Nordic Walking

We are running two Nordic walking sessions on a Friday from 11am – 12pm, and 2.30pm – 3.30pm in Whitehall recreation ground, with the café in the leisure centre as the meeting point between the two sessions.

The sessions are led by our qualified instructor Emma, and cost £3 a session (this is subsidised by the branch). Emma has poles that she can lend to you initially for the sessions. The sessions also include a work out with Smovey rings. To book a session please contact Emma on .

What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic walking was originally used by elite cross country skiers to keep fit in the summer months. It is a safe form of exercise that exaggerates normal movement patterns, but in using two poles it exaggerates the shoulder swing, elongates your stride length and increases the rotation of your spine. These are all things that become limited in a natural Parkinson’s type walking pattern, so by helping these, and by using the rhythm of the pole walking, people with Parkinson’s find this walking very beneficial.
Nordic walking also, by using more muscle groups, has a greater cardiovascular benefit, but as it uses the poles the person feels lighter on their feet, the posture is improved, taking pressure off joints, reducing pain and helps to maintain that muscle strength, so important in fighting the effects of Parkinson’s on the whole body. As the sessions is outside, in a social group, and aims to be fun, the effect on your mental health is also very good

Smovey Rings.

As part of the warm up to the session Emma will use Smovey rings. These are a spiral tube, which has an oscillating system, comprising four steel balls and a handle. The movement of the balls within the ring, hitting against the ridges within the ring, produces a noticeable vibration of a specific frequency. This has a damping effect on Parkinson’s tremor.
The ring was invented by Salz Hans Salzwimmer, a fellow Parkinson’s sufferer, and for some people, the rings have great benefit.

The sessions

The sessions are based in Whitehall Recreation Park on a Friday afternoon, and once booked in Emma will suggest which group will suit you best. The way the system works, is that you register with the Nordic walking site, fill in a medical questionnaire, and then when you want to do a walk, you sign up for the walk for that week. You pay as you book, as directed on the site, and we pay an additional fee for each walk you do. You cannot just turn up, as Emma for insurance purposes has to know who is coming and limit the numbers. If you need a carer to come with you that is fine.

Poles and rings will be provided for the sessions, but both can by purchased with Emma’s advice, as there is a pole specifically designed for Parkinson’s, which increases the benefits, and is safer to use.

There are seats at the venue, and you can rest if you need to. Just wear good shoes and comfortable outdoor clothing.

If you have any queries you can contact Emma at or the branch at