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Year in review 2016 and what’s ahead in 2017

2016 has been our busiest year to date, despite the appallingly wet weather at the start.  Thanks to your support and enthusiasm Bristol now has more Nordic walkers than ever before and we believe Bristol Nordic Walking is now the UK’s biggest Nordic walking club.  Here’s a brief summary of what we did during 2016:

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Why Nordic walking in winter is so important plus some of your testimonials

The shortest day of the year is just around the corner.  There will be eight hours forty-nine minutes less daylight on Wednesday 21st December than on the summer solstice. 

These shorter days (less than eight hours of daylight during virtually all of December) and darker evenings are also often cold and wet, or just depressingly grey.  So it’s hardly surprising that we are tempted to snuggle up and stay indoors, eating comfort foods and being less active.  Even though we know that this centrally heated, electrically lit, stuffy environment is absolutely no good for us.

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The versatility of Nordic walking plus which glove is best?

Being outdoors, talking with others and enjoying beautiful walks is as good a reason as any to go Nordic walking.  But the benefits don’t stop there.  Nordic walking can help with practically any fitness goal and we can use it to manage our health as well.  Here’s a few examples of how.

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Get back to basics with technique plus a food theme with a choice of naughty or nutritional

If you’ve walked with different instructors you will have noticed that we all have our own style. 

Take Ros and myself for example.  Ros has a ‘tigger’ bounce which looks visually energetic and fun.  Bouncing up into the air each time she pushes off her toes to ensure that she engages her previously weak glutes (buttock muscles) with each stride. 

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Nordic walking mindfully, layering against the cold and the latest research on joint health

Nordic walking lends itself to mindfulness.  It taps in to our body’s natural walking rhythm, making us put the distractions and stresses of life to one side whilst we focus on how we do actually walk (for something so simple it is harder than you think). 

So if you have ever been interested in mindfulness, in exploring how bringing our attention to the present moment can help us re-connect with ourselves and the world around us, I am thrilled to tell you that we will be running a Nordic walking mindfulness course next year. 

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My pick of the poles this Christmas plus six ways to turn your walk into a workout (without Nordic walking)

Of all the ways to get and stay fit, walking is the easiest, safest and cheapest.  You don’t need a gym and you certainly don’t need lycra! Nordic walking notches it up that bit more and gets your upper body involved.  It is to walking what the cross-trainer is to the treadmill, with two key differences- it’s fun and sociable. 

Of course we can’t always be Nordic walking and some of you reading this article might not yet have your own poles.  The following is a top six list of how you can turn an ordinary walk into a workout.

1. Get active with your feet

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Why winter walking is good for our mind and body plus watch out for the Supermoon

It’s a researchy sort of blog this week – all of it good news for Nordic walkers. 

The first concerns that great British pastime - the weather.  Apparently exercising in colder conditions boosts our performance.  Furthermore, less perspiration and lower heart rates mean that we can work harder for longer in the winter months than during the summer.  Mike’s two hour stamina walk sounds just the thing.

All in the mind

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Why Nordic walking is a gateway to exploring, plus a reminder of some of its other benefits

I had to drive my daughter Leeds earlier this week.  She was attending a three day residential course and instead of driving back and forth from Bristol, I decided to stay in Leeds and use it as an opportunity to explore a part of the country that’s new to me.

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Warm up on a chilly Autumn morning plus some interesting facts on getting connected

The chilly mornings can easily mean you start your Nordic walk tensing against the cold.  I certainly want to ‘hunch up’ my shoulders and I have to make a concerted effort to relax.  If you’re the same, I recommend you try the following – I’ve found it really helps me get into my stride and I warm up fast:

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Are you looking for a fitness or diet boost before Christmas? Read on.

I’m loving the autumn weather and the glorious colours emerging as the trees put on their annual display.  With autumn comes the reminder that Christmas is just around the corner and I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to go into the Christmas period feeling on top form.  

For many of you, just coming along to our regular hour long classes and the Saturday two hour stamina walk will be sufficient.  But if you want an extra boost to trim, slim, tone and strengthen we have two new programmes you may be interested in:


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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingNordic Walking UKBristol Life Awards Winner