Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking will give you a fantastic workout for the whole body. It can burn up to 46% more calories compared to walking without poles; tone your legs, buttocks, chest, shoulders and particularly the backs of your arms!; release tension in the neck and shoulders; improve your posture and gait; improve the condition of your abdominals which provide core stability; reduces the impact on joints; and because Nordic Walking doesn't feel like hard work you'll be happy to walk further and for longer.


Outdoor exercise is proven to have a positive effect on your state of mind. You don't need expensive equipment, just trainers or walking shoes, as The Body Works will provide you with poles for your lesson.

Learn the correct Nordic Walking techniques to enhance your natural walking style using a proven and structured teaching method from an INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) UK instructor, and feel the benefits the exercise has to offer. Included within instruction is the use of specially designed, ultra-lightweight Exel Nordic Walking poles. Simply advise The Body Works of your height and the right length poles will be made available for you in your lesson. Alternatively, you may wish to use your own poles.

I have the following classes on offer, alternatively if you'd prefer a private lesson, personal training, one-to-one or in a small group of friends, a quotation can be provided.

MONDAY No classes

10:30 Clevedon (gentle 45 min)

18:30 Clevedon

WEDNESDAY 10:30 Winscombe (gentle 45 min)
FRIDAY 10:30 Clevedon

9am weekly parkrun

Once-a-month Saturday afternoon long walks - various locations in North Somerset

SUNDAY No classes

The mid-week classes are normally for one hour and include warm up, instruction, drills and a 2-3 mile walk plus stretches.  In all classes we focus on improving technique, fitness and having fun outdoors with Nordic Walking.  

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Emma will organise and instruct all classes on this timetable, but will occasionally appoint an independent, fellow British Nordic Walking Instructor to cover classes from time-to-time.

Beginners need to book in for a technical lesson charged at £8 per person, one hour before one of the classes, so that we can teach you the basics, before joining any of the regular classes on the timetable.  All regular classes are charged at £7 per person, pay-as-you-go. Or discounted on prepayment of 3 credits for £20 or 6 credits for £40 (valid for 6 months).  Correct for 2022.  Payment can be made by cash, cheque or bank transfer.  Nordic Walking poles will be provided for all classes, unless you want to use your own.  Booking in advance for all classes is essential.  Please book in with Emma by email and you will be sent a registration form.

Nordic Walking - Saturday long walk

Having grown in popularity over the past few years, I have decided to dedicate one Saturday per month to teaching Nordic Walking and leading groups. Beginners need to book in for a technical lesson one hour before joining the walks at various locations across North Somerset. Here's my proposed timetable for Saturdays during 2022 (subject to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions)...

Booking in advance is essential:
Tel: 01275 343918 or 07718 376168

A booking form will be sent out to you either in the post or by email.


April - Clevedon

May - Mendips

June - Weston super Mare

July - Portishead

August - Yatton & Congresbury

September - Brean/Berrow


Oct to December 2022 will be published later in the year.

Meeting at 1pm on Saturday mornings in 2022, a guided Nordic Walk, which includes some instruction whilst walking. Booking is still essential.

In 2022, all classes will be charged at £7 per person, pay-as-you-go. Discounted on prepayment of 3 credits for £20 or 6 credits for £40. Payment can be made by cash, cheque or bank transfer.  Valid for 6 months.

All Saturday meeting points and walking routes will be confirmed nearer the time. The routes will be determined following risk assessment and group size/ability.  The Saturday Nordic Walks will vary in length from approximately 4-6 miles and may include hills, stiles and uneven terrain. If you have any concerns, please contact Emma directly.

Poles will be provided for all Nordic Walking sessions, free of charge, or bring your own. Poles will also be available to hire between sessions, should you wish to practice between sessions at £5 per pair, per week (plus a deposit). Fully adjustable travel poles are also available to hire.

Contact Emma Ruffle at The Body Works for further details.


Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed events around the world at 9am on a Saturday morning. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part. You can run or walk the course. Nordic Walkers are welcome at these events. Find your local parkrun on their website Remember to register in advance on the parkrun website and bring along your barcode.

Three Lessons on Nordic Walking - £30 per person:

The Three Lessons will include instruction for all abilities on strapping in, safety, practice drills, a short walk; and stretching. Learn how to use the poles most effectively. Poles provided for the lessons AND between lessons - giving you an opportunity to practice.  Minimum three participants per booking.  Date, time and place to suit your group.

Large private groups/Bespoke package - approx £50 per person

Learn to Nordic Walk and explore the countryside for the day from 9am-3pm. Includes refreshments and lunch at a beautiful location on the Mendip Hills. Minimum five participants. From £50 per head. Choose from locations such as Hunstrete House Hotel or Fernhill Farm on The Mendip Hills, or a location of your choice. Contact The Body Works for more details on this bespoke package 01275 343918.

Pole Hire

After instruction, you may hire the Nordic Walking poles for £5 per pair, per week (plus a deposit). Fully adjustable travel poles are also available to hire.


Emma recommends this Nordic Walking book to her clients

Testimonials from Nordic Walking Clients

  • I bless the Nordic Walking technique and poles every time my husband suggests a walk.

    -- Gill
  • I love footpath walking but due to worn knees my walks were very short.  Although only a novice Nordic Walker I enjoy using my poles, it takes the strain off my knees and helps me enjoy some of the walks I used to do.  I would urge anyone of any age to give it a try.

    -- Gerry
  • I joined a 2 hours Nordic Walking class which took us around Winscombe leading up to Kings Wood on Sunday 16th Oct 2011 after learning the basic technique & how to use the Nordic poles (which was very different from walking sticks) I was pleasantly surprised at the work-out you get in the abs, i expected the arms & legs but the whole body work-out was most unexpected.
    I plan to do more Nordic walking on the Mendips and surrounding areas, so please, if you see a blonde woman walking around with poles please don't shout out "oi love there's no snow" i know i'm just trying to get fit and enjoy the great outdoors.

    -- Jo Butler
  • We are 4 friends who discovered Nordic Walking last year . What a literal breath of fresh air!  Emma taught us over a three week course (we kept the poles to practice during the weeks) and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.  All of us are still Nordic Walking as often as we can - two of us try to go out at least twice a week. We love the beach but also walking up and down the local hills is fantastic.  You know you are fitter and feel you can walk for miles without getting tired.  Using the poles is amazing - get me to walk up a steep hill without my poles and I struggle - with the poles it's as if I can fly - no pressure, no effort - your joints don't feel any strain.  The best exercise I have ever done - and it doesn't feel like exercise - just pure enjoyment

    -- Debbie, Sheila, Jim & Maggie
  • I experienced my first Nordic Walking session with Emma at The Bodyworks yesterday...I am hooked already, what was I thinking the last 2 months, hill walking without those poles!!! It gives you a FULL body workout, (especially those bingo wings..) and the big big bonus, is that you are doing it in the beautiful outdoors.Very invigorating! Emma is super efficient, and a very motivational trainer.

    -- Sharon
  • Emma introduced me to Nordic Walking as part of my training plan for Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru in 2008.  Nordic Walking lengthens your stride and enables you to push yourself along.  It makes walking uphill much easier than walking without poles.  After a few lessons I decided to buy my own poles so that I could get a full body workout on all my walks.

    -- Vi
  • Nordic walking is a great form of exercise.  Who would have thought walking could be so beneficial?  After a Nordic walk you feel as if you have had a really good, all over, work out.  It's a great alternative to a workout in a gym and if you do it with others it's very sociable!

    -- Mandy
  • We have attended one of Emma's Nordic Walking groups, and can recommend her. Emma was patient and attentive, taking time to get to know the individual requirements of the group; she tailored her responses to our needs. We were inspired to take up NW for ourselves, and found that what we learned from her to be very useful

    -- Jon
  • Before meeting Emma, I would never have known that " just" walking can give such a good, whole body workout. Nordic walking in the beautiful Somerset countryside has been a fantastic opportunity to get some really good exercise whilst also getting to know local beauty spots and breathing in proper fresh air. Emma's knowledge of the area and good walking routes is seriously impressive!

