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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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!