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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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How to deal with squelchy feet and soggy bottoms plus some longer walks for you

Autumn has arrived and with it wet grass, still long from the Indian summer we’ve been enjoying.  It’s now that you notice how waterproof (or not) those waterproof shoes/boots that you bought are.  Also, if you’re like me, you may well be coming back from walks with sodden trouser bottoms.  Squelchy feet and soggy bottoms - it kind of take the edge off a good walk!  So what to do?

Wet feet

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Back to basics: the heel/toe roll plus 7 tips for heart health

Last Thursday was World Heart Day.  Its aim was to inform us about cardiovascular disease – the biggest cause of death – and what measures we can take to reduce our risk.  About seven million people in the UK have some form of circulatory disease and it’s not just men.  Apparently women are three times more likely to die from a heart attack than from breast cancer.

Not all heart disease is preventable - due to family history etc - but much is.  So I’ve looked at the best of the articles and pulled together a top seven list of ways we can keep our hearts healthy.

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The health benefits of walking plus a seven-point posture checklist

Once again we have a major newspaper leading its weekend section with the benefits of walking; for your brain, your heart and your mood.  I’ve written frequently about all these benefits, empirically endorsed time and again by you.  But it’s good to see the message taken to a wider audience.  Here are some direct quotes*:

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Beach walks, masterclasses, equipment and fitness

It’s a canter through a veritable Nordic walking smorgasbord this week – there’s never a dull moment!

How is your aerobic fitness?

Knowing your aerobic fitness is pretty useful.  Aerobic fitness is the body’s ability to take in, transport and utilise oxygen to supply energy throughout the body.  High aerobic fitness levels are associated with fewer health problems. That includes strokes, heart attacks, and breast and colon cancers.  It is therefore one of the most important components of overall physical fitness. 

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