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 important postural muscles, and protect our backs and joints.

I’m not sure that Bristol Nordic Walking can influence the future direction of health education but we can help enhance the lives of everyone who walks with us.  We hope you agree that our regular classes - 35 a week now can you believe it - are hugely enjoyable.  They also include technique drills, exercises and stretches all designed to improve our walking and our health. 

However, things like neck and shoulder tension, back ache, sore joints and muscles sometimes need more attention than we can give in a regular class.  So we have developed a series of healthy body workshops, honing in on some of the areas that interest you most.  The first five will be run by our new instructor Peter Coniglio who has twenty-five years of fitness experience and an expertise in holistic health and corrective exercises.  The final workshop, Mindful Nordic walking is run by Dr Mel Mackintosh who is very experienced in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction).  Here’s a bullet point list of what we’re offering, followed by a little more detail on each workshop, all of which can be booked online individually.

  • Neck and shoulder tension;
  • Back care;
  • How to use your heart rate zone to enhance your fitness;
  • Breathing techniques to ease tension and improve fitness;
  • Lower body: how to ease sore joints and increase power;
  • Mindful Nordic walking.

Thursday 31st May 6.15pm The Downs: Neck and shoulder tension
Correct breathing, stretching tight muscles and strengthening weak ones are all areas that will be covered in this workshop.  Peter’s detailed understanding of how the body moves and holds stress will enable you to get the most from the hour.  It will include a multitude of exercises, drills and stretches focusing on relieving neck and shoulder tension and give you some tools to be able to manage your neck and shoulder tension by yourself.  Click here to book.

Monday 4th June 6.15pm The Downs: Back care
Aerobic exercises like Nordic walking combined with stretching/strengthening exercises, core stability exercises, and correct breathing techniques are crucial for a healthy back.  Peter’s advanced fitness qualifications in back care will add a new dimension to the natural back health that Nordic walking provides and incorporate specific back strengthening drills, breathing advice and stretches.  It should be a fantastic workshop that will give you tips on how to improve your back health and keep your back healthy for life.  Click here to book.

Thursday 14th June 6.15pm The Downs: How to use your heart rate zones to enhance your fitness
We know that many of you would like to know your heart rate and understand how you can use heart rate zones to make sure you’re not working too hard - or taking it too easy - when Nordic walking.  This workshop will show you how to maximize your potential to burn fat and increase your fitness.  You will need a heart rate monitor (Fitbit/Apple watch/chest strap etc) and to have worked out your resting heart rate - Peter will contact you about how to do that.  It promises to be a fun, active and informative hour which will give you lifelong tools to continue to monitor and improve your fitness.  Click here to book.

Monday 18th June 6.15pm The Downs: Breathing techniques to ease tension and improve fitness
Breath.  Not only is it essential for life but it can profoundly affect our stress levels, fitness, and energy.  It is however something that we pay very little regard to.  In this workshop Peter will discuss breathing techniques to ease tension and improve your Nordic walking fitness.  The workshop will be based around Nordic walking but will of course be applicable to daily living.  Click here to book.

Thursday 28th June 6.15pm The Downs:  Lower body: how to ease sore joints and increase power
Do you suffer from joint or muscle pain?  Would you like to walk further, faster and with less fatigue?  Would you like to optimise the power in your lower body; improve the functioning of your glutes; and strengthen your ankles?  If the answer to all or any of the above is yes then this workshop is for you.  Peter will discuss walking gait and provide drills, exercises and stretches to improve lower body function.  It will bring new meaning to Ros’s ‘buns of steel’ mantra!  Click here to book.

Sunday 1st July 10am Ashton Court Mansion House: Mindful Nordic walking with Mel
Modern day mindfulness was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn for helping people overcome stress, anxiety, depression and pain.  It is a powerful tool to help improve physical and emotional wellbeing and to build resilience to the demands of everyday life.  Mel’s workshop will be exploring what mindfulness is, what its benefits are and how you can use Nordic walking as a way into mindfulness.  It’s both an active and holistic session.  Click here to book.

I hope you will find these workshops a rich addition to all that we offer.  I plan to go along to some - so see you there!