Mercian Nordic Walking
Mercian Nordic Walking is an outdoor fitness company that specialises in fitness walking and outdoor circuit training. Nordic walking turns normal walking into a great workout for the whole body and you can join in with several fitness walks per week all led by qualified nordic walking instructors.
The owner of Nordic Walking is Ian Northcott BEM who is highly qualified in fitness and is a personal trainer, a specialist in exercise for the older adult and is a qualified outdoor exercise coach.
We aim to put life in your years and not just years on your life.
Ian Northcott BEM said "We have inspired literally hundreds of people to get active in something anyone can do in a fun and motivating group setting. Nordic walking turns a walk into a workout".
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Now we have reached the anniversary of our first lockdown I have been reflecting on the past year. I feel sure everyone found lockdown in March 2020 an extremely difficult time for many different reasons, however thanks to Ian Northcott I have been on a fitness journey and now look at exercise in a completely different way.
As all Nordic Walking groups were cancelled Ian Northcott began to provide online fitness classes. Over the past year there have been a great variety of zoom classes provided to suit everyone and for all fitness levels. All the exercises are clearly demonstrated and explained, and individual feedback given throughout. I have now invested in some simple exercise equipment like stretchy bands, a dumbbell and a gymstick and join in many classes each week. It is wonderful to see so many others joining in and achieving a high level of fitness.
When the lockdown was announced again in January 2021 I was inspired by other Nordic Walkers to invest in a rowing machine and now join in Mercian Fitness coaching on online.
I would certainly like to thank Ian Northcott for all the help and support he has given me and as I am not very technical person, he has spent much time patiently guiding me through how to access different items online that support my fitness. Any queries and Ian is always available to give support.
Ian has a great team around him. I would like to say a huge thank you to Carol for providing a challenge week in January and giving Mercian Nordic Walkers motivation to be active every day. Malcom and Janet have provided Mercian Nordic Walkers a Progressive Lockdown Relay Challenge, these have given us a great opportunity to keep in touch with others, while encouraging us to increase our fitness.
I can’t wait for our first socially distanced Nordic Walking walk which should be very soon and looking forward to seeing everyone again. I will still be keeping up with my online classes.
Ian Northcott, you have worked so hard the last twelve months to keep us all so fit and active. Thank you so much.
Testimonial for Mercian Nordic walking and Mercian fitness
I started with a learn to Nordic walk course some time ago when Ian first started running courses. I have since done a couple of walks and a fit for life course. All as a Pay as you go member and very irregularly.
Fast forward to now, I wanted to get fitter in lockdown and knew just who to ask for help. Ian was great and suggested I took on a monthly membership as the plan he had for me would have cost a fortune as a PayG member.
I have been doing classes most days a week and have followed the outdoor programme when allowed by the government guidelines. As suggested by Ian, I take part in a number of Cardio/circuits classes and also and maybe more importantly, a number of strength classes. My week includes Monday circuits, Tuesday Mswing, Weds. Trek fit/fit for life and gym stick and Thursday I do a Mswing with stretchy band class.
I have been following this programme for nearly a year now. I have lost a stone in weight, lost 2 inches off my waist and arms and to top it all off, I am joining the group that is going out to Tanzania next year to climb Kilimanjaro.
I feel so much better for the exercise I am doing and am really seeing results. The routine of classes has kept me living life in lockdown with a much healthier attitude than I expected. The classes have kept me well mind, body and spirit. The camaraderie with the other clients is great and Ian is an inspiration. He is firm but fair and gets results every time. We always have a laugh but we also always work hard. Ian encourages us to work to and 80% level but gives us the option to work at our highest point possible within our ability.
Nothing is too much for Ian and he is always on hand to help you come up with the perfect work out pattern just for your needs. And is mindful if you are coming back from injury that there may be limitations but that they are not a problem as he is full of ways to make it more appropriate for you as you recover.
I joined Mercian Nordic Walking four years ago and I have never looked back-metaphorically and literally!
Mercian Nordic Walking is led by Ian who is someone well able to show you how to get the best out of your own abilities in a very motivational, fun and professional manner through group walking events and online exercise classes, ably assisted by a number of qualified team leaders.
There is a wide range of daily walking groups designed to cater for all ages and fitness levels, making full use of the benefits of using Nordic walking poles which turn a "normal" walk into a much more efficient overall body exercise. Apart from the obvious physical benefits there is a great mental boost from being in the open air in the beautiful Worcestershire countryside and enjoying the company of a great bunch of people!
In addition to outdoor walking, Ian runs a superb programme of daily online exercises via Zoom. This has been especially beneficial through the Covid lockdown and it enables all of us to benefit from very meaningful exercise routines in our own homes. These online exercises have proved to be so popular that I am sure they will continue to form an important part of the Nordic Walking exercises long after Covid has gone!
Since I joined Mercian Nordic Walking I have never felt better-I have lost weight, gained muscle strength and I have much more energy-and I've got to know a whole bunch of very nice people!'
You can find out more -without commitment- simply by contacting Ian. There is nothing to lose and a great deal to gain! I highly recommend it.
I started Nordic Walking three years ago, beginning with ‘a learn to’ session. I was hooked immediately and have never regretted making that start. We have great walk leaders and instructors who receive every walk we do, making sure it’s safe for us to walk. There are various walks on offer such as well-being, adventure walks and hill climbing, something to suit everyone. There are challenges if you want them, holidays abroad, weekends away and various social events on offer. We have some beautiful countryside right on our doorsteps and you see so much more of it when walking instead of driving.
