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A couple of weeks ago June, the national Nordic walking coach for New Zealand, and her husband Paul visited Bristol for a few days.  I had met them both last month at the international Nordic walking convention in Barcelona and had invited them to stay.

Both June and Paul are as passionate about Nordic walking as we are and they absolutely loved joining some of our classes and seeing what we do here.  Thanks for making them so welcome and giving the thumbs up for Bristol Nordic Walking (although I’m not entirely sure that ‘she muffles our screams’ was the most flattering thing that you could have said about my Monday morning fitness class…).

In any event, Ros and I had a great chat with June and Paul, hearing how Nordic walking is run in New Zealand and swapping ideas.  I also picked up the following rather neat Nordic walking tips of June’s when she walking with us:

  • When extending the push behind your hip, brush your little finger against the pole handle.  It will help you keep your palm facing in towards your body rather than rotating outwards.
  • For beginners – don’t worry too much if your pole is bouncing/dragging/double planting along the ground.  This is quite normal.  The most important thing is that your arm swing is straight (but with your elbow off lock).  The bouncing etc will stop as your hands get the hang of the squeeze and release on the pole handle.  (for more tips on your arm swing see my earlier blog -‘Technique tips – the perfect arm swing’ ).
  • A good tip for remembering your posture is to ‘stand tall out of your hips’.  This helps you increase the gap between the top of your hip-bones and the bottom of your rib cage (a key area where posture can “collapse”, as there is no bony structure between these two areas to keep you upright).
  • Another posture tip – aim to keep your head in a neutral position over your spine, eyes looking ahead, with the underside of your chin parallel to the ground.  If you want to scan the ground for obstructions, use your eyes rather than dropping your head. (This is the meaning behind our BNW ‘heads up, eyes down’ mantra).
  • After a long day’s walk sooth your feet by rolling them over and around a golf ball – or even better a hard rubber ball about the same size.

Hopefully June and Paul will visit us again when they’re next in the UK – and if anyone’s planning on visiting Auckland then there’s an open invitation to join one of June’s Nordic walking groups!

Have a great week’s walking and don’t forget Patsy’s brand new Nailsea walk starts this Friday 10am at the Scotch Horn Centre.