Technique tips

Your fabulous feet - and how to love them

At a meeting of Bristol Health Partners last week, the speed at which people are expected cross pedestrian crossings was discussed.  Guess what the average walking speed for over 65s is?  (The very fact that I’m asking that question is a clue in itself.)  It’s 0.8 meters per second.  This equates to 2.88 km/h or 1.79 mph.  And that’s an average.  I’ve just tried walking at that speed and not only is it hard to walk that slowly but I couldn’t walk properly at that pace.  It was a flat footed shuffle like walk.

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Want good technique? Get snappy with your hands

Mostly the Nordic walking technique is straightforward and intuitive.  The exception is how you use your hands round the pole handle.  It’s an action that most of us are unused to so it takes time for our brains and hands to synchronise.  Plus there’s an advanced action for experienced Nordic walkers so it’s difficult for the beginner to learn by watching others.

Why is good hand control important?

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The big reason to love your behind

If you’ve been walking with me this week my blog won’t be a surprise: it’s all about the most powerful set of muscles in our body – the gluteals.

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The 'Super Six' Nordic walking skills to boost your regular walking

There’s an art to walking well which most of us only discover once we start Nordic walking.  Why we ask ourselves, did it take us so long?!  The truth is that whilst we were all born to walk, very few of us have given much thought to exactly how.  This has resulted in a myriad of problems due to poor functioning muscles and muscle firing sequencing. 

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Technique tips for walking in muddy conditions

We’ve had more than our fair share of rain and mud this January and we've been delighted by the way you've carried on regardless!  In many ways mud gives you a great workout – your legs, core and arms are all having to work seriously hard to keep you from slipping and sliding around which means you’ll be burning plenty of calories and toning your body at the same time.  However it’s easy to feel unstable if you’re slipping backwards and sideways when you’re trying to push forwards.  So here’s some pointers for Nordic walking in mud:

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Nordic walking vs ordinary walking on the flat: research results

Nordic walking will burn more calories, raise your heart rate higher and you'll walk faster than ordinary walking. This is the conclusion of the research project run last Autumn by Liz Carver, a former research scientist at BAE Systems with the help of participants from our club. This backs up all the previous research conducted on Nordic walking vs ordinary walking, most of which took place under laboratory conditions, not in the field.

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Ten technique tips for Nordic walking

It’s difficult to remember everything you should be doing when you first start out Nordic walking.  It’s also easy for us seasoned Nordic walkers to slip into bad habits along the way!  So here’s ten top tips to help hone your technique:

1. When you pick up your poles, tighten your straps with your hand in the correct position around the pole and keep your wrist straight.  They will then fit more snugly, making the arm swing and hand control easier.

2.Complete a posture check list as you start walking and repeat it regularly:

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Downhill walking explained plus a useful talk test

Last week I wrote about the components of aerobic fitness: frequency, intensity, and duration.  This week I’m looking at one of those components – intensity -  and how you can calculate it. 

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How to Nordic walk on tarmac

In Bristol we are lucky to have lots of public parks and open spaces which means we mostly Nordic walk on grass and tracks.  It makes things nice and easy technique wise – no unpleasant scuffing noises if you’re not planting cleanly plus the tips of the poles grip well in the soft ground, providing an excellent propulsion platform.

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Three of our best warm-up exercises and some summertime reading

 

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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingBristol Life Awards Winner