Health

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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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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