Tips for Nordic walking whilst on holiday

Avoid feeling lousy by September by making sure you pack your poles and keep up your Nordic Walking whilst away this Summer. Yes, we know that might be easier if like Mrs May you like holidaying in typical walking country like Switzerland but don’t fall into the trap of not giving it a go in more exotic locations too.

The key things you need to think about are 

  1. Travelling with your Nordic Walking poles. Very few airlines will now let you board with poles as hand luggage although we do know of a few canny folk who have explained that they are a necessary walking aid! To that end, you will need to either pop longer poles through the outsize or sports baggage system OR invest in lightweight travelling poles that fit into your suitcase. The Gabel Fusion (pictured) is a good choice as your second pair of poles as they are a 5 in 1 pole that can be used for trekking, skiing and ski touring too. They even come with two strap types and the baskets required for sand and snow. Like most of our three peice poles, they will break down small enough to go into a case and our experienced retail team are happy to provide measurements just to make sure. 
  2. Staying Cool, comfy and hydrated in Hotter Climes is another thing that you need to factor in although most of us in the UK are now pretty well acclimitised to doing just that! Even so, the thought of over heating is cited as a reason to not exercise on holiday so here are a few good ways to counter the problem. Firstly, look at how you can carry the required amount of water comfortably and take time to chill it before your walk. These days you can get great backpacks with ‘bladders’ in and bottles that can keep water cool and even filter it for you (see the water to go bottles which NWUK members can get at a discounted rate). Water is pretty heavy (2llbs per litre) but we do need circa 2 litres a day and when walking briskly even more to stay well hydrated. It is essential that you drink before and after a walk too but never venture out in hot weather weather without adequate water supplies or the knowledge of where you can fill up if needed. Hydration is not simply about staving off thirst – its vital for your health as being dehydrated increases the risk of strokes and other serious conditions and exacerbates the symptons of other conditions too. If you have had achey joints recently for instance, that could be realeted to lack of hydration. Another tip is to ensure clothing is breathable, loose and lightweight and ALWAYS wear a hat or visor. In extreme conditions it helps to cover the neck or wear a ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ style hat with a back flap. A lightweight linen scarf can also work and feels great if soaked with water (if you know you can spare it) or you could invest in a Chill Pal cooling head or neck band which instantly turns cold when wet – small cooling towels are also available. Other hot weather essentials are sunscreen, sunglasses to protect eyes against UV and insect repellent. We recently tested SMIDGE a formula made in Scotland (where they know a thing or two about midges) and it works a treat. We stock the spray, wipes and mini pocket pack too.
  3. Another thing you may need to consider is adapting you technique and possibly even your poles to cope with different terrain you may encounter when away from home. For instance if you are walking in the mountains you may find it useful to shorten poles for long treks up hill and re adjust to slightly longer for he downhill section. Remembering of course, to adjust your technique and body position too. On sandy terrain, you will be sure of a good workout but it can impact on your back and shoulders if the poles sink in too deep so make sure you have the right baskets on the end of your poles (again the Fusion poles do come with an assortment of these – see picture)
  4. Our final tip is to know where you are going and if you don’t take some time to locate somebody who does (there are lots of walking websites which will link you to guides and groups including NWUK as we have Instructors all over the world now. If you do venture out on a longer trek, make sure somebody else knows where you intend to go and what time you aim to return so an alarm can be raised if you are lost or hurt.

So, all you need to do now is to pack those essentials and enjoy the Summer. We will see you back with your group soon!

Festival Team are in full swing again!

