Nordic Walking leaves a spring in the step as challenge moves to bowls for Cllr Duncan Wood of Exeter City Council

A leading councillor said he felt invigorated and has a spring in his step after completing a month of Nordic Walking in Exeter.

Cllr Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity, is taking part in 12 Moves in 12 Months – a challenge to try out a new activity each month during 2022.

The challenge aims to celebrate some of the amazing community groups and organisations in Exeter who are supporting people to be more active in their daily lives.

Cllr Wood is spending time each week in a group or class to try new activities for himself as a way of  getting active staying healthy while having fun and making some new friends along the way.

It began with yoga in January and moved on to Nordic Walking in February. The challenge for March will be bowls.

Cllr Wood said participating in weekly sessions run by Sue Holden, of Exe Nordic Walking, felt like learning a new way of walking that gets more of his body active and engaged in the exercise.

He said: “It’s been a bit of an eye opener, it’s a lot more than just walking with poles.  There is a quite a bit of sports physio going on in behind it and 80 per cent to 90 per cent of your muscles come into play walking this way compared to about half that walking normally.

“After only four weeks I am conscious I am quite a way from the being competent or even consistent in the technique, but when I do get it right I can feel the difference. It really is an all body exercise and it’s at your own speed and once you master it you are in control. You can join other Nordic walking groups or walk on your own whatever works for you.”

Cllr Wood added: “I was with a great group of friendly people, all with different levels of ability all of us working to master the technique and the rhythm so it would become automatic and we could enjoy our surroundings and chatting to each other while having a good work out without really being aware of it.”

Instructor Sue Holden said Nordic Walking appeals to people of all ages and enhances the normal walking technique. It is a great way of exploring and enjoying Exeter’s open spaces either by yourself or as part of a group.

For more information visit Exe Nordic Walking website to register your interests in different courses around the city. Sue also runs workshops and you can walk with her in Exeter’s green spaces, at Powderham Castle or at Exmouth Beach.

Cllr Wood’s challenge for March is bowls, as he joins the Isca bowls club at the Isca Centre in Summer Lane for a month.

He said he was looking forward to the new challenge.

Cllr Wood said: “Bowls will be another new experience which I am very much looking forward to. I have no idea whether I will be any good at it – there’s only one way to find out.

“Our bowls clubs in Exeter have a real place in the heart of their communities and there is a great social scene attached to them, so it will be really good to meet the players and officials at the club and put my skills to the test.”

12 Moves in 12 Months is part of the Live and Move #ShareYourMoves campaign to help people become more active in the city.

To follow Cllr Wood’s progress through 12 Moves in 12 Months keep an eye on the Council’s news website and social media channels and Live and Move’s blog page. To share your moves use the hashtag #ShareYourMoves

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