Kit

Pole maintenance and one walker's story of how Nordic walking helped her return to health

This week’s blog is a mix of practicality and inspiration.  For those of you who have your own poles and are wondering how to keep them in good working order I’ve set out some pole maintenance tips below.  First though for the inspiration…

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My pick of the poles this Christmas plus six ways to turn your walk into a workout (without Nordic walking)

Of all the ways to get and stay fit, walking is the easiest, safest and cheapest.  You don’t need a gym and you certainly don’t need lycra! Nordic walking notches it up that bit more and gets your upper body involved.  It is to walking what the cross-trainer is to the treadmill, with two key differences- it’s fun and sociable. 

Of course we can’t always be Nordic walking and some of you reading this article might not yet have your own poles.  The following is a top six list of how you can turn an ordinary walk into a workout.

1. Get active with your feet

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How to deal with squelchy feet and soggy bottoms plus some longer walks for you

Autumn has arrived and with it wet grass, still long from the Indian summer we’ve been enjoying.  It’s now that you notice how waterproof (or not) those waterproof shoes/boots that you bought are.  Also, if you’re like me, you may well be coming back from walks with sodden trouser bottoms.  Squelchy feet and soggy bottoms - it kind of take the edge off a good walk!  So what to do?

Wet feet

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It’s time to re-proof your jackets! Here’s how

I don’t know about you but I was totally unprepared for the wet and dreary day we’ve just had.  Out came all my wet weather kit along with the realisation that it needed a some maintenance. 

Like cars, quality waterproofs require regular servicing and definitely an annual MOT if you want them to serve you well for several years.  They have two waterproofing systems:

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Teresa May and the difference between Nordic walking and Trekking poles. Plus our very own Olympic dressage move…

There was a flurry of Nordic walking activity last Tuesday as the popular press picked up on Teresa May’s walking holiday in the Swiss Alps.  Interviews were kicking off left right and centre about just what Nordic walking was (you may have heard them on the radio) and what its benefits were. 

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Pole update, challenges, festivals and workshops

Exel poles - new suspension tip system

Those of you who walk with me know how much I love talking about, using - and indeed collecting - Nordic walking poles and the various component parts. It’s a sort of hobby and I get amusingly excited when someone shows me a new pole or product (I counted the other day that I have 16 different models of poles!). So I was pretty much lost for words this week when our Exel suppliers told me about a new tip system available for our Exel poles.

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Best spring/summer Nordic walking kit

The temperature is climbing and the ground drying out, so what’s the best kit to wear during this spring/summer transition?

Breathable Layers
The number one thing to remember is that breathable layering works in every situation - spring, summer, autumn and winter.  If I were a politician, I would be saying this three times as it’s my key message, but I’m not so I won’t.

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Nordic walking tips and paws – what’s on the market and which is best?

Have you ever given any thought to the tip system way down at the end of your pole? Does it matter, and if so, what are your choices? 

Why does the type of tip/paw on my pole matter?
If you want to optimise your Nordic walking experience and performance you need to consider every aspect of the pole you buy – the strap, the quality of the pole shaft itself and the tip/paw combination. For me, because all my poles are 100% carbon, it’s the tip system that dictates the pole I choose for a particular walk or event.

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Which is the right Nordic walking pole for you?

Having your own pair of Nordic walking poles is liberating.  It enables you to go out any time you want, not just when there’s an organised walk on.  You can use them when and where you like and you know that you have exactly the right sort of pole for you.

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What Nordic walking kit to wear for autumn and winter

The misty mornings and darkening evenings are a reminder that autumn is well and truly here.  So it’s time to think about your kit!  Here are some suggestions for what to wear to stay dry and comfortable Nordic walking this autumn and winter.

Footwear

Take a look at my blog Best foot forward – what shoes to wear for Nordic walking. 

In summary:

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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingBristol Life Awards Winner