Technique tips

Seven ways to improve your circulation with Nordic walking

How many layers to wear is the first topic of conversation on almost all our walks, especially during winter.  


On a cold and blustery day we huddle around hopping from foot to foot in a freezing car park convinced we need multiple thermal layers, plus hats, gloves and scarves.  I chant my mantra ‘Be bold start cold’ in an effort to persuade myself as much as anyone that we’ll be hot in no time.  But right now no one fully believes it.

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The best way to Nordic walk uphill


Love them or hate them, hills are a fact of life in much of the UK and especially if you live around Bristol and Bath.  Aside from the fact that there’s generally a great view to be had at the top, hills up the intensity of any walk.  Your heart and lungs work harder, you burn more calories, and you increase the workout for your muscles.  There’s no doubt that Nordic walking poles make a huge difference.  The most important thing to remember is to never compromise your technique.  There are four basic errors when it comes to walking uphill:


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Saving your toes - how to walk downhill

Many walkers taking part in the Bath Beat challenge a few weeks ago ended up with bruised, sore toes.  Steep downhill sections were particularly aggravating, with their toes repeatedly jamming against the toe box of their shoes.  Happily there’s much you can do to lessen the risk of this happening – it’s a combination of walking technique, correct shoes and socks, and (most interestingly) the way you lace your boot.


Downhill walking technique

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How Nordic walking helps your pelvic floor

A few weeks ago, women’s health physio Fiona Morgan wrote a guest blog about the pelvic floor and its importance for men and women.  Many walkers commented that Nordic walking has helped improve their pelvic floor.  This blog sheds light on why this is the case and how through our technique we can further strengthen this important set of muscles.


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Nordic walking top tips


We all like a top tip every now and then and with Nordic walking small things can make a big difference to your enjoyment and effectiveness.  So here’s a list of some of our instructors’ top tips which will boost your workout and ensure you're getting the most out of our favourite exercise.




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How to Nordic walk

As most of you will know, Nordic walking derives from cross country skiing.  It was used as the summer training for elite athletes who wanted to continue their conditioning programme during the off season.  In Finland in the 1970s the universal health potential of this summer style was recognised and developed.  The name ‘Nordic walking’ was coined in 1997 and in 2000 INWA, the International Nordic Walking Federation, was formed. 

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Top tips to stay warm in cold weather when Nordic walking

It’s been bitterly cold at times this week and for me it’s when Nordic walking comes into its own.  This amazing exercise energises your whole body – from the tips of your fingers to the tips of your toes.  I know this from personal experience.  I used to suffer from Raynaud’s, where your fingers (and sometimes toes) go white and numb in cold weather.  Since Nordic walking this is a thing of the past – and my circulation in general has also improved.   

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Foot problems and Nordic walking

At a meeting of Bristol Health Partners last week, the speed at which people cross pedestrian crossings was discussed.  Guess what the average walking speed for over 65s is? It’s 0.8 meters per second.  This equates to an average of 2.88 km/h or 1.79 mph.  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.

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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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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingBristol Life Awards Winner