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How Nordic walking helps your pelvic floor

A few weeks ago, women’s health physio Fiona Morgan wrote a guest blog about the pelvic floor and its importance for men and women.  Many walkers commented that Nordic walking has helped improve their pelvic floor.  This blog sheds light on why this is the case and how through our technique we can further strengthen this important set of muscles.

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Leg stretches for your hips, shins and calves

Many of you have been increasing the length of your walks recently leading up to the Bath Beat.  We are also heading into the Spring and Summer, a popular time for walking holidays.  But how much thought have you given to stretching?

Flexibility and stretching are a crucial part of fitness.  Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and you need that flexibility to maintain the range of motion in your joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight.  That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.

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Spring time foraging

I visited Kew Gardens last week and ate the most delicious wild garlic and pea risotto for lunch.  As soon as I returned home I googled wild garlic risotto recipes.  Alas I couldn’t find any to match the brilliant green of my Kew sensation but it did fire my enthusiasm to forage my own wild garlic and get cooking. 

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Inflammation

I’ve been reading a fascinating little book recently – The Nordic Guide to Living 10 years Longer*.  Originally in Swedish, happily for me it has been translated and published in the UK.  There’s scant reference to the Nordic way of life (‘Nordic’ is I suspect a marketing gimmick as its title in Sweden was ’10 Tips’) and most of what’s written is now widely known.  Nevertheless there were two aspects that particularly interested me:

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Enjoying your walks and progressing your fitness

Above all else, we want you to enjoy your Nordic walking.  An exercise that’s enjoyable is sustainable.  And Nordic walking is one of the best long-term exercises around.

But it’s also very easy to get stuck in a fitness rut. Your body adapts extraordinarily quickly and you constantly need to be throwing new challenges at yourself to progress - or even just to stand still. 

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Lifestyle changes not pills protect against dementia

The Times this weekend ran the headline ‘Research now shows that brain supplements don’t prevent dementia’.  Omega 3 fish oil, B vitamins (or any other vitamins), selenium (or any other minerals), ginkgo biloba, green tea, curcumin – none of them currently have any proven clinical benefit in either preventing dementia or reducing its symptoms according to the scientific arbiter Cochrane, endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Society. 

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Instructor top tips

 

We all like a top tip every now and then and with Nordic walking small things can make a big difference to your enjoyment and effectiveness.  So here’s a list of some of our instructors’ top tips which we hope you’ll enjoy.

 

 

Sarah

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8 ways to maximise your physical fitness after 40

Physical fitness affects the whole body, including the heart and blood vessels, the immune system, muscles, bones and mental well-being.  It’s not just about being physically active.  There’s a whole raft of other factors – flexibility, joint mobility, and muscle strength to name a few.  Here’s eight ways to maximise your physical fitness, especially after the age of 40, with the odd comment (of course) as to why Nordic walking is such a great form of exercise.

 

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The Illusive Pelvic Floor

Our Guest blog this week is by Fiona Morgan, Woman's Health Physiotherapist, MCSP, HCPC. 

Fiona from Clifton Physiotherapy is originally from South Africa and has been working in the area of women's health for the last 6 years. She has made it her goal to educate as many people about their pelvic floor as possible, and for that we are very grateful! Here's what she has to say about how your plumbing works..

 

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Longer walks to extend your fitness and local knowledge

The great benefit of our Nordic walking classes is that you get fit at the same time as having a good walk.  It sets you up nicely for longer walks, where the terrain might be trickier and the distances longer.  You will be surprised how much easier these walks become with a pair of Nordic walking poles in your hands.

There’s a plethora of lovely walks around Bristol and we’ve picked a few of our favourites for you to enjoy with us.  Those of you training for the Bath Beat might find them particularly useful as you increase your walking distances.

 

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