A group of eight locals took part in a ‘Nordic Walk’, a low-impact, sociable outdoors sport, in Horsham Park on Saturday (September 21).
Linda Edwards, 58, of Cowfold, a fitness instructor at the Pavilions who ran the session, described the exercise, which burns up to 40 per cent more calories than walking normally, to walking ‘like a four-legged animal’.
She said: “Some people think it’s harder at first because we are not used to walking like a four-legged animal - the poles are like an extension of our arms so it’s like walking with four limbs rather than two.”
She added: “That movement is also creating a gentle rhythm across your back and arms, it’s like massaging your back, which is good if you’ve got back problems.
“I love it because it’s a great way of getting cardiovascular fitness and I love being outdoors.”
The participants signed up for a number of reasons including working off injuries, the sessions’ sociable aspect, weight loss and an interest in walking.
Stuart Liggins, 55, a regional sales manager, of Worthing, said: “I’ve a whiplash injury. I’m hoping to exercise it out of my system.”
And Jacky Garner, 63, retired, of Horsham, said: “I’ve done a lot of walking in my time and it was another way of walking, losing weight, fitness and having a bit of fun.”
Nordic walking was originally used as a way for cross-country skiers to stay fit in the summer months.
The movement engages 90 percent of your major muscles, including in the upper body.
Horsham District Council’s Leisure Link sports and leisure team puts on or arranges a range of activities for all ages and abilities throughout the district, including Nordic Walking for adults in Horsham Park.
The course costs £45 until the end of the year and is a weekly build-up of four one-hour sessions.
For more information, contact Linda Edwards on 07703 575915.