Health

The head case – physical activity and mental wellbeing

Last week was mental health awareness week.  We all have mental health.  It is the umbrella term covering our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing and affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices.  Good mental health is an asset that helps us to thrive. Increasingly we mistakenly assume that ongoing stress is the price we have to pay to keep our lives on track.

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Geof's asthma story and a few facts about red deer

 “I’m leaving asthma behind me thanks to Nordic walking” says Geof Newman, one of our Oldbury Court Nordic walkers in an article published by Asthma UK.  Geof started walking with us in May 2016 and the impact it has had on his asthma has been profound.  I know that this is the case for several of you (I will shortly be printing Heather’s story) and here’s some of the reasons why:

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The back care blog - latest research and technique tips

I was fascinated by research published by the George Institute Sydney last week which concluded that taking drugs for back pain is largely pointless.  A bold statement, I thought, given that back pain is most commonly managed by prescribing medicines such as anti-inflamatories. 

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Our survey results and just how sugar smart are you?

This weekend saw the launch of a high profile and ambitious Sugar Smart campaign in Bristol.  Cakes, sweets, biscuits and sugary drinks are all things we turn to at times of celebration or when we crave comfort and reward.  They taste delicious and give us an instant ‘lift’.  But we now know that that pleasant sugar rush can lead to unhealthy eating patterns and all sorts of health issues.  The Jamie Oliver backed initiative is a campaign to increase our awareness of the harm of too much sugar – both on our weight and dental health.

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What is the right height pole for you, an exciting 1000 mile challenge and why our backs love Nordic walking

Nordic walk for back health

According to the British Chiropractic Association almost 80% of us suffer back pain at some point in our lives with nearly a quarter suffering daily.  Over half believe the cause is poor posture. Nordic walking is superb for helping with back pain.  It strengthens the postural muscles and the deep abdominal (‘core’) muscles.  Both are essential in supporting the back, especially the lumbar region which carries the weight of the upper body. 

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Welcome to Nordic walking

If this is your first visit to our website you may well be looking to see whether Nordic walking is for you. Also what we offer here at Bristol Nordic Walking.

What is Nordic walking?

Nordic walking is a very simple concept.  It uses two specially designed poles to engage your upper body as you walk and help accelerate you forwards. As you might expect from something that has evolved out of cross country skiing, it is an exceptionally efficient and effective form of exercise.  Here’s a few reasons why:

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Why Nordic walking in winter is so important plus some of your testimonials

The shortest day of the year is just around the corner.  There will be eight hours forty-nine minutes less daylight on Wednesday 21st December than on the summer solstice. 

These shorter days (less than eight hours of daylight during virtually all of December) and darker evenings are also often cold and wet, or just depressingly grey.  So it’s hardly surprising that we are tempted to snuggle up and stay indoors, eating comfort foods and being less active.  Even though we know that this centrally heated, electrically lit, stuffy environment is absolutely no good for us.

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Nordic walking mindfully, layering against the cold and the latest research on joint health

Nordic walking lends itself to mindfulness.  It taps in to our body’s natural walking rhythm, making us put the distractions and stresses of life to one side whilst we focus on how we do actually walk (for something so simple it is harder than you think). 

So if you have ever been interested in mindfulness, in exploring how bringing our attention to the present moment can help us re-connect with ourselves and the world around us, I am thrilled to tell you that we will be running a Nordic walking mindfulness course next year. 

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The health benefits of walking plus a seven-point posture checklist

Once again we have a major newspaper leading its weekend section with the benefits of walking; for your brain, your heart and your mood.  I’ve written frequently about all these benefits, empirically endorsed time and again by you.  But it’s good to see the message taken to a wider audience.  Here are some direct quotes*:

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Speaking to Prince Charles about Nordic walking and cancer

It was a tremendous privilege speaking about Nordic walking to Prince Charles last week during his visit to Penny Brohn UK (he is their patron). Nordic walking was on his agenda as it is an important and integral part of the cancer charity's whole body approach and has been running at Penny Brohn UK since I set it up over five years ago.

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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingBristol Life Awards Winner