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It's time to think about vitamin D again

We know vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.  But the benefits don’t stop there.  There’s been a steady stream of research indicating that the ‘sunshine vitamin’ provides a host of other health benefits including boosting the immune system, preventing a range of cancers, protecting against multiple sclerosis, preventing rheumatoid arthritis, and acting as an anti-depressant.  Wow – that’s quite some list.  So it’s worth making sure that we are getting enough. 

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9 benefits of Nordic walking

Whether you want to shed a few pounds, increase your fitness, protect your joints or simply have a fun sociable walk, Nordic walking ticks all the boxes.  It may not be as trendy as running or cycling but it offers much more of a total body workout and is truly something that will help keep you fit and active for the rest of your life.

Our Bristol Nordic walkers have had first hand experience of its many benefits but if you are new to this incredible health sport or are just inquisitive, here's a short list of what Nordic walking offers.

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Nutrition and Nordic walking

I have written many blogs about the benefits of exercise for health.  But as we all know, exercise is only one of the cornerstones.  My missive a couple of weeks ago was about the importance of sleep.  This week I've asked Judy Gowenlock to contribute an article about nutrition.  Judy is one of our regular Nordic walkers and a registered Nutritional Therapist.  This is what she has to say:

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Nordic walking kit for the summer/autumn transition

August is fading fast and the season of mists and yellow fruitfulness is almost upon us.  It’s a bittersweet time for many and whilst I will miss those wonderful long hot sociable summer days, September is one of my favourite months.  An elegant synthesis of reflection and fresh energy, it’s the transition between the end of summer on the start of winter.  For us walkers it can be a confusing time kit-wise.  Cold mornings, hot days, shortening evenings, dew drenched grass, and emerging muddy sections all require us to adapt our clothing and our footwear.  Here’s some things to consider:

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Nordic walking – and other top tips - for better sleep

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our life yet not only is it elusive for many of us, it is often positively neglected.  In 1942, less than 8% of the population was trying to survive on six hours or less sleep a night; in 2017, almost one in two of us were.  There are now more than 100 diagnosed sleep disorders (of which insomnia is the most common) and the World Health Organisation has declared a sleep loss epidemic in industrialised nations due to the fact that two-thirds of us fail to get our nightly recommended eight hours.

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Is your head sitting comfortably?

Do you drop your head when you walk – either because you’re afraid of tripping or because you’re lost in thought?  What about when you text or use a computer – where’s your head position then? 

In our club dropping your head to look at the ground when Nordic walking is common.  A natural instinct to protect against falls or a habit that has developed over the years.  Unfortunately it does nothing for your posture and nothing for your health.

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Is Nordic walking the best exercise around?

By Ros Ingleby - Instructor with Bristol Nordic Walking. 

 

For me the answer to this question is a resounding YES. I believe Nordic walking to be the best exercise you can do – hands down.

And I have never waivered from that conclusion in the 8 years I have been walking. Am I biased - possibly, but I haven’t found any other exercise that gives so many benefits to such a wide range of people.

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Ways to beat a lack of willpower

4 ways to beat a lack of willpower

How often are your best health and fitness intentions thwarted when your willpower wanes, and is there anything you can do to stop this happening? 

Antonia Macaro, a long time Bristol Nordic walker who provides coaching with a focus on health and personal development, explains her top tips for keeping motivated.

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Your daypack checklist

Are you planning a whole day hike during these fabulous long warm days?  It’s hard to beat fine weather, stunning views and good company - but it’s important to be organised.  This month’s Trail magazine has a double page spread on packing essentials for hillwalkers.  We mostly stick to the lowlands but it’s always useful to have a check list of what to take so here’s our Bristol Nordic Walking recommendations:

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New Exel Nordic walking poles arriving soon

New colours and the introduction of folding poles are in the fresh range of Exel Nordic walking poles available to buy from August.

We’ve been waiting a long time for the new range of Exel poles.  The production has been beset with delays and complications that have led to the poles being frustratingly late.  We are assured though that the wait will be worth it!  There’s more detail below about what’ll be available to buy but the key changes are:

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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingBristol Life Awards Winner