Workshops on the Lawns of Tissington Hall

The NWUK Festival Team are back into full planning mode following the success of the RUSTICK festival in the Peak District over the May Bank Holiday. This mini Festival was a sell out and participants enjoyed 75 amazing walks and workshops for  all levels in the stunning setting of Tissington Hall. Watch the video here 

The event was pulled together by the HQ Festival Team and local Instructor Sam Armstrong with a huge amount of help from her dedicated Team of Instructors, Walk Leaders and Walkers. The HQ Tutors and Specialists provided a range of workshops and other NWUK Instructors and Leaders from around the UK pitched in to recce, lead and backmark walks. It was a real team effort and many of those involved are now working hard on the larger Purbeck festival in Dorset this September which is likely to sell out in the next few weeks (especially now the schedules are live – see below)

Our rustic caterers produce lovely local food

This year there will be over 80 Festival hosts, leading and backmarking walks, helping at registration and generally pitching in! The event has moved to a more exclusive HUB so its possible to provide more workshops, better catering (including our Purple bus) more shopping opportunities and best of all….. a pasta party on Friday night and a Saturday Night Feast event with live music & Hog Roast.

There will be circa 120 lead walks and workshops to choose from and they range from gentle or wellbeing walks to hill climbs, longer walks and scenic or themed routes. Many involve the chance to enjoy the best food and drink Dorset has to offer plus the chance to learn about the area or simply enjoy nordic walking with enthusiasts from around the world. Come and join us to enjoy walking to Old Harry rocks, at RSPB Arne, Brownsea Island, Kimmeridge Bay, Studland and a host of other locations across the unique Isle of Purbeck. We have something for eveyone, including some amazing Friday night Supper walks, Art and literary walks, Workout walks and even History and Geology walks!

The workshops cover everything from advanced technique and stretching masterclass to ski fit, running with poles and how to prepare for endurance events. Other topics include walking for rehabilition, kit reviews, adding resistence to walking and some showcase demos of the latest innovations.  Non nordic walkers are welcome to join us for the social events or to come and take part in Tasters and even a Fast Track Learn to Nordic Walk course plus beginner walks schedule. There will be so much to enjoy for only £25 a day and places are filling fast – book your ticket now – this page will explan how it all works TICKETS & PRICES

Click HERE to see the walk schedules which have now been released and give a great idea of what we will have in store each day.

Finally, if the walks are not long enough for you – why not enrol for one the ultimate Nordic walking distance challenges on tough but exquisite paths along the South West coast path. Choose from 16 or 27 miles either to see how quick you are or simply to challenge yourself to complete the distance. These two Ladies did it last year and are really glad they did – click here to read their stories. The events are part of the Festival but organised by the local running Marathon event – its brilliantly well organised and all participants gain a T shirt and medal too

One thing we know for sure is that once you have experienced the magic of our festival and the wonders of Purbeck, you will want to return

Visit the Festival website for links to accomodation – info about the challenges and to secure your place before tickets run out (Hurry last year was a sell out)

See you there ?

 

 

 

 

 

OUT n’ ABOUT

Nordic Pole Cats in the Lavender

We love sharing some of the many photos we recieve from our groups on a daily basis because they show the range of Nordic walking sessions out there. From charity challenges to rehabilitaion groups and fun ‘meet up walks’ right across the UK. To stay in touch, make sure you follow us on Facebook for your daily dose of purple pole walking news.

Mercian Ladies enjoy the Confetti fields

 

 

 

In the meantime, we could not resist this little montage of  flower filled Nordic walking photos. If they don’t get you in the mood for the Summer holidays, nothing will.

Test Valley NW love all the purple flowers!

Core Concept viewed the National Hydrangea collection

Tales from the Purbeck Challenges…..

The 2 challenge events at  the PURBECK NORDIC WALKING FESTIVAL are not out and out races but rather timed distance routes. Last we saw people of all levels, take up the challenge and push themselves to complete their selected distance.
 
 
Sue from Bromsgrove completed the tough 27 mile challenge – she says “The Nordic Walking Marathon 2017 is an event I will never forget. I had never entered a challenge before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and also, what I would be capable of. I registered in May and closer to the date had regular emails from NWUK with all the information I needed. There was nothing else to do apart from turning up!
The challenge was very tough but that was part of the fun. Once you get started that competitiveness takes hold and although you are only challenging yourself, that feