Doina Taylor is British and has been living in Barcelona since 2000. She originally qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1990 and went on to study Pysiotherapy at the University of East London, Stratford in 1996, qualifying in 1999. Since coming to Barcelona, she initially concentrated on teaching Pilates, but has recently also qualified as a Nordic Walking teacher. She received her Pilates training at Stott Pilates, an international school offering a very high standard. Doina has also undertaken more specialised training in clinical Pilates, which is used to treat specific musculoskeletal problems, such as low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and rehabilitation following injury.
About Pilates "Pilates is an amazing form of exercise that has profound physical and psychological effects. I love seeing my clients getting the best out of their bodies and it is fantastic when they start to experience less pain and have less need for painkillers," says Taylor. "It's also incredible that people feel better even though they didn't remember feeling bad before!" "I really enjoy practising Pilates myself too—it gives you a loose, relaxed feeling. Your legs swing more easily as you walk, your shoulders fall naturally back into place, relieving tension in the neck, and most aches and pains disappear. "The concentration needed to do Pilates sets it apart from other forms of exercise. You become so focused on how you are moving, there is no time to think about the worries that are plaguing you, resulting in a refreshed feeling at the end of the session.
About Nordic Walking “I first tried Nordic Walking myself years ago and I really liked the way the poles naturally put you in an ideal posture for walking. I also liked that when you get the correct technique you can feel lots of work happening in your upper back and the backs of your arms—areas we don't often exercise much. ”Doina decided to train as a Nordic Walking teacher because of something one of her Pilates clients said. Her client explained that she felt she ought to join a gym to do some cardiovascular activity, but she didn't like the idea, as she didn't like being in gyms. Doina knew Nordic Walking would complement her Pilates work because it also focuses on conscious movement and posture, but it is an outdoor activity and can be done at a more intense level–it's almost like doing Pilates outdoors. Nordic Walking can be done by people of any age, weight and level of fitness (or unfitness!). Once you have got the correct technique, it can be done anywhere. So if you travel a lot you don't have to look for a gym, just take your poles and off you go! The way the poles are used means you are effectively walking with four legs so that there is less strain on your lower back and leg joints, and you get an upper body workout that you wouldn't get with ordinary walking. You use 90% of your major muscles. It also burns 20% more calories than normal walking, but with less perceived effort.Because you do it outside you get all the positive mental health benefits of exercising in the fresh air. Walking is known to be one of the main factors in reducing your risk of developing Alzheimer's. If you’d like to give Nordic Walking a try, Doina offers free taster sessions. She also holds four-week 'Learn to Nordic Walk' courses around Barcelona. Following this, you can also join her Fitness or Adventure walks, which will continue to challenge you to improve your technique and fitness level.