Here’s a short but sweet Nordic walking tip: lean (from your ankles) and you will walk faster and increase your core strength.
This aspect of the technique has been particularly on my mind thanks to our recent club cross-country ski trip to Finland. To achieve any sort of skiing competence you must push your centre of gravity in front of your toes, towards the tips of your skis. Shifting your weight in this way pushes the ski down into the snow and gives you the essential (but often elusive) grip to propel you forwards. I spent the whole of my skiing trip trying to do this and when I came back to Nordic walking last week I noticed a real difference in my walking – faster, more graceful, and with my stomach muscles more engaged. Fascinating! Try this little exercise at home and you’ll see what I mean:
- Stand with your feet hip width apart and your weight evenly centred over them;
- Now lean forwards as one active unit from ankle to head - your aim is move your centre of gravity over your toes.
Hopefully you noticed (a) how you had to tighten your core stabilising muscles to keep your balance and (b) the forwards shift of your momentum, making you want to step forwards. Nice. The next time you’re out Nordic walking why not try putting this into practice? It will help you push off more effectively with your toes too.
Our mad-March walks
We have two excellent walks for you this month, both of which are bang on our door-step and worth telling you about.
Sunday 19th March 10-12noon: Ashton Court – Abbots Pool – Leigh Woods circular walk
I was so pleased with myself when I discovered how to link up these three superb local walking areas. It added endless walk extension possibilities and lots of interest too, not least because you walk through Abbots Leigh, past the old Priory with its beautiful chimneys and stunning orangery and along Church Road as far as the playing field. I would highly recommend joining this walk if you can – it’s perfect for a Sunday morning. Click here to read the details and book.
Wednesday 29th March 10-11.30am: The Belmont Hill magnificent Redwood trees circular walk
We’ve led several walks around Tyntesfield and Wraxall but never through this area before. And whilst it’s only a ten minute drive from Clifton, very few people seem to know of it so please come along and join us. Not only will you have an excellent walk and see a clutch of enormous Redwood trees but we’re meeting at Gatcombe Farm shop - stop for a cuppa at the end if you like and browse in their farm shop (my husband thinks their bacon is unrivalled). Click here for further details and to book.
The Bristol Life Awards 2017
You may remember us telling you in our survey last November that we were applying for the Bristol Life Awards. We felt that the time was right to shout out more loudly about our club and your fabulous testimonials gave us the boost and support we needed. The fantastic news is that we’ve been shortlisted for the best Bristol health business (a ‘Woop woop’ from Ros!). There’s a big awards dinner on 27th April when the winners will be announced - there’s more info on this in this week’s Newsletter as we’d love you to join us. In the meantime keep your lovely comments coming and your fingers and toes crossed… we’re in it to win it!