Like many people, whilst I know that exercise plays a crucial role in both physical and mental wellbeing I have always struggled to incorporate it in to my life in a consistent and effective way. Good intentions, like the under used gym membership and exercise bike languishing in the garage, were often forgotten in the busy reality of daily life. Stuck in a rut, I decided to look for personal training sessions that could be tailored to me specifically but I wasn’t keen on being entirely gym based or facing a boot camp where I might be “whipped” into shape. When I read about Love Dartmoor, Elaine’s friendly and encouraging approach combined with the idea of being able to train in the great outdoors really appealed to me. From the very first session Elaine completely understood the improvements that I wanted to make and has employed her skills, knowledge, experience and abundant enthusiasm to help me implement them. With a combination of training sessions including walking, Nordic walking and Pilates in the studio I have quickly made progress in my strength, flexibility, fitness and in my overall health. As well as working hard, I really enjoy every session which, in turn, means I feel motivated to make exercise a regular part of my routine. Part of the enjoyment comes from being outside and enjoying the wide range of landscapes and environments we have on our doorstep here in Devon – no two sessions feel the same and Elaine has introduced me to many places I hadn’t previously discovered. Elaine is always positive and encouraging. When any challenges have presented themselves Elaine has taken the time to reassess my needs and consider different approaches so I feel very confident that I can continue to make progress and achieve any goals I set myself.
Sarah Leverton Jan 2016
On behalf of all 14 of us – very many thanks for the wonderful treks over Dartmoor you organised for us last Saturday and Sunday. Not only had you planned meticulously, but not knowing exactly what to expect from a group of bon viveur ex-rugby players, you led us on a walk that was at once spectacular, presented the right degree of challenge, and via one or two great pubs for lunch. In spite of a clear lack of co-ordination skills, we all got to like the Nordic pole technique to which you introduced us. Your obvious love of the moor and all its history and legend was evident, and you even organised perfect weather! Very many thanks again Elaine, and please also thank Rachel for us for supervising the stragglers! We shall not hesitate to contact you as and when we plan future walking treks in the West Country. Good luck in your upcoming Dartmoor challenge bike ride in the early summer. M.Engelbach Summer 2014
When I signed up for personal training with LoveDartmoor, I knew I was looking for a form of exercise that would build both my strength and confidence and having read about Elaine and Nordic walking, I decided to take the plunge and contact her. From the moment that I started with LoveDartmoor, I knew that this was for me. One of the first indicators of this was the fact that, returning from the first session, my wife, clearly amazed, exclaimed: ‘I haven’t seen you looking so good for years’. Elaine demonstrates the essential ability to be able to assess the pace and intensity that suits you, so you end up with a personal training session that is tailored to your individual needs. If you’re looking for sweaty gyms with someone cracking a whip, forget it. Training takes place outdoors on Dartmoor and it was immediately apparent that Elaine has detailed knowledge of the area from her experience as a guide; instruction on technique is interspersed with fascinating snippets of local information. If you believe, like me, that exercise should be challenging but pleasurable and not a chore, then LoveDartmoor could well be for you too. Jonathan Smart Dartmoor 2014
Our walkers love coming to the unique experience of Dartmoor and we wouldn’t want anyone other than Elaine to guide us. She’s just brilliant, both in terms of her knowledge of Dartmoor and her enthusiasm for nordic walking on this ever changing landscape. We’ve been through bogs and wetland; up obscure stone tors; through ancient eerie forests and Elaine says we’ve barely scratched the surface! So we keep coming back for more of this fabulous moor. Thank you Elaine from all of us at Bristol Nordic Walking.
Vicky Welsh, Instructor, Bristol Nordic Walking 2014
I had my first attempt at Nordic Walking yesterday, with Elaine Sylvester. The lesson was started with a short introduction on the history, types of poles and how to get the right size. Then a demonstration on how it is done, the basics of the method, the lesson continued starting off on flat ground, then uphill, downhill and flat on Dartmoor. I was amazed at the ease of it, and the distance covered, achieving enough skill to be confident on my own. I thought that this was all done at an easy rate, and at just the right level. The fault checking was excellent, and any mistakes were checked before they became implanted. Elaine was a total stranger, yet her manner and instructional technique, made me feel at ease and not feeling a fool at my age! The whole lesson was extremely enjoyable, and was not rushed in the least. I enjoyed the whole experience, and would wholeheartedly recommend her as an Instructor. I will also continue with her planned group walks. Andrew Buchanan
I found Elaine’s telephone number in the Summer Dartmoor magazine. I wanted to give Nordic walking a try as I had completed the Ridgeway walk and loved it so much that I wanted to carry on and complete some more long distance trails. The next one I wanted to try was the coast to coast from St Bees Head in the Lake District to Robins Hood Bay North Yorkshire 192 miles!!! I had heard that Nordic walking could help you climbs the hills and descend them with less pressure on the knees and back. I just had to give it a go!!! Well I’m glad I picked up the magazine and found Elaine’s number. The whole tuition session was so informative with warm up exercises, and why this is needed before we started our walk, and taking us out on the moor so we could try out all the different terrain, with the poles. I found this really helped with my body posture, making it a lot easier on my back and knees and, of course, Elaine can assess you as you are walking and let you know if you are continuing to walk correctly with the poles. There were five of us in the group and each one of us would recommend Elaine to teach anyone to Nordic walk… go for it!!. After the session ended I got talking to Elaine about long distance walking and told her I wanted to complete the coast to coast walk she said if I wanted she would be happy to lead the walk, as she had experience with navigation and leading walks on Dartmoor. Again, I am so glad we took her up on this as four of us completed the walk. With Elaine’s experience and brill personality, which is needed in a group walk, I had the time of my life. Thank you so much Elaine. June Holmes; Taunton Somerset
I first met Elaine on a “Taster walk”. She is so passionate about Nordic walking and is a very patient and good instructor. Elaine encourages and instills confidence in her “students” and is great fun to walk with. Her approach enthused me to take up nordic walking as a hobby, as well as a fantastic way to keep fit as it also strengthens the upper body. I was led to invest in a “pair of poles” and regularly can be seen walking around Kingsteignton. They are very useful for walking up steep hills too it is a bit like “four wheeled drive” walking! I used to walk regularly on Dartmoor, but early stage osteoarthritis, particularly in my feet and knees has become a problem but Nordic walking has given me a new way of walking on Dartmoor. Thanks Elaine for introducing me to such a fabulous new sport. One of your “passionate students” Cilla; Devon
Do email or make contact if you would like to hire Elaine as
an Instructor/Trainer, a Group leader, a Guide, or a Speaker
or all four!