    -- Sophie
  • Just to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoyed the Nordic walking tuition and then the walk afterwards on Saturday. It was really enjoyable, you were fabulous as an instructor, and I shall definitely be coming on a regular basis from now onwards and encourage some friends to join me too. It was a real bonus to discover a gorgeous walk so close to where I live, breathe in the fresh country air and take in the awesome view across the Gordano valley. My calf muscles and behind my knees were a little sore but felt better after a good workout and stretch in the gym yesterday morning

    -- Philippa Constable
  • I started Nordic walking because I had heard it gives you an all body workout - which it does!  I have had a weaker left side for some years and, following surgery and radiotherapy for cancer in the left breast, knew that I needed to build strength in my arms and upper body. I am sure that the rotation in Nordic walking is helping me.  Apart from that, it’s great to go for a walk in the fresh air!

    -- Louise from Winscombe
  • I have a long term debilitating illness which had been made much worse by inactivity.  I had become very unfit, could walk only short distances without resting and had an unpleasant habit of falling over very easily for no obvious reason.  I had a hip replacement in April 2013 so had become pain free.  After a full and professional assessment we decided that Nordic walking would be good to try.  I had heard of it but knew nothing about it.  This suited me as it is an outdoor activity ( I hate the gym) and having the poles gave me great confidence that I was unlikely to fall.  Since then I have built up my strength,  gained confidence and reversed the muscle wasting that I had.  I can walk for an hour at least an hope to build this up as time goes on.  I have got my life back, thanks to Emma and Nordic walking, in that order.   Give it a go.  You can only get stronger,  enjoy the walking in our lovely area and get to know Emma who is a star!

    -- Ann from Winscombe
  • I wanted to do some exercise, I love being outside and walking, so a friend suggested Nordic walking.  I really enjoyed it as it was easy to grasp the basic skills.  The fact that it works out your arms and legs is a real bonus, and the social side is fun too.  Emma is a great teacher and provides challenging walks that all abilities can enjoy

    -- Kate from Nailsea
  • The great thing about Nordic walking is you get exercise without really noticing the effort you put in! but do feel the benefits later. I can walk really fast now and often overtake people when just walking from the train station to work so I know it has made a difference. I am definitely fitter and more confident in knowing how far and fast I can go when walking. More confidence going up and down hills.  I like the group walks as setting dates mean I don't give my self excuses not to attend, it is good fun to meet people and really good that you don't have to plan a route or worry about getting lost, you just turn up, get fresh air and exercise

    -- Caroline from WSM
  • I love walking, the outdoors and love finding new routes,  nordic walking is the perfect combination of fun, fitness, and interest.  I attend regular classes so that my fitness and technique improve, the walks are always interesting, there is great camaraderie within the group.  I have noticed my posture has improved,  my waistline has a better contour, and my fitness is better, plus when I'm out with my husband walking our dog I can keep up with him!  As he is very fit and competitive

    -- Louise from Burnham
  • As someone who has never really enjoyed going to a gym, I can highly recommend Nordic Walking with Emma. We are out in the fresh air, we get a full body workout and we can chat as we go along! My general fitmess has certainly improved and I even entered a 5k event in the summer and came in 7th!  If you enjoy walking, this offers something extra so why not have a go and find out for yourself!

    -- Zoe from Churchill
  • I am not at the top of fitness however can take part. This is not too hard on the joints as well if you are worried about injurying yourself.  I think is has helped me get more active, I am more committed to doing this in the lunch hour. I also think it has led me to try other challenges  - 10m Mendip charity walk this year

    -- Jo from WSM
  • Nordic Walking every week is great because I do feel myself getting better, stronger and am able to push myself a bit more each time

    -- Tanya from Yatton