Meet Yvonne Bignall, instructor, personal trainer, and women's health advocate September 19 2020
Yvonne Bignall, AKA YvonneB, is an Award Winning Women’s Health Advocate, Self-Care Coach, British Nordic Walking Instructor, Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Practitioner & PN1 Nutrition Coach and a Nutrition Consultant for a global wellbeing company.
Yvonne started Nordic Walking Instructing two years ago after hearing about it from a business colleague. Intrigued by this low-impact outdoor activity, Yvonne contacted Bristol & Bath Nordic Walking to find out if they were looking for health and fitness pros to expand their team of instructors and following a couple of positive meetings and walks, she signed up for the instructors weekend programme.
What did Yvonne make of her British Nordic Walking instructor training?
In her own words, "That weekend was an eye-opener! There I was thinking I knew how to walk well and that this would be an ‘easy add-on’ to my various skills… There was a lot more to the technique and science of it than I imagined." That said, she enjoyed the learning curve, excelling in the communication and teaching aspects of the technique and left qualified with the goal to help others experience the benefits of Nordic Walking and make it part of their fitness routine.
Why choose Nordic Walking?
As a self-care coach for women aged 50+ Yvonne is drawn to activities that complement the mobility, functional and strength training services she offers through bodyweight and free weights to aid cardiovascular strength. Whilst she herself loves running she knows it is not for everyone and feels Nordic Walking is the perfect fit for those who want a good cardio workout without the impact of more vigorous activities.
Whilst the majority of YvonneB’s clients are female, she also has male clients and most of them love Nordic Walking as a way to engage with nature, to be social (especially in a time when being social is limited and has restrictions) to have fun and get fit.
How has Yvonne developed her Nordic Walking business?
After 18 months of working with Bristol & Bath Nordic Walking YvonneB set up classes in her immediate area. There was no one else offering them so she started Nordic Walking herself, finding routes and discovering what was on her doorstep. Through this activity she had people ask her what she was doing and armed with some flyers spread the word through these opportunities, as well as by placing flyers in some local shops and inviting a couple of her walkers from Bath onto her radio show, Women’s Power Hour at Somer Valley FM. The show was a great way to share the experience and stories of committed walkers who had real health upgrades since starting Nordic Walking.
YvonneB also reached out to her local community newspaper, The Midsomer Norton Journal, and invited the editor to experience a complimentary workshop and she loved it so much she did an excellent editorial piece on it and a stream of enquiries followed. In fact, 16 months on since that piece, enquiries are still coming in from it!
Social media has also played a role in engaging with people, firstly to raise their awareness of Nordic Walking, and secondly, show them through photos the beauty of working out in nature and the social & fun elements of it. Fortunately, the majority of YvonneB’s walkers are not camera shy and are happy for her to snap away and use their images on social media and marketing materials (all permission based).
What are Yvonne's plans for the future?
YvonneB is now working to expand her offerings through collaborations with other local groups who promote outdoor healthy living, something that feels aligned to her values but also right for the current health climate across the globe. Research has shown the benefits to mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of being in nature and it is the great outdoors where YvonneB sees her business thriving into the future…