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. Get yourself a good pair of waterproof walking boots that cover your ankles and have good tread and you’ll be able to walk straight through the mud and puddles. You shouldn’t have any gloopy clump on the bottom.
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.
You might sink down quite deeply into soft mud, and it can even come up over the tops of your boots, so a pair of gaiters will prevent any unwanted moisture from penetrating your boots.
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?!
Bristol & Bath Nordic walking team
You can find our favourite Nordic walking poles here, plus if you’re looking for our advice on best walking kit here’s our recommendations on the best:
walking socks (socks are an important but forgotten factor!).