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The super six: Nordic walking skills to boost your regular walking

There’s an art to walking well which most of us only discover once we start Nordic walking.  Why, we ask ourselves, did it take us so long?!  The truth is that whilst we were all born to walk, very few have given any thought to how.  This has resulted in a myriad of problems due to poor functioning muscles and muscle firing sequencing. 

Next week I will focus on a particularly important set of muscles – the gluteals – but for now here’s six skills learned through Nordic walking which will improve your everyday walking.  Making it more efficient, energetic, and enjoyable.

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Active 10 vs 10,000 steps: which is best? Plus why you should know about Vitamin D

Yesterday I joined Ali Vowles on local radio to discuss the Active 10 vs 10,000 steps debate.  Which is best and why?  The debate has long been rumbling but it was triggered anew by Michael Mosley’s The Truth About…Getting Fit (see my last blog).  It’s a fascinating area and relevant to all of us.

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Britain’s top 100 walks plus the ‘truth’ about how to get fit

There were two interesting TV programmes last week about walking and fitness.  The first was co-presented by Julia Bradbury, the second was by Michael Mosley about health and fitness.

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Technique tips for walking in muddy conditions

We’ve had more than our fair share of rain and mud this January and we've been delighted by the way you've carried on regardless!  In many ways mud gives you a great workout – your legs, core and arms are all having to work seriously hard to keep you from slipping and sliding around which means you’ll be burning plenty of calories and toning your body at the same time.  However it’s easy to feel unstable if you’re slipping backwards and sideways when you’re trying to push forwards.  So here’s some pointers for Nordic walking in mud:

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Map reading and navigation

Driven by the requirement to tick a navigation skills box if walking solo on the South Wales Three Peaks challenge event, we held our first Navigation Skills Workshop yesterday.  It was delightfully illuminating.  For instance did you know these six facts about maps themselves:

 

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Nordic walking vs ordinary walking on the flat: research results

Nordic walking will burn more calories, raise your heart rate higher and you'll walk faster than ordinary walking. This is the conclusion of the research project run last Autumn by Liz Carver, a former research scientist at BAE Systems with the help of participants from our club. This backs up all the previous research conducted on Nordic walking vs ordinary walking, most of which took place under laboratory conditions, not in the field.

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The Nordic walking year ahead

I was somewhat amused this Christmas when my brother stood up to make a speech about the successes and ambitions of those round the dining table, six of whom were under 25 and the rest over 45.  Whilst there was plenty to say for the younger generation, the best most of us older lot got was a congratulations on making it through another year relatively unscathed or reaching a significant birthday.  The younger half of the table were high-fiving and back-slapping, the older half puzzling how they could possibly have nothing more meaningful said about another year passed.

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A walker story

One of the key pleasures of Nordic walking is exercising outside with likeminded people.  Our walks are sociable and in beautiful surroundings (we walk from six different locations).  So as well as increasing your fitness and toning your body it will almost certainly uplift your mood. 

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Places to walk and gadgets to help you!

Whilst we take a break from regular classes over the Christmas holidays why not to get out and about exploring by yourself?  There’s some fabulous trails near Bristol and they’re easier to navigate than you might think – with excellent walk guides, well marked paths and some very useful apps to help you on your way.  Here’s some inspiration:

Walk ideas

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2017 in Review

Thank you to everyone who joined our annual Christmas celebration last Wednesday.  Over one hundred of us gathered at Hunters café where we feasted on the delicious food you’d brought and watched the latest epic Nordic walking video orchestrated by Ros (click here to watch it).  We also gave a round-up of the amazing year we’ve had as a club.  Once again you have achieved so many fantastic things and thanks to your enthusiasm and support we now run over thirty regular weekly walks and have over 350 walkers every month!

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