Walking with poles is not ‘sissy’ or ‘nerdy’, walking with poles can be hard work if that’s what you want. Working the majority of muscles in the body, it improves the cardiovascular system, improves stamina and stability and your core strength. Would you believe you can run and skip safely with poles if you want to, to increase your fitness. All this with lovely, friendly fellow walkers in the great outdoors is good for the mind and body. Come give it a go.
Then COVID struck and, without missing a beat, Ian began to develop what has become an extensive online weekly program of classes which are accessible to all ages and abilities and which cover a wide range of fitness activities targeting cardiovascular fitness, strength, and mobility. Ian has an enormous amount of training and knowledge about all aspects of fitness and he always ensures that the classes are fun and varied. He makes sure that he can see all class participants on zoom and insists that we perform the exercises correctly, so we improve our fitness without incurring injuries. Now I join Mercian Nordic walks to enjoy the fresh air in the beautiful Worcestershire countryside and each week participate in a wide range of Ian’s fun and effective fitness classes in the comfort and convenience of my home. I am in fitness heaven!
I have never done proper fitness training, but Ian has introduced me to Cardio Vascular (CV), strength, and Tabata exercises. I’ve learned that to get the best level of fitness, doing the exercises properly is more important than spending a lot of time.
With a simple piece of kit called a Gymstick, a couple of fitness bands and exercise bike I can do all the exercises at a time that suits me.
It’s not been easy, and Ian demands consistency, commitment and an open mind, but I’m fitter, stronger and healthier than I have been for about 15 years. I look forward to improving further!
I often reflect on how unfit I was and what I have been able to achieve through the concept of Nordic Walking, fitness and social activities. Previously I belonged to a local gym but was not sufficiently committed to exercising indoors to improve my fitness and therefore make anything like the best use of my monthly subscription. As soon as I joined Mercian Nordic Walking, I cancelled it and have not looked back since. Exercising outdoors is so effective and enjoyable (even in bad weather) due to group support and great banter. Who needs gym equipment when you can use your poles, isobows, park railings, benches and low fences for example?
I have found Nordic Walking (NW) to be a tremendous total body workout as it engages 90% of the body muscles but in addition I have benefited to a very great extent from additional muscular strength and endurance (MSE) training, cardio vascular (CV) exercises and latterly isometrics. I have come to realise how important exercise is per se but more so as we age. It is amazing how quickly muscles can weaken affecting posture and balance with aches and pains developing. A recent video of a trekfit activity I was taking part in, showed me running “knock- kneed' ( I was so embarrassed) which I later found out is apparently due to weak ankle muscles. I hasten to add that we are always asked if we are Ok with social media and without this video I wouldn't have known I had muscle weakness. Following a visit to an osteopath, who happens to be a NW instructor, I was recommended strengthening exercises using a wobble board. In addition I found an interesting article in a health magazine for ankle strengthening exercises as practised by ballerinas!! Oh to be a fly on the kitchen wall to see me using the work surface as a ballet barre whilst waiting for the kettle to boil!!! but the exercises are working.
With Mercian Nordic Walking we have a tremendous team of instructors, and walk leaders led by Ian Northcott, who all get to know their clients/capabilities and fitness goals. When I took up the sport, it was then Ian who primarily assessed my fitness. He inspired me to realise the benefits to my health and well-being by gradually introducing me to longer and more challenging walks, trekfit, MSE and CV exercises. I was never put under any pressure to do so but the more I have experienced the benefits of feeling fitter, the more I have wanted to do and Ian's encouragement, support and enthusiasm is awe inspiring.
Diet is also very much part of my fitness and feeling good: statement of the obvious I hear you cry. Like most of us I am sure, I enjoy a glass of wine or two, or a gin and tonic but don't need either. I have also reduced my meal portion sizes and snacking between meals. It is amazing how much energy is required to burn just a small amount of calories. Climbing to the top of the O2 only burnt 450!!!! insufficient, I fear, to negate the coffee and cake I had afterwards!!! Earlier on this year, I went to one of Michael Mosely's road shows and am now interested in different types of diets and eating patterns. Do I really need to eat breakfast everyday for example.
I digress a little but I wouldn't have evaluated my lifestyle without the concept of Nordic Walking, health and well being: the best thing I have done for years.
Thanks to Ian and his team for all their enthusiasm for the sport, support and amazing number of walks/activities available each week via Mercian Nordic Walking and now in conjunction with the Midlands groups.
They are outstanding in every respect!
They make walking and fitness fun, informative and entertaining.
They are extremely knowledgable about exercise and also provide clear and easy to understand instruction about all aspects of the activity you're performing or about to perform.
Can’t believe how much Nordic Walking improves fitness, stamina and core strength compared to normal walking. I almost don’t consider normal walking as exercise now!
The CV and strength training sessions are brilliant! They are great fun and much less intimidating than a gym. Everyone can work to their own level of ability and fitness.
I signed up for PT sessions with Ian- the most positive thing I’ve done for myself in years! The fitness program is delivered partly remotely and partly as face to face sessions ( when not in isolation status!), is flexible and tailored to fit around my unpredictable work schedule. No more excuses for me not to train regularly!
With the right level of support I’m achieving my fitness goals and still having fun training. I’ve lost weight and I’m fitter than I’ve been for about 30 years! Also sleeping much better and noticeably less tired!
Mercian Fitness & Nordic Walking offers a complete fitness package! Everyone is so friendly and supportive,and there is huge variety of activities available to support you whatever your ability or fitness goal!