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The foot edition: NW technique, foot health and shoe buying

This week my Nordic walking technique focus has been on the lower body.  In particular the feet.  Nordic walking is one of the few activities requiring us to think how we use our feet.  Its focus on actively articulating the foot, rolling from the heel through to the toes, is a great way to keep the joints and muscles in and around your feet healthy.  I cover the NW technique in more detail below but first a question: when was the last time you gave your feet an MOT? 

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Our survey results and just how sugar smart are you?

This weekend saw the launch of a high profile and ambitious Sugar Smart campaign in Bristol.  Cakes, sweets, biscuits and sugary drinks are all things we turn to at times of celebration or when we crave comfort and reward.  They taste delicious and give us an instant ‘lift’.  But we now know that that pleasant sugar rush can lead to unhealthy eating patterns and all sorts of health issues.  The Jamie Oliver backed initiative is a campaign to increase our awareness of the harm of too much sugar – both on our weight and dental health.

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What is the right height pole for you, an exciting 1000 mile challenge and why our backs love Nordic walking

Nordic walk for back health

According to the British Chiropractic Association almost 80% of us suffer back pain at some point in our lives with nearly a quarter suffering daily.  Over half believe the cause is poor posture. Nordic walking is superb for helping with back pain.  It strengthens the postural muscles and the deep abdominal (‘core’) muscles.  Both are essential in supporting the back, especially the lumbar region which carries the weight of the upper body. 

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Welcome to Nordic walking

If this is your first visit to our website you may well be looking to see whether Nordic walking is for you. Also what we offer here at Bristol Nordic Walking.

What is Nordic walking?

Nordic walking is a very simple concept.  It uses two specially designed poles to engage your upper body as you walk and help accelerate you forwards. As you might expect from something that has evolved out of cross country skiing, it is an exceptionally efficient and effective form of exercise.  Here’s a few reasons why:

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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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