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Edinburgh Leisure launches Nordic walking as part of its active ageing programme

Edinburgh Leisure is launching a Nordic Walking programme
The six-week introduction course is part of its award-winning Ageing Well Project
Ageing Well is run by volunteers in partnership with health service, NHS Lothian
The programme supports older adults to get and stay active, reducing demand for acute services
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Edinburgh Leisure is launching a six-week introduction to Nordic walking as part of its award-winning Ageing Well Project.

Offered via external funding and donations, Ageing Well was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2018, which is the highest award given to UK volunteer groups.

Run in partnership with health service, NHS Lothian, Ageing Well delivers a range of city-wide activities supporting people to become and remain active in later life. The emphasis is on meeting new people and making physical activity accessible and fun. All activities are delivered by volunteers who are also older adults.

Cat Wilson, active communities project officer at Edinburgh Leisure said: “This new course will complement our already popular regular walks which take place in different locations around the city each week. It’s for anyone who would like to try a new activity, meet some like-minded people, and get physically active.”

Originating in Finland, Nordic walking burns around 20 per cent more calories when compared to conventional walking and the use of poles means the effort is divided across the upper and lower body, so it feels easier, particularly when walking uphill.

Scheduled to take place on a weekly basis and supervised a volunteer who is trained in Nordic walking, the course will cover skills and techniques as well as taking participants for walks around local parks and green spaces.

Speaking to HCM earlier this year, Edinburgh Leisure's new chief executive, Jen Holland, says the Active Communities programme – which is the umbrella programme for Ageing Well – supporting 10,000 people a year to get active and is a priority for her.

“We have so many programmes to help people live well, so ultimately prevention and early intervention reduces the need to access NHS or other public services,” she says. “We need to start working more collaboratively with colleagues in the NHS to help reduce demand for acute services.”

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