The Essential 5 …Vivo and Ridgeway Nordic Walking

This week we’re meeting a health professional who’s made her passion for the Great Outdoors into a career. After escaping the corporate world to follow her dreams Karen Lem created a collection of hugely successful companies, based around nordic walking and keeping fit, outside. Here is her Essential 5:

How long have you been running your business?
After 20 years in the corporate world, working for companies like Marks and Spencer and Costa Coffee I decided to follow my passion for fitness and wellbeing. Since 2006, Vivo and Ridgeway Nordic Walking has developed into a holistic and comprehensive source for anyone wanting to feel good about themselves, their health and their body. My real passion is to be outdoors so nordic walking is an essential part of both my business and personal health regime. You can’t beat being out in the beautiful countryside whatever the weather!
What are the biggest challenges to running your local business?

Keeping people informed of all the range of the things we do. Networking referral and social media are proving to be the best opportunities. Also keeping up with the reports, trends and professional development to make sure our clients are always getting the very best training

What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Seeing people smile as they hit their goals and enjoy feeling healthier and fitter. Group sessions like nordic walking and small group personal training also bring in a real social element to health and fitness. I’ve made some great contacts and friends through my work too.
What do love most about running a business in Tring?
The local support with people in the same and other areas of business. I’m particularly proud of forging links with younger, up and coming fitness professionals helping them grow their businesses with my experience. It is much healthier to work as a community than in fierce competition. Good relationships with the local gym and other health practitioners always pays benefits in the end. Community is better than conflict !
Is Vivo Nordic Walking the only business you run?
No, within the nordic walking theme we do fitness breaks in the UK and abroad. This year for example, we’re doing long weekends in Norfolk and Dorset and fantastic walking breaks in Tuscany and Portugal. Last year we walked part of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain as well as an annual visit to Tuscany.

Personal training and small group training are an essential part of the offer at Vivo too. Everybody is unique. Everyone has their own goals. Personal training concentrates on the individual. We take into consideration medical history, lifestyle, likes and dislikes, time and place to ensure you get the results you wish for. A personal trainer can affect a dramatic change on your shape, wellbeing and mood. We have a variety of packages to suit all lifestyles and budgets.

We also do sports massage. A regular sports massage can help prevent injury by improving the condition of the muscles. A good massage therapist can identify muscle tightness, trigger points and scar tissue which if left untreated may lead to injury. Rehabilitation is key to returning to full strength, flexibility and mobility. Here at Vivo, these are also part of the sports massage and therapy offer.

Thank you Karen you really are the go-to for outdoor fitness here in Tring! Great to hear another positive story of someone finding life beyond the corporate world. I think you might just have inspired us to take to the hills!