I love Nordic Walking! It wonderfully combines my love of walking and the outdoors and gives my body a more intense workout all at the same time. It has proved to be such an enjoyable part of the week exploring new walks and meeting new people that I have managed to arrange my work around Nordic Walking, ensuring I keep my Thursday mornings free! It provides an essential boost to both my physical and mental wellbeing in an otherwise hectic and sometimes stressful week. Katharine, our instructor is great; always welcoming, giving clear tuition and encouraging feedback and making each class fun.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Claire

I found Mary's classes online when I was looking for Nordic walking training just before I retired, and I am so glad that I did.  Done properly, the techniques taught in the instruction courses really do make you aware of your posture and how to get the most out of using the poles, and the weekly classes are a very sociable way of putting those techniques into practice.  Mary is an excellent teacher.  I do have to travel some distance to get to Clare Country Park but I'm happy to do that as the classes are so rewarding - as is the coffee meet-up afterwards in the cafe!  
Nordic Walking a great fitness opportunity  
It is rare to find a physical activity that offers fitness, enjoyment and social fun for a range of ages and abilities. I began Nordic walking to try and improve my fitness levels and reduce some weight.  Within a few months I found I had more flexibility and improved fitness levels that helped in everyday tasks. A combination of the walking exercise and improved diet have in fact helped me lose weight. Our group instructor Katharine provides excellent input each week and ensures we work hard but enjoy the session. The walking is really good fun and has provided opportunity to make new friends and enjoy a new social experience."
Ian, Bury St Edmunds (retired)
I like Nordic Walking because:
- it is outdoor exercise that does not hammer my joints but works most of my body and some of my mind;
- it does not require complicated or high-maintenance equipment;
- it was easy to learn to do well-enough, thanks not only to the 10 step technique but especially to Mary's excellent and enjoyable classes;
- but there are still plenty of ways to improve and progress, while enjoying the countryside.
After 15 months of treatment for Breast Cancer I knew my stamina and strength were very low, my Oncologist had suggested doing some form of exercise. So the challenge was what to do. Those that know me will verify that I hate the gym, keep fit and any form of sport, but someone mentioned Nordic Walking, which I knew nothing about. After reading up on it,  I immediately contacted Nordic Walking East Anglia, met Katharine and started my training.  
That was over three years ago and I love it. Most people think it is just walking but believe me it is so so much more. Within a few weeks of starting I was so much fitter, less breathless and generally feeling myself growing in strength.  This is the only form of exercise I have ever stuck with. As well as the numerous health benefits it is wonderful to be out in the fresh air and able to enjoy all the changing seasons with a great group of like minded people who have become good friends. The coffee (and sometimes cake) is pretty good after each session too.
Since starting Nordic Walking for Health last year, my asthma nurse and I have noticed a marked improvement in my breathing. I have found the friendship and encouragement from the group and Katharine, the leader, a great help in improving my fitness and stamina. The exercise has also improved the movement in my arthritic knees so that I no longer need painkillers.  I am now able to enjoy walking instead of trying to avoid it.
Holly Since my early forties (nearly half lifetime ago), I have been a committed walker, my only form of exercise. I find gyms boring and I lack the motivation to exercise regularly at home. Four years ago,  a friend recommended Mary Tweed’s walking and exercise class. I found the exercises extremely useful, and learning the Nordic Walking technique has improved my long distance walks (though it’s hard to manage to manage the binoculars and to litter-pick as well). I really enjoy the increased engagement of my upper body. I can walk faster and I’m sure that my posture has improved. I enjoy the classes and Mary is an excellent and engaging teacher. 
AD, Clare
"We have been attending nordic walking classes in Clare Castle Country Park for 4 years now and have loved every second. They provide a fantastic opportunity to exercise in the fresh air and learn a new skill.  But they also give the whole body a regular work-out in a gentle, stress-free, way.   It’s the combination of these three things that keeps us coming back."
Derek and Valerie, Clare
 I’ve always enjoyed walking, and wanted to do more - a regular session, maybe as part of a group - and happened upon Nordic Walking. This feels like something quite different - a very specific technique using poles to achieve a whole-body workout, with potential to progress to high levels of fitness over time. After years hunched in front of a computer screen I feel as though I’m straightening up and coming to life again. It’s uplifting, social in a relaxed way, and lovely to be in nature and the open air in all seasons and weathers. Katharine is a really good tutor and leader - fun, observant and attentive in managing everyone’s needs.
Sue, Wetherden 
Not Just Any Walking...
