Health in middle years plus a handy nutrition book for on the go

I want to start with the launch of ‘One You’ * last week by Public Health England.  It’s aim is to raise awareness in the over 40s about the need to prioritise their health now to enjoy a healthy retirement.  Many have criticised its ‘patronising’ tone.  However, whatever people may say about this latest campaign, the statistics are fascinating.  Although overall life expectancy is at record levels, many are spending their retirement living in ill health.  Lead a healthy lifestyle (by drinking less, exercising more, eating better and giving up smoking) in middle years and you can double you

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Weather, wellness and a useful review of fitness trackers

In my six years of running Nordic walking classes, I cannot remember a day like yesterday.  Heavy rain driven virtually horizontally towards us by gusts of close to gale force winds and usually well-drained ground utterly sodden. I was in awe of your determination not to be defeated by the elements and seriously impressed how many of you turned out.  It was a powerfully bonding experience and one that I think we will long remember.  We’ve now coined the phrase #RainWarriers for future ultra wet walks!

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The January blues?

What a difference a week makes.  Last week I was writing about how to cope with the exceptionally wet, muddy conditions.  This week it’s been mostly dry, crisp and cold – firm underfoot and even sunny!  Until, that is, today, when the gloom descended and our fabulous Crooks Peak walk turned into a cloud walk.  It was certainly atmospheric but we could barely see the person in front of us, let alone a view.  Ah, the vagaries of the British weather.

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Nordic walk your way to your New Year Fitness Goals

Christmas is traditionally a time for indulgence and the New Year one for resolutions!  If you are thinking about what changes you can make to your lifestyle, adding exercise is one of the biggest steps you can take in improving your health. I hope that those of you who have been Nordic walking with us during 2015 will feel rightly pleased with your fitness and the improvements you have seen in your general health as well as muscle tone and cardio vascular fitness. 

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How Nordic walking helps with Parkinson's and cancer

Bristol Nordic Walking now runs two dedicated classes on the Downs for people with Parkinson’s.  We also run a Nordic walking class for people with cancer.  Nordic walking is an excellent form of physical activity for both Parkinson’s and cancer.  Here’s why:


Nordic walking for people with Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s affects the part of the brain that controls movement.  It results in aching, stiffness and rigidity, in both muscles and joints.  Walking with small shuffling steps is common as is tiredness and depression.

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Regular brisk walking is best for keeping weight down

A brisk 30-minute walk five days a week is more effective than any other form of exercise for keeping weight down, according to new research by the London School of Economics published this week.

Dr Grace Lordan led the research, which took data from seven separate years of the Health Survey for England to work out the relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist size and various types of physical activity. She focused on activities that increased heart rate and caused perspiring, including brisk walking, heavy housework, gym workouts, cycling, swimming and running.

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News from the 2015 International Nordic Walking Convention in Barcelona

Whilst you were enjoying yourselves in sunny Bristol last weekend I was having a similar experience in Barcelona.  I was there for the annual International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA) convention.

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Get out and walk! Your brain will thank you

There’s been a bit of a buzz recently about the benefits of exercise – and specifically walking – to our brains.  It appears that exercise has both a direct effect, slowing the shrinkage of the brain (and even promoting neurogenesis) as well as an indirect effect by improving mood and sleep and reducing stress and anxiety.  Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.

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The Cardio benefits of Nordic walking - and Body Boost

Over the last few days I have been running a number of fitness assessments for walkers on our Body Boost programme.  Every single person has made a marked improvement on his or her earlier assessment, generally done about six weeks ago.  One walker took nearly a minute off her previous half-mile distance time.  These improvements are a fantastic boost for our walkers.  Here’s why.

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How long and how strenuous should exercise be to reap maximum health benefits?

The Government recommends that we do a minimum of 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity each week – or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise - for our health and longevity (GRA). But there are no guidelines on any upper limit.  Is it the case that the more we exercise the greater our health benefits or is there a point beyond which no more improvements can be made?   Is it even possible to have too much of a good thing – can exercising too much or too intensely eventually become detrimental to our health?

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