Get involved in ‘Green Exercise’ and feel how good it is to your mind and body.
WALX PRESTON is a community of people who love exploring the great outdoors, meeting new friends and building their health and fitness whilst having fun.
Our objective for the 2020 decade is to reach 10000 people in the wider Preston area to encourage, motivate, inspire and support them on their journey to better health, life experiences and friendships.
We have a rolling schedule of weekly Walx across Preston, South Ribble and Chorley areas.
We provide walks under our dedicated formats of Explorer Walx, Total Body Walx, Wellness Walx, and Community Walx. Find out more here on our webpage, or view our informative content on social media. To fully experience what we are about please join us on our Drop-In Walx.
We are eager to connect with local businesses, community groups, schools, charities, church groups, the NHS, GP surgeries, and social venues to cooperate, collaborate and collectively ensure we proactively support population health improvement by making regular movement accessible, easy and fun.
We offer WALX in the safety of a group, with knowledgeable WALX Guides and Coaches plus fabulous company. Discover new paths, new friends, renewed energy, improved sleep, a positive and healthier body.
No more worries about finding a willing person to walk with, or worry about getting lost or even where to walk; we take away the pressure so you can enjoy at leisure.
After transforming his health in 2011 Matt has been helping others around the world make significant changes in their health and wellbeing.
Matt is the Walx Master at Walx Preston and is a keen advocate for encouraging our members to share their diverse skills and quirks to the benefit of the whole community.
Matt’s vision is to create a community of 10000+ people across the wider Preston area from all backgrounds, ages and cultures who share the common goal of walking and talking together to shape their own wellbeing, and in doing so make Preston the healthiest city in the UK.
Everybody would want their kids to be in the best of health and flourish throughout their life. Likewise, nobody would want to see their parents suffer a miserable decline in health in later years. We therefore find ourselves with the task of becoming the example to inspire, educate, motivate and support our family, friends and colleagues build their health, strength, and fitness each and every day.
We hope you will join us.
Andy is a Walx Guide for Walx Preston.
As a keen hockey player and occasional gym member, Andy initially started Nordic Walking to support his wife, Sue, in her fitness journey. He couldn’t see what benefit having the extra poles would give.
However he changed his mind, when he started the new hockey season and his team mates commented on the improvement in his fitness. The only change was the regular walking with the group.
The Saturday morning Rise and Shine walks have opened up new parts of Preston. Andy’s favourite path is the tree lined avenue up from the Tramway Bridge.
The Tuesday evening walks are welcome breaks in the working week. Even on dark nights, it’s great fun to explore the woods with the group. Something you wouldn’t do on your own, but is a short step away from the hustle and bustle to find the peace and quiet of nature.
Andy’s loves maps and finding new paths, so planning an Explorer (Adventure) Walk is something he really enjoys. He likes to research the history and may even throw in a bit of poetry.
Since joining the group, he’s completed a navigation qualification and hopes to continue to progress through the levels.
Andy enjoys the challenge of 10k races, locally and further afield. He likes to use these to track his personal fitness progress. His medal collection is impressive!
Sue is a Walx Guide for Walx Preston.
Sue took up Nordic Walking in April 2016 and has fallen totally in love with it.
Sue has osteoarthritis in both knees, but the ‘magic poles’ mean that she is able to keep walking where she wants in the Lakes and the rest of the UK.
Sue finds the Saturday morning walks are the best start to her weekend. No matter what the weather!
The group’s Adventure Walks give Sue the opportunity to study maps and guidebooks to find interesting routes to suit (but stretch a little) all the walkers. She’s always aware of the need to make sure all walkers end the day feeling ‘buzzin’. Walking with the group has helped to counteract work stress and boosted her overall mood. Sue has seen big improvements in her fitness and stamina.
When she started nordic walking, she would never have expected to get hooked on 10k races. She enjoys the events as markers through the year to check her personal progress. Race times aren’t everything, not when you can feel this year’s race wasn’t such a struggle or you compare photos to see a change of physique. Sue is grateful for the support and friendship found in the group – an unexpected side effect of deciding to get and stay active.
Angela is a Walx Guide for Walx Preston.
Angela Clarke joined a Learn To Nordic Walk session in November 2016. She admits that on joining it she had no intention of joining a walking group, but instead thought it was a way of participating in Saturday morning park runs at Avenham park, without putting the stress on her joints and sustaining injury as she had done while ‘jogging’ the free 5k park runs.
Angela was hooked from the first session and loved it so much that a year later she became a walk leader.
Angela was part of the Nordic Walking Preston delivery team and is looking forward to introducing more people to the group through Walx Preston.
As a Mental Heath Professional Angela appreciates the importance of physical activity and social inclusion, and believes that simple fun activities can improve person’s quality of life … at any age and at any ability level.
Di is the Social Committee Manager and heads up the team that organises social events and outings for our members. Di is also a Walx Guide.
Di took early retirement in 2015 five years after suffering a brain haemorrhage which limited her ability to perform in her stressful job.
Having seen a leaflet advertising Nordic Walking in the chiropractors she found the idea of this attractive for a number of reasons. Firstly it was a step up from the canal side strolls she was currently doing so she would be able to up her fitness and hopefully assist her weight loss goals. But more importantly it meant she would not be restricted to where and when she could walk which she was when walking on her own. It gave Di confidence to know she would be walking in company.
Nordic Walking attracts people from different age groups and backgrounds so there is always someone to chat to and a post walk coffee is often suggested. The group sizes vary depending on the time of day and venue but Di has found it a wonderful way to meet people and has made some great new friends.
We are a very sociable group so there are regular opportunities to meet up for meals, trips to the theatre or cinema and even holidays or weekends away.
Lenka is a Walx Guide for Walx Preston.
Lenka has been involved with Nordic walking since her husband Matt started developing the Nordic walking group in Preston. She originally accompanied Matt on his walks to “help out” but soon realized how much personal gain and benefit she gets from regular physical exercise and social interaction with the group members.
Lenka moved to the U.K. in 2008 and starting her life from scratch in a foreign country has not always been easy. The group has provided Lenka with so many wonderful connections, enormously improving her self-confidence and most importantly it has brought her lifetime friendships and a feeling of belonging. Something Lenka has been missing for a long time since relocating to the U.K.
The Nordic Walking Preston group has truly become another family for the entire Gibbs family – Lenka, Matt, their son Johnny and daughter Ellie all take part in various groups activities such as Explorer walks, official and “unofficial” social events.
Lenka is proud to be Walx Guide for Walx Preston. As the group has given so much to her, she wants to give back so she is always there for anyone who wants to have a chat about life, children or anything they want to get off their chest whilst walking.
Chris is a member of the Social Committee and participates in organising social events and walks for our members.
A friend introduced me to Matt and Nordic Walking in June 2016 after a 33-year relationship breakdown and a particularly challenging time in my life.
I suffer with epilepsy and found myself lost and alone with no confidence and very low self-esteem.
I had kept myself reasonably fit with walking, fell-walking and going to the gym and found I instantly took to Nordic Walking as a new way of exercising.
I have now completed seven 10k Walk competitions and had the confidence and belief to complete the 21 mile Preston Guild Wheel Walk all with the help and encouragement which has come from the truly wonderful and very dear friends I’ve made over the last 18-months. I couldn’t imagine my life without them all or the Nordic Walking now.
Steph is a Walx Guide for Walx Preston.
I was looking for a way to exercise that did not involve going to a gym and I found Nordic walking. I had a taster session about 2 and a half years ago and was hooked straight away. I then did my Learn To Nordic Walk course a few weeks after and I now walk twice a week and go on the monthly adventure walks. Earlier this year I did the walk leader training and have now led a few walks. I have met so many amazing people who are now my friend’s. I enjoy going out on social events with the group as we have such fun.
Gill is a Walx Guide for Walx Preston.
I was looking for ways to improve my general health and fitness without it impacting on my weekends with the family. Knowing that the children would be leaving home in a few years to go to university I was also looking for things to do so I wasn’t bored when they went and that I would be sat at home twiddling my thumbs. Nordic walking fit the bill perfectly and I was amazed at how much better I felt after only a short time. I was welcomed into the group which has continued with the activities we do, whether it be nordic walks or a social activity. There is such a variety and there is nothing better than coming to the finish of a 10K race and be cheered on by everyone. It is such a fun, active, social group I wouldn’t be without it now, always there to support you when you need it.
Gill is a Walx Guide for Walx Preston.
After having to give up running due to a back injury a friend suggested I give Nordic Walking a try. I took my taster session in January 2017 and was immediately hooked. I completed my course in February 2017 and since then there has been no stopping me.
After a month of walking I was signed off by my physio as my back and core had vastly improved. To the point that I have been able to take myself up to the Lake District for some hill walking.
I have made many new friends through Nordic Walking which was another bonus after living abroad for 18 years.
Together we encourage and help each other with our group walks and challenges. Always looking to the future for further activities and challenges. Walx Preston is not just a walking group but a family.