I have known about Nordic Walking for many years and was very pleased when I discovered Mary’s classes near home.  The pleasure of exercising outdoors is so much greater than in any gym and doing everything in a group helps motivation and makes the class into a social event at the same time.  After the exercises I feel that I’ve had a full body work-out and as Mary’s programme includes emphasis on different parts of the body, one can concentrate on the areas which need stretching or strengthening most.  It’s worth learning the right technique to get the most from the poles and Mary has been able to give personal attention, where needed, in our small group. Having started a few years ago, I can’t image stopping now! 
A Smith
Thank you to Katharine for your patience, kindness and clear calm instructions; I embarked on my Nordic Walking journey by accident really, I mentioned to one of the instructors at the gym that I was then attending in late 2016, that I was wanting to take up walking, with my goal being to be able to complete the 11.2 mile route of the Girl’s Night Out in September 2017. She mentioned that she had seen a post on social media for Nordic Walking and there it began.  After completing the 10 steps technique in early 2017, I joined the Thursday morning group of different locations located within a 5 mile radius of Bury St Edmunds.  In the beginning after the hour session I would go home exhausted, but as the weeks went on my fitness improved and I found myself signing up for extra and longer walks, the beautiful scenery, the wild life (I still cannot tell a swallow from an blackbird when they fly past).  That September I completed the 11.2 miles easily thanks to my weekly walks. I no longer go to the gym, I found myself making excuses not to go and didn’t need it as Nordic Walking is a full body workout.  Two years later I still love my weekly Nordic Walks come rain or shine, I’m there.   I walk now on average 2-3 times/around 10-12 miles a week with my goal for 2020 to take part in the Bury to Clare challenge to complete an 18 miles Nordic walk.
Mary’s NW lessons are great fun! These outdoor lessons give me the discipline to turn up at a set time each week and learn how to maximise the benefits to certain muscles from the correct walking techniques. These techniques are clearly explained to us before we put them into practice. All over body strength, stronger core muscles and  better posture, not to mention having a genuine excuse to be outside for an hour, whatever the weather, makes this form of  exercise perfect for me. A friendly group of people and The Platform Cafe - what’s not to like?!
Bridget, Belchamp Walter
I would say that Nordic Walking has been a new and uplifting form of exercise for me.  Mary's classes are fun, sociable and informative.  I love being outdoors and exercising with like minded people.  The use of the Nordic technique gives a full body workout, besides being a good walk.  I have met new friends, walked in lovely countryside and enjoyed good company.  Mary works very hard to keep us all connected and motivated.  Her knowledge of healthy exercise means she can pass on good technique to use all.  It's something that has been a joy to get involved in.  Thank you for all the virtual lessons too!
I was looking for an exercise which would improve my general fitness levels. What I found was something which not only does that, but also offers walks in the fresh air and countryside with friendly companions. In addition, we invariably have a good laugh together." 
Sue, Bury St Edmunds
Nordic walking has become an important part of our lives, raising our levels of fitness, improving our health generally and leading to us making a new good friends. We look forward to every walk for their physical and social benefits. And we have a really good tutor." 
I started Nordic Walking when I was approaching a milestone Birthday and felt that I needed to ‘keep moving’ but the thought of joining a gym didn’t appeal at all.  For me, exercising in the fresh air and taking in the Suffolk countryside benefits my mental wellbeing as well as my physical, exercising not just the legs but the whole body.  Groups are small and you get to meet some very nice people along the way.  I thoroughly recommend you give it a try. 
I really look forward to my Nordic Walking. It’s lovely exercising out in the fresh air and Katharine is an enthusiastic and encouraging tutor. The group is very friendly and we usually stop for a coffee and a chat afterwards. A very enjoyable way of keeping fit!
Just love Nordic walking and the benefits gained over the last 5 years: 
Fresh air, good exercise, good fun, good company and great locations (for me, mainly Nowton Park).  Highly recommend it - give it a try!"
Since starting with the health walking group, I find my posture has improved, 
I now walk quickly and with confidence and my overall fitness is improving all the time. It has also made a big difference to my mental health, my anxiety levels have lowered considerably.
I look forward to my walks and the social side of meeting and making new friends.
For seniors I believe Nordic Walking is the perfect all round exercise for both health and wellbeing.  I find it challenging but not arduous. Other benefits for me include being outside in the countryside, in the fresh air with a group of others. Katharine is an excellent instructor, both kind and caring whilst always pushing to improve technique and benefits.
Although any exercise in the fresh air promotes a feel good benefit, my Nordic Walking Group has additional benefits in that you have a thorough workout as well as improving your posture. With an excellent class leader who makes sure we stretch before, during and at the end of the session we are able to join a class that is suitable for our level. I am encouraged to work to my individual ability and am very grateful for the superb guidance I receive. 
I started Nordic walking with a friend as we wanted some aerobic exercise to help us stay healthy and active. The exercises and walking are invigorating and good fun. Afterwards I feel invigorated and that I am walking taller. I try not to miss a class whatever the weather! 

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