Health

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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Healthy body workshop series

One of the many reasons why I’m a big fan of Nordic walking is that informs us on how we should move and walk.  Walking, like breathing, is a function that we’ve been doing for almost the entirety of our lives yet mostly given no thought to.  There really should be lessons in school – how to breath, how to walk – it would have a much more profound impact on our lives than knowing who the six wives of Henry VIII were.  It would also probably save the NHS billions as we’d have the tools to know through correct breathing and walking how to ease tension and anxiety, strengthen our deeply import

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Balance – Why it’s vital and how to improve it

I was reflecting the other day on how important balance is in our lives.  Work/life balance, financial balance, nutritional balance – they are all things we spend much of our lives trying to achieve.  And quite rightly.  They are crucial to our overall wellbeing. 

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The new wonder drug

Whilst many of us have been preparing for our South Wales Three Peaks club challenge next week, a recent spate of reports has been extolling the benefits of a ‘new’ wonder drug: Exercise. 

If ever you’re tempted to stay indoors, to put your feet up rather than get out into the elements, remember the overwhelming scientific and observational evidence that tells you how beneficial exercise is for your body and soul.  Here’s the latest findings, all published over the last few weeks.

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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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Why we should breathe properly for a healthy back plus details of next year’s Exel Nordic walking poles

A couple of articles have caught my eye this week – the value of the basic press-up and a possible answer for our £1 billion back problem.  Press-ups it seems are back in fashion following the publication of a recent scientific study revealing them as the best exercise you can do for your health (they clearly haven’t heard of Nordic walking…). 

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The miracle cure

The Guardian devoted three pages this week to what it deemed ‘the miracle cure’ - exercise.  Depression, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, blood pressure, sleep - all, it said, are positively impacted by exercise.  Not to mention weight loss (when combined with healthy eating), stronger bones, fewer falls in the elderly... and the list went on. 

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Stroke prevention, healthy bones and exercise

Research published last week shed further light on the benefits of taking up exercise at any stage in your life. According to the study by Erik Prestgaard of the University of Oslo, getting fit in your 40s and 50s could halve your long term risk of a stroke. 

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Tick alert, our new mindful Nordic walking course plus our nations slide toward inactivity

Mind full or mindful?  A neat play on words.  I don’t know about you but my mind is often full!  According to the Neuroscientist Amishi Jha, in neurological terms it’s all about where your attention is (mine flits all over the place).  Her TEDx talk (Taming Your Wandering Mind) is fascinating and worth a watch.

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