Olivia’s Great Walk to Beijing

In April, 2008 Olivia Newton-John headed a line up of Australian and International celebrities and cancer survivors to walk the Great Wall of China to raise funds for cancer research.

Nordic Walking Australia contributed a cash donation and provided Olivia and her team with 60 pairs of poles to make the 228 km walk easier and it seems they were a hit, particularly uphill where the walkers at times had to tackle 40 degree inclines.

At the conclusion of the walk Olivia said “Thank you sooo much for sponsoring “The Great Walk to Beijing” and for your wonderful Nordic Walking poles! I used them every day once i realised how much they helped on our very challenging journey on the wall – AMAZING”.

As we often say, “wherever you can walk you can Nordic Walk”, even the Great Wall of China.

Nordic Walking improves back pain

As a result of years of carrying around heavy equipment as part of her job, Annette had been suffering constant back pains when she decided to take up Nordic Walking.

Says Annette: “Nordic Walking has changed my life! My back issues made standing for long periods and walking long distances a problem. Once I became involved in Nordic walking, I found that my back was exercised as well as just my legs and now I can walk without having to sit down regularly to rest my back, and I have no trouble standing all day”.

Annette now does a 6-8 kilometer walk with her poles at least twice every week. “I would recommend Nordic Walking to anyone” she says.

Not just good for the heart

Juliana is an active person and loves walking. Wanting to stay fit and get a bit of workout without the strain of hard physical exercise she took up Nordic Walking.

Juliana attended a regular walk group in Centennial Park and found that not only did the walking improve her fitness level, she also really enjoyed the social interaction of the walking group. “The exercise is important, but when we walk in the group we exercise the jaw muscles as much as the other muscles in the body” says Juliana

The CEO of the Heart Foundation once commented that the social aspects of Nordic Walking in the group structure is most likely as beneficial for heart health as the exercise itself.

Poppy’s story

6 years ago Poppy, a retired orthopedic nurse, had an ankle replacement. One of the joys in her life is bush walking, but after the ankle replacement she found it increasingly difficult to walk, let alone go for long bush walks.

Poppy joined a Nordic Walking class and now practices Nordic Walking every day. She says “not only do I walk more briskly when I Nordic Walk, but I walk much better even without the poles. Nordic Walking has helped me increase my walking strength”.

As a bonus, Poppy has also reduced her weight by 10kg since she started Nordic Walking.

Always up for a challenge, Poppy’s next adventure is following in Olivia Newton-John’s footsteps, going to China to walk the Great Wall. “Until recently, I would have never contemplated walking the wall, but now I am quite happy to do so because I know I can with my poles”.

Good luck Poppy, and please send us the photos of you and the poles on the Wall.