Nordic Walking Group

Nordic Walking Group

Nordic walk to help with management of long term health conditions.


To help participants with long term health conditions, who are referred by a health professional, to attend and safely participate in exercise sessions. These exercise sessions are specifically designed following International Nordic Walking Foundation (INWA) guidelines to develop balance, co-ordination, functional strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Sessions help manage and improve long term health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, joint conditions, mobility restrictions, high blood pressure, cancers and post cardiac intervention. The group setting also helps people with their mental health and social interaction skills. Exercise classes are delivered by our Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS).



Benefits of exercise

Exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health. In adults, exercise has a positive impact on numerous chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, whilst in older adults it has been shown to help prevent falls. Physical activity improves mental wellbeing across all ages, including for people with disabilities. Physical activity can also deliver cost savings to the health and care system by reducing preventable illness thus demand on services.


“I thoroughly enjoy our Thursday Nordic walk. Our groups are very friendly and helpful, there is always much laughter and updates of events that are taking place in our lives.

During the first lockdown, I suffered with anxiety and one of the many things that helped me through it was walking. It cleared the cobwebs and energised my mind and body. Therefore walking has become a must! It has also helped with the strengthening of my leg muscles since having had two knee replacements.

When out walking with the group, we recently walked to Sandwell Park via the Fallowfield Loop. I always find it amazing how many beautiful walkways there are so close to the city centre, and yet it has a feeling of walking in the countryside.”


Exercise sessions are set up within local community areas across Manchester using facilities such as leisure centres, places of worship, lifestyle, community and public centres and parks. This makes them accessible to anyone and easily reached, even if participants only use public transport.

Sessions are often set up to meet demand within a local area. Whether that be in relation to a certain class type (condition specific), increasing the number of classes or to meet diversity and equality, such as ladies only sessions.

Because sessions are community based it allows our Physical Activity Referral Service team to have good links with leisure centres. Community classes create a valuable pathway for long term, more independent exercise.

Project Team


Referral from a health professional is needed for someone to attend these classes. You can refer people here.

If you want any more information or have any questions please email or call 0161 271 0505 (option 1).

Strategic links to local/national policies



Helping people live healthier lives

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Reducing avoidable illness/death

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014).

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Population Health Plan

Helping people age well

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Population Health Plan

Research/evidence base

Department of Health and Social Care (2019) - UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Public Health England (2016) - Health matters: getting every adult active every day

Public Health England (2018) - Physical activity for general health benefits in disabled adults:

Summary of a rapid evidence review for the UK Chief Medical Officers’ update of the

physical activity guidelines.

Sherrington C, Fairhall NJ, Wallbank GK, Tiedemann A, Michaleff ZA, Howard K, Clemson L, Hopewell S, Lamb SE. (2019) Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD012424.

Sport England (2017) - Review of evidence of the outcomes for sport and physical activity: A

rapid evidence review

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Michelle, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Michelle, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust photo