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Nordic walkers' ode to Leigh Woods

This week was National Tree Week.  An annual celebration which was originally established by The Tree Council in 1975 to replant trees lost to Dutch Elm disease.  Tree planting campaigns go back before this though and many of you may remember the slogan ‘Plant a tree in ‘73’. 

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GENeco – Bristol’s amazing renewable energy and recycling plant

Since last Autumn we have been putting on regular events visiting places of interest in and around Bristol.  Our most recent trip was to GENeco, part of Wessex Water, a multi-award winning business which processes both sewage and food waste.  

I knew this visit required sturdy footwear and a high-vis jacket but I hadn’t fully appreciated that we’d be walking around this big outdoors site seeing the different processes transforming raw sewage into treated waste water, bio gas and compostables.  

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It's never too late to get - or think - fit

Much is written about what it means to be physically fit.  But what does it mean for you?  I’m guessing it might include things like:

 

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It's time to think about vitamin D again

We know vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.  But the benefits don’t stop there.  There’s been a steady stream of research indicating that the ‘sunshine vitamin’ provides a host of other health benefits including boosting the immune system, preventing a range of cancers, protecting against multiple sclerosis, preventing rheumatoid arthritis, and acting as an anti-depressant.  Wow – that’s quite some list.  So it’s worth making sure that we are getting enough. 

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New guidelines for optimum physical health

Last month the UK’s chief medical officers published new guidelines on physical activity to reflect the latest scientific evidence.  Their previous guidelines were published in 2011 but since then the evidence to support the health benefits of regular physical activity has become more compelling. Their key messages are:

 

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Quiz answers plus the new book on why walking is a ‘superpower’

I am shortly heading off on holiday and top of my reading list is the recently published In Praise of Walking by neuroscientist Shane O’Mara.   The publisher’s blurb could have been written by any one of us Nordic walkers: “Walking is good for our muscles and posture; it helps to protect and repair organs, and can slow or turn back the ageing of our brains. With our minds in motion we think more creatively, our mood improves and stress levels fall. Walking together to achieve a shared purpose is also a social glue that has contributed to our survival as a species.

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Bristol local knowledge quiz

We’ve a fun charity quiz night coming up in October in the events room at the Gloucester County Cricket ground and we’d love to get as many of the club together for it.  The room can seat up to 125 people and the views of the ground are excellent.  You can either bring your own team of five or just book on and we will allocate you a team. Friends are welcome but our only rule is if you have a team of five there must be at least two Bristol/Bath Nordic Walkers per team.

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Tick bites and Lyme disease - what you should know

A couple of weeks ago I found a tick.  Right under my bra strap.  I don’t like to think about how much of my body it must have crawled over to get there. 

I’ve never knowingly been bitten by a tick before but I know they can transmit the very nasty Lyme disease.  It’s a bacterial infection which if treated promptly with antibiotics generally causes no problems.  If left, however, it can be utterly debilitating as the bacteria can attack the central nervous system, brain, heart, joints, and eyes, and can also cause skin rashes.

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Long walks checklist

The weather’s gorgeous, you’re feeling fit (thank you Nordic walking), and you fancy a lovely day’s walking with friends.  But how to prepare and what to take?  Here’s your handy checklist.

Clothing
Shorts might seem like a good idea on a hot day but brambles and nettles etc have grown over most paths by mid-summer, so light weight walking trousers or leggings are a better choice if you don’t want your legs shredded or stung.  It also cuts your chances of ticks latching on.

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Community matters

I’ve had a crazy mix of a week this week.  The joy of welcoming our friends Nordic Walking Girona for seven days of Nordic walking in and around Bristol and Bath.  The stress of having my car window smashed in Leigh Woods and my computer stolen. The fun of getting together with some of you for our summer social.  

Nordic walking has given me the highs and has put into perspective the lows.  The blue skies and beautiful walks, the bonds that we have built through our club, and the support that we give each other.  

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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingBristol Life Awards Winner