Nordic Walking is a low-impact, total-body workout

Hannah is Nordic Walking her way back from a catastrophic stroke. Hannah (in her 30s) here with her daughter Zahra (eight years).

Hannah is Nordic Walking her way back from a catastrophic stroke. Hannah (in her 30s) here with her daughter Zahra (eight years).

Hannah was 35 when she had surgery for a brain tumour. The operation was risky and left her with a brain stem stroke.

She woke with no movement on her right side, and a host of other problems. Once she left the hospital three months after the event, she could just manage walking across the room.

About five months after her operation, Hannah took up Nordic Walking. She was extremely unbalanced but months of consistency have paid off. Hannah can now walk 5kms at a good pace - that's taken only about 18 months!

Nordic Walking is amazing post stroke because the pole action helps those with hemiparesis get used to engaging their affected arm as they walk.

She has also found Nordic Walking worked better than any sleeping pill! Since the stroke, Hannah has had difficulty sleeping, but Nordic Walking in the morning always aids her sleep that night.

She can actually feel the effect of happiness on her brain after a Nordic Walk, and its amazing anti-anxiety effects.

Hannah will continue Nordic Walking, probably forever! And mainly attributes it to her remarkable recovery.

What's Nordic Walking?

Research from Europe and the USA has proven that the health benefits of Nordic Walking are significantly greater than regular walking, jogging, swimming and cycling. Public Health England now recommend Nordic Walking as one of the most effective forms of exercise.

Kristen Pratt of Capital Nordic Walking first discovered Nordic Walking when she was working on disability and rehabilitation for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and saw people cross-country skiing on dry land.

As an occupational therapist with a career in health, fitness and rehabilitation, Kristen could immediately see the massive benefits to be gained by Nordic Walking.

Kristen sees the life-changing impact of Nordic Walking every day with those she teaches - now over 1000 people in Canberra - many of whom have significant health and mobility challenges such as MS, Parkinson's and joint pain.

Nordic Walking harnesses the power of upper body muscles to propel us along, strengthening the core, back, arms and shoulders while mobilising all of those joints.

Proper use of the poles encourages upright posture and reduces strain on legs and lower back.

People find that they can walk faster, further and more comfortably and improve their fitness when using Nordic Walking poles.

It's important to use the right equipment and learn how to do it correctly so as to get the maximum benefits and avoid injuries.

See for more details.