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How to use Nordic walking to trim, tone and lose inches

Gained a few inches over the Christmas holidays which you want to shift?  Whatever your shape, Nordic walking can help.  Here’s how.

The Basics

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Where are you heading in 2015?

There is a Chinese proverb that goes thus: ‘If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading’.

Where are you heading? Is it in the right or wrong direction?  The New Year is traditionally a time to take stock of where we’re at and reflect on where we wish to go.  We cannot influence every aspect of our lives but we have the steering wheel firmly in our hands when it comes to fitness. 

The word ‘fitness’ is, of course, multi faceted.  Its many components include:


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Fancy cross-country skiing anyone?

Many of you will know the origins of Nordic walking.  It comes from cross-country skiing when, in the 1930s, the Finn elite cross-country skiers developed Nordic walking as their summer training fitness programme. So not a bad pedigree.

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Nordic walking does not make you invincible – and Ikea is a dangerous place!

I have a tale which might amuse you.  It involves the unlikely combination of Ikea, a sore hip and Nordic walking (Nordic walking always features in my life)!

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Keep working on your technique to reap the full benefits of Nordic walking

Nordic walking looks easy but don’t be fooled. As those of you who walk with us at Bristol Nordic Walking can testify, it is a technical sport. Getting it right is tricky and takes practice. 

Why bother, you might ask.  A fair question.  Here are some reasons:

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Don't let the weather stop you walking

Have you been tempted to skip the Nordic walking recently during the cold and wet? You wouldn’t be the only one! It’s hardly surprising you want to stay in the warm and dry when looking out through the window at grey, cold, rain-laden skies.

Here’s the thing though.  You may not want to go outside but it is never as bad once you’re out there and you’ll feel sooo much better for having been.  We all know this but sometimes it helps to be reminded! 

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The Downs - some points of interest

We all know the Downs has a great history, starting with it’s preservation ‘for ever hereafter’ for our recreational use by an Act of Parliament – The Downs Act 1861.  Here are some other interesting facts for you as you Nordic walk across the Downs:

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Don't over stride to increase your speed

We had an interesting conversation during this morning’s Ashton Court walk about how to increase your speed. It arose from the fact that I completed last Sunday’s 20km Nordic walking race in 2hrs 32 mins at an average pace of 4.9mph (7.8kmph).

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Get fit, stay healthy

The government is seriously troubled about the state of the nation’s waistline and activity levels.  This year alone it has published five papers aimed at tackling obesity and encouraging people to be more active. 

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Which Nordic walking pole to buy?

So Christmas is around the corner and your loved ones have offered to buy you a pair of Nordic walking poles as a present.  What great news… or so it seems until you start looking online to give them a steer and find an utterly bewildering number of choices. 

Don’t worry!  Help is at hand.  Here are the key points:

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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingBristol Life Awards Winner