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Get fit through this winter plus how to have a better brain

The days are shortening and there’s a definite autumnal feel in the air.  Nature is preparing to shut down for winter and it’s very tempting to join those hibernating animals and close the door on our exercise until spring. 

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Walking boots for Nordic walking – what you should know plus community matters

Water resistant, breathable, flexible, comfortable, supportive, lightweight, grippy walking boots.  It’s the Nordic walking equivalent of gold dust – and about as difficult to find.  No wonder it’s the topic of conversation that comes up during most walks. And like the weather, we never seem to tire of talking about it! 

I know that the Autumn is a time that many of you switch from walking shoes to boots so here’s a few things to consider if you are about to buy a pair:

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The miracle cure

The Guardian devoted three pages this week to what it deemed ‘the miracle cure’ - exercise.  Depression, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, blood pressure, sleep - all, it said, are positively impacted by exercise.  Not to mention weight loss (when combined with healthy eating), stronger bones, fewer falls in the elderly... and the list went on. 

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Autumn walking near Bristol, vitamin D reminder and stress-busting advice

I’m back from my holidays refreshed and raring to go!  Mallorca, the Surrey Hills and County Durham were stunning with some good Nordic walking opportunities.  However there is something closer to home which I am very keen to explore over the next few weeks - Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.  

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Hear from our Bristol Nordic Walking instructors

Whilst Vicky is away we thought you may want to learn a little more about our wonderful Bristol Nordic Walking instructors. So we've asked them a few questions about Nordic walking (with one exception) and here are their answers. They may or may not surprise you...

Why did you start Nordic Walking?

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Downhill walking explained plus a useful talk test

Last week I wrote about the components of aerobic fitness: frequency, intensity, and duration.  This week I’m looking at one of those components – intensity -  and how you can calculate it. 

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Aerobic fitness: it’s not always about distance

There’s a whole bunch of reasons why most of us come Nordic walking, but maintaining and increasing aerobic fitness is probably one of them.  This gives us the puff to climb stairs and hills and generally keep up with people younger than us.  Also the fitter our heart and lungs, the more efficient our circulation and cardiovascular system is in general.  This helps with weight loss and lowers our risk of all sorts of other health conditions – heart attacks, cancer, diabetes and now strokes (see last week’s blog) to name a few.  It’s something I talk about quite a lot because it’s so importa

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Stroke prevention, healthy bones and exercise

Research published last week shed further light on the benefits of taking up exercise at any stage in your life. According to the study by Erik Prestgaard of the University of Oslo, getting fit in your 40s and 50s could halve your long term risk of a stroke. 

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Tick alert, our new mindful Nordic walking course plus our nations slide toward inactivity

Mind full or mindful?  A neat play on words.  I don’t know about you but my mind is often full!  According to the Neuroscientist Amishi Jha, in neurological terms it’s all about where your attention is (mine flits all over the place).  Her TEDx talk (Taming Your Wandering Mind) is fascinating and worth a watch.

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Your chance to be involved in a very exciting Nordic walking research project plus some Nordic walking anniversaries

Since I first started Bristol Nordic Walking seven years ago I’ve wanted to run a research project comparing ordinary walking with Nordic walking – on the flat, uphill and downhill.  There is already good documented evidence on the benefits of Nordic walking over regular walking but often this is connected to specific health conditions. 

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