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Keep cool and carry on Nordic walking

Walking in the UK is normally a cool affair, so when the temperature rises it often takes us by surprise. When it looks as though we’re in for a hot spell here’s some advice for when you’re out Nordic walking:

Lowering your body temperature in the hour before you Nordic walk in the heat slows the rate at which your core temperature rises once you’re out the door.  So pop on the fan and cool your body before you head out.

Top tip: put a damp bandana in the fridge for 15 minutes beforehand to keep your neck or head cool as you walk.

Hydrate before, during and after your Nordic walk.  Don’t be afraid to ask the instructor to stop so you can drink.  On longer walks you may also need to replace vital salts and minerals so take electrolyte tablets or drinks with you.

Wear the right clothes and shoes
Light-coloured clothes will reflect the sun’s rays away from you (rather than absorbing them with dark gear).  Wear moisture wicking fabrics where possible.  In any event avoid tight clothes that won’t allow a breeze to get through and switch to thinner socks as your feet will naturally swell in warm weather.  We don’t recommend Nordic walking in sandals for the obvious risk that you might spike yourself!

Keep a cool head and protect your skin
A breathable cap or hat with a wide brim is ideal for keeping the sun off your head.  Sun screen is important too so don’t leave home without it.  If you’re sensitive to insect bites now is the time to buy some deet based insect repellant.  It will also deter ticks.

Stay safe
Watch out for the key signs of dehydration: thirst, headache, not being able to think clearly, drowsiness, fatigue, achiness.  If you get any of these tell your instructor, stop in a shady place, rest and rehydrate.  Cardio exercise in scorching heat can put serious stress on your body and raise your heart rate.  Wearing a heart rate monitor will help you keep an eye on how you’re dealing with the heat.  In any event and at all times listen to your body and stop if you need to.

NHS Choices has further great advice for how to keep cool during a heatwave.  Click here to read more.

The Bristol & Bath Nordic Walking Team

You can find our favourite Nordic walking poles here and if you’re looking for our advice on best walking kit here’s our recommendations:

walking shoes  waterproof boots     waterproof jackets   walking socks water bottle carrier