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Mud. Do you love it or hate it? Whatever your view (and few have no opinion) there’s little chance of avoiding it if you want to walk at this time of year.  So here are a few tips to make your muddy walk a happy one.

1. Make sure you have the right footwear

Are you slipping and sliding on the muddy patches more than others? Chances are your footwear’s to blame.  You really need to be wearing walking boots, not shoes when it’s muddy.  This is because boots have a chunkier tread so don’t get so clogged with the sticky stuff.  That said, I’ve noticed that some of you are still slipping around even though you’re wearing walking boots.  If this is happening to you, check the bottom of your boots intermittently during your walk and compare them with others.  They should look as good as the ones in the picture (I squelched my way through 3 meters of mud before taking this shot).  You shouldn’t have any gloopy clump on the bottom.  If you do, first try cleaning your boots to get rid of any residue.  If they still seem to be a mud magnet it might be that your make of boot is to blame. (If you’re thinking of new boots take a look at my previous blog http://www.bristolnordicwalking.co.uk/blog/best-foot-forward-what-shoes-wear-nordic-walking.)

2. Use Nordic walking poles for stability

Nordic walking poles are super-useful in the mud.  Punch them in hard and they will stop you skidding around.  They will also help prevent you falling if your feet do slide. Don’t forget you need to maintain the downward pressure into the ground once you’ve planted the poles in order to benefit from their support.

3. Remember the extra workout you’re getting and calories you’re burning!

Walking in mud gives you a great workout:

  • your legs have to work harder, both through the mud and to stop you sliding sideways in it;
  • your stomach muscles switch on more to help you keep your balance and stop you slipping backwards as you push off through your toes;
  • your upper body and arms have to fully engage to push harder through the poles and help you stabilise.

All of the above increases your body’s demand for energy and the number of calories you burn.  What’s not to like about that?!