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Fitness business walks on the wild side
A fitness business is aiming to improve people’s lives by introducing them to the benefits of an unusual method of getting around.
The practice of Nordic walking originated in Finland and sees participants using poles to propel the walker forward, so the upper body muscles are used as well as the legs.
Personal Trainer, Nikkii Barnett, 43, who lives in Woodford Green, founded the business in May 2010 and offers four-week courses.
She said: “I’m really passionate about health and fitness, and helping others live a better life.
“I was a qualified PE teacher but then I tried Nordic walking and loved it.”
Miss Barnett was introduced to Nordic walking by an article in REPS magazine.
Three years later, Miss Barnett employs eight walk leaders and two instructors and holds classes throughout the week.
“In the last three years since I started teaching, the business has grown. Since then, over 500 people have learnt the technique,” she said.
Following the course, clients are ready to take part in group walks held every day through Epping Forest, starting at Bury Road in Chingford.
The classes are also said to be helpful for people who have had operations or injuries because it has less impact on the joints.
“I remember a few people who had arthritis in their knees and came to train with us,” Miss Barnett said.
“One man in his sixties could stop his medicine when he used Nordic walking. But he paired it with Pilates and this helped him get better.”
The business has been nominated for a What’s On 4 Me? Award, which recognises achievements in the fitness industry.
Miss Barnett has been nominated in the Most Inspirational Coach, Instructor or Tutor Category.