In last week's BNW newsletter we encouraged you to keep your fitness moving onwards and upwards by mixing up your Nordic walks. It's very easy to get stuck in a fitness rut. Our bodies adapt extraordinarily quickly and we constantly need to be throwing new challenges at ourselves to progress - or even just to stand still. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about benchmarking your fitness by timing yourself over a set route every month or so, but there's a whole host of other ways to keep your body guessing and you motivated. Here's five things that could make the difference for you:
1. Set yourself challenges within your current class - If you usually walk towards the back of the group, try aiming to be in the middle, even if it's just for a couple of sections during the walk. If you're comfortably in the middle why not stride out towards the front? Maybe attack those hills in our Blaise, Oldbury and Ashton Court venues or aim to walk further than everyone else.
2. Try a harder class - If you're 'cruising' in your current class why not try a different one? It could be in your preferred venue but with a different instructor (we all have a different angle which mixes things up nicely) or join a more challenging class altogether. There's a great deal of overlap between our easy, moderate and challenging classes and whilst many of our Nordic walkers are fast, very few started off that way. We all delight in seeing the fitness of others improve and we are here for the same reasons, to keep fit, active and enjoy our exercise, so don't be afraid to branch out.
3. Team up with a fellow walker - Not only is this good fun, it's also an extremely supportive and effective way to maintain and improve your fitness. Whether it's joining a new class together, signing up for one our our scenic walks or entering a challenge event, it's always easier with two.
4. Aim to improve a particular cool down stretch - It could be your calves, hip flexors or shoulder mobility. All of us have some area that we need to stretch that bit more.
5. Put your name down for an external challenge - In the last few weeks I've heard so many of you talk about the amazing walk challenges you've undertaken - coastal path sections, national trails and organised marathons to name a few. There are so many events to choose from, including Nordic walking specific ones like our weekends away and the British Nordic Walking Challenge events which offer 5,10 and 21k distances. The next one of these is in Lydiard Park Swindon on 10th September. Click here for more details.
As you may already have seen, we have more stunning scenic walks in the pipeline for you. We've aimed to keep these shorter and close to Bristol. We spend a long time finding the very best walks around so book onto them if you can - you won't be disappointed. Here's what on offer:
- Thursday 17th August 10am - Dundry panoramic two hour circular
- Wednesday 6th September 10am -The Belmont Hill magnificent Redwood trees circular (1.5 hours)
- Sunday 24 September 10am - Sand Bay headland views circular (2.5 hours)
- Wednesday 11 October - Stoke Estate and Purdown two hour circular
Finally, as promised last week, here's a brief video of some of our walkers demonstrating the cobra-type exercise I wrote about in my last blog. It helps strengthen the small muscles supporting the length of your spine and is a real favourite of mine.