Health

Get Your Life Back: How to Manage Arthritis

We know that many of you are managing arthritis.  Indeed it was autoimmune arthritis that helped lead Vicky to discover Nordic walking and set up Bristol Nordic Walking in the first place. 

An exercise like Nordic walking can help reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis because it maintains mobility and keeps muscles strong enough to support joints.  However, dietary and lifestyle choices are also important and, besides medication, there are other complimentary treatment options. 

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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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9 benefits of Nordic walking

Whether you want to shed a few pounds, increase your fitness, protect your joints or simply have a fun sociable walk, Nordic walking ticks all the boxes.  It may not be as trendy as running or cycling but it offers much more of a total body workout and is truly something that will help keep you fit and active for the rest of your life.

Our Bristol Nordic walkers have had first hand experience of its many benefits but if you are new to this incredible health sport or are just inquisitive, here's a short list of what Nordic walking offers.

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Nutrition and Nordic walking

I have written many blogs about the benefits of exercise for health.  But as we all know, exercise is only one of the cornerstones.  My missive a couple of weeks ago was about the importance of sleep.  This week I've asked Judy Gowenlock to contribute an article about nutrition.  Judy is one of our regular Nordic walkers and a registered Nutritional Therapist.  This is what she has to say:

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Nordic walking – and other top tips - for better sleep

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our life yet not only is it elusive for many of us, it is often positively neglected.  In 1942, less than 8% of the population was trying to survive on six hours or less sleep a night; in 2017, almost one in two of us were.  There are now more than 100 diagnosed sleep disorders (of which insomnia is the most common) and the World Health Organisation has declared a sleep loss epidemic in industrialised nations due to the fact that two-thirds of us fail to get our nightly recommended eight hours.

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Is your head sitting comfortably?

Do you drop your head when you walk – either because you’re afraid of tripping or because you’re lost in thought?  What about when you text or use a computer – where’s your head position then? 

In our club dropping your head to look at the ground when Nordic walking is common.  A natural instinct to protect against falls or a habit that has developed over the years.  Unfortunately it does nothing for your posture and nothing for your health.

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Government recommends Nordic walking for good muscles, bones and balance

Muscle strength, bone health and balance are as important for our overall health as aerobic activities that strengthen our heart and lungs.  So says a report published last week by Public Health England (PHE).  It is concerned that too many people are neglecting strength and balance and has issued specific advice on what we should be doing and which activities are best.  It specifically recommends Nordic walking.

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Hot weather walking advice

Walking in the UK is normally a cool affair, so when the temperature rises it often takes us by surprise.  Next week it looks as though we're in for a hot spell so here’s some advice for when you’re out Nordic walking:

Precool
Lowering your body temperature in the hour before you Nordic walk in the heat slows the rate at which your core temperature rises once you’re out the door.  So try precooling before you head out.

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Walking to health – twenty-one years on

Those of you who’ve been reading my blogs for a while know that I frequently write about the latest research and public policy documents on walking and health.  There have been two biggies this week.  The first is a whole BJSM* issue of editorials, articles and reviews dedicated to the benefits of walking.  The second is the publication of the WHO* Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030 – which in large part is

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Brains and balance

Next week we are introducing our new focus area: brains and balance. It is all thanks to my physio friend Susie Brown. 

As those of you who walk regularly with us know, each week in every class we run we focus on a specific aspect of the Nordic walking technique relevant to the following areas of the body:

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