About Us

Bringing exercise WALX to Northamptonshire.

WALX Heart of The Shires are a friendly team of skilled Exercise Instructors and Guides who are passionate about walking and outdoor exercise.

Whether you are looking for fast paced Nordic WALX, where the focus is on improving your fitness and working the whole body, gentle riverside WALX taking in the beautiful scenery and wildlife, a bit of Forest Bathing in a woodland country park or Wellness WALX concentrating on improving strength, balance and flexibility.

We will have a WALX for you.


Helen Hartley

Helen Hartley is the WALX Master for WALX Heart of The Shires.
Helen qualified as a Nordic Walking Instructor and set up Heart of The Shires Nordic Walking back in 2015 . Helen is passionate about all aspects of walking and particularly enjoys the Physical, Social and Emotional benefits that Nordic Walking give her.
The combination of exercising outdoors whilst enjoying the surrounding countryside with like minded people of ALL ages is something extremely powerful.
With additional training modules in Muscle Strength and Endurance, Wellbeing and Ski- Fit Helen is also able to add classes which provide the opportunity to focus on Strength, Balance, Co-ordination, Flexibility and Relaxation.
Helen, along with her WALX Guides are excited to now bring WALX to Northamptonshire and alongside her favourite Nordic WALX aims to develop a broader range of activities such as Total Body WALX , Explorer WALX and Wellness WALX .

Simon Villette

Meet Simon our WALX Guide who is eager to take you on some Explorer WALX .

” After I retired I have to admit that I got into poor physical shape and needed to make some changes. Encouraged by my wife Wendy, I tried Nordic Walking as a way to improve my fitness and to lose weight. Combined with a healthy eating programme it helped me lose nearly five stone. But I discovered there is more to exercise than physical fitness. Getting into the open air with a group of people improves my zest for life. I have been out walking with my Nordic group twice a week for almost four years, even in the rain. I never miss a session.


I use Nordic Walking poles to help me with posture, balance and agility but you don’t have to use poles to get involved with WALX.  The important thing is to get outside and to put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I walk with poles and sometimes not. Sometimes I walk slowly and sometimes quickly. Sometimes I stop to look at the view and sometimes I just press on. It’s walking that matters.


As well as aerobic and muscular fitness I particularly enjoy walking to encourage mental wellbeing. The combination of physical movement, fresh air and good company helps to put things into perspective and lifts the spirits, regardless of the weather.


I am fortunate to live between Northampton and Wellingborough with several good circular walks on my doorstep, mostly off road. Some of them have stunning views across the Nene Valley. I am also close to Sywell Country Park and Summer Lees Nature Reserve. I am surrounded by fabulous places to walk and enjoy the scenery. Whether it is a short stroll or a longer excursion with a stop for a picnic there are endless opportunities in this area. The changing seasons add to the variety.


Walking can provide an opportunity for other activities such as photography, poetry, storytelling or creative writing. Walking is a great way to boost your creativity and imagination. Have you ever stood in the open air and sung a song?


Whether you are fit and agile or taking things gently, walking at an appropriate level of challenge is a great way to keep fit.  I look forward to acting as your guide and companion as we explore the Northamptonshire countryside. ”



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