Lizzie Constantine describes her move to Purbeck from Buckinghamshire, three years ago, as the best decision she’s ever made. Last year, during the lockdown, her partner proposed to her in a flower meadow above Durlston. 

Lizzie brings a burst of energy to Purbeck. If you can stretch to a hill-climb, Lizzie’s Nordic Walks can help you find muscles you never knew existed. Her Power of the Pole sessions explains the techniques that make Nordic walking such an effective, full-body workout. It’s more impactful for your top half than ordinary walking, Lizzie explains: it better engages your core muscles, and it balances you out. She tells me of someone whose painful hip limited her to an hour’s walk, but who is now doing 12-mile hikes without painkillers. It helps combat osteoporosis, says Lizzie, it can help shed pounds, and it releases endorphins which improve mood. Many people are taking it up for the social side, and why not discover lesser-known parts of Purbeck at the same time: Lizzie’s themed hikes could take you through the world-renowned geology of the Jurassic coast, tread in the footsteps of dinosaurs, or delight in Purbeck’s new cider orchards. 

Lizzie not only leads walks across the hills and along the coast path. She inspires people to re-find their feet in the first place. She’s also an NHS Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Specialist: she encourages patients with lung conditions or who have had thoracic surgery, to get mobile again. People are understandably anxious about becoming breathless, says Lizzie, but that can lead to an unhelpful cycle of staying put, and making the condition worse. Lizzie coaxes patients through their fears and has seen spectacular results, such as a wheelchair-bound patient, needing oxygen, who can now walk independently. Patients sometimes present at a very low ebb. Lizzie’s enthusiasm and energy are infectious; with her help, they can build confidence, lose weight, join clubs and, in effect, turn their lives around.

Exercise is clearly medicine. Lizzie can’t fully take away a health condition or lung damage, but she can help make you happier. Whatever your baseline or level, Purbeck has a mood-enhancing walk for you.

Interviewed by Sue Western - Sept 2021
Part of the Why we love Purbeck series, local Residents tell us what Purbeck means to them.

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