These boots were made for walking, says pensioner

Nordic walker Rose Pearsall in New Zealand SUS-150127-131918001
Nordic walker Rose Pearsall in New Zealand SUS-150127-131918001

A lady in her late sixties is putting her best foot forward and striving to encourage others to take up Nordic Walking, discovered while preparing for a hike in New Zealand.

Hastings resident Rose Pearsall says she has greatly improved her fitness levels since lacing up her boots and taking up Nordic Walking nearly two years ago during preparation for a big hike with her son in New Zealand.

Nordic Walking works the upper and lower body and poles (similar to those used in cross-country skiers) propel the walker along, making it easier to move faster than normal without feeling the effort. Rose said: “It is one of the most effective cross-training techniques. It reduces the pressure on knees and joints and is great for the heart and lungs. And to top it off you are outside enjoying the wonderful scenery.”

Rose said she thought it was the perfect exercise to not only build her fitness levels but, with weak ankles, it gave her extra support. She added: “I didn’t expect the benefits to so outstrip my expectations. It is a wonderfully refreshing and invigorating exercise. I will be 67 this year; I feel it is important for older people to keep exercising to keep fit.”

Though Nordic Walking was originally a summer training exercise for cross-country skiers it has taken off in popularity around the world. Since taking up the sport Rose has walked the Kepler Track in New Zealand and Ben Nevis in the summer of last year. Rose was so inspired by the benefits of the invigorating outdoor pursuit that she decided to train as a Nordic Walking instructor and that it can be done almost anywhere. She said: “We are fabulously lucky living here in East Sussex, as there are so many beautiful places to walk, by the sea, in the woods, on the downs and in nature reserves and parks.

“Nordic Walking provides an excellent way to exercise for all people whatever age or fitness level. It’s very sociable; participants can chat as they go. It is easy to learn and to keep up. Since I have taken it up not only have I lost weight and hugely increased my fitness levels but I’ve also met so many people and have made lots of new friends.”

Since moving to Hastings to be near her daughter who lives in Pett, Rose has been wanting to share the activity with more people. She added: “Taking it easy in retirement is not for me! People may have noticed me walking through West Hill to town and in Alexandra Park. I taught my daughter the technique and her comment at the end of the session really illustrates the benefits, she said ‘It feels like I have a jet pack on my back’!”

Anyone who is interested in learning how to do Nordic Walking can find out more by contacting Rose on 07762 722115 or via email at: