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Want good Nordic walking technique? It’s within your grasp

I am often asked what the key elements to good Nordic walking technique are so I thought I would share my views with you through a series of technical articles.  This first one addresses the tricky issue of hand control.

Ah. Those pesky hands, I hear you say.  They never seem to do what I want them to.  Especially that non-dominant (usually left) hand. 

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5 Reasons why Nordic walking reduces back pain

I'm sure some of you will have read the report this week by the British Chiropractic Association that almost 80% of us suffer back pain at some point in our lives with nearly a quarter suffering daily.

The problem isn't so much injury as our increasingly sedentary habits and lifestyle.  We sit in front of a computer screen (82% of us for up to six hours); we drive instead of walk; we are overweight (in the UK two thirds of us are either overweight or obese); and we have increasingly frenetic and stressful lives which often manifests in neck, shoulder and ultimately back pain.

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Need waterproof overtrousers? Here's three of the best

We needed waterproof overtrousers this morning and very few of us had them.  I'm not surprised.  The recent beautiful weather has lulled us into a false sense of security. 

The key with overtrousers is that they are light and breathable.  You do not want to end up with sweaty legs or spoil your walk with overtrousers that are heavy and rigid.  Here are my three choices:

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Best foot forward - what shoes to wear for Nordic walking

The grass is getting wetter and our feet are getting soggy!  Annoyingly some of our instructors have found their Gore-Tex walking shoes are no longer waterproof so whilst we're looking to buy we thought we'd share some top tips on what to look for.


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Three glorious walks

This Indian summer has prompted me to explore a few walks near Bristol that have been on my ‘to do’ list. I walked them with my son, who is on the cusp of leaving home for university. What gems they turned out to be.


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A coastal walk in Pembrokeshire

We were walking the coastal path in Pembrokeshire in 2007 when we saw the small handwritten notice tied to Trefalen Farm gate; Cottage for long term rent.  Within a month we had become the new tenants of Trefalen Cottage and we have divided our time between the (very small!) former out house and Bristol ever since.  For seven years I have enjoyed scrambling and walking over much of the nearby coast ; and now I have my Nordic walking poles to add to the fun.This is an account of a walk I did on the recent bank holiday.

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Why Nordic walking is the best exercise at any age

Peta Bee’s recent article in The Times endorsing walking as the best exercise both pleased and frustrated me!

I shouldn’t be ungrateful.  As a fitness professional whose business is all about walking, it is great to see a double page spread in a popular broadsheet extolling its benefits.  I just wish Nordic walking was given a higher profile.

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The Blackberrying Season

Blackberries always signal to me the slow drift of summer towards autumn. The light mellows, the evenings gradually draw in and I start my month-long hand-scratching obsession with blackberrying. 

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Exercise your brain and improve your memory by Nordic walking

Well, well.  We all know that Nordic working works your arms, legs, waist and butt, but did you know it also exercises your brain?!

Research suggests that the unilateral squeezing of your left and right hand stimulates brain activity in the opposite hemisphere of your brain.  This can improve memory, memory recall and creativity.

The participants in the studies were asked to squeeze a ball. With Nordic walking you squeeze and release the pole handle, but the basic principle is the same.

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Don't stop at the top!

We had an impressive Nordic walk yesterday (Saturday) to the Observatory and back.  Everyone was on fine form and the 4.2km was easily achieved within the hour.  This surprised quite a few people who, when they first started Nordic walking, would have struggled with this distance. It prompted a discussion about fitness which I thought I’d share with you.

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