from coming to the sessions.  Please listen to your body and allow them to heal before you walk on them again. Please beware that walking can aggravate injuries and sometimes you just need to rest. 

These are the questions you will be asked before being allowed to take part in a Nordic Walking session.

Please read carefully

Please answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the following questions.

  1. If you answer ‘yes to any of the questions you may need your doctor’s consent before you participate in Nordic Walking.
  2. Has a doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and recommended only medically supervised activity?
  3. Do you have chest pain brought on by physical activity?
  4. Have you developed chest pain in the past month?
  5. Do you lose consciousness or fall over as a result of dizziness?
  6. Do you have a bone or joint problem that could be aggravated by physical activity?
  7. Has a doctor ever recommended medication for your blood pressure or a heart condition?
  8. Are you aware through your own experience or from doctor’s advice or for any other reason why you should not exercise without medical supervision?
  9. Please outline any other relevant information that may affect your ability to exercise.
  10. Known allergies:
  11. Pre-existing medical conditions:
  12. Current medication:
    I realise that my body’s reaction to exercise is not totally predictable. Should I develop a condition that affects my ability to
    exercise, I will inform my instructor immediately and stop exercising if necessary. I take full responsibility for monitoring my
    own physical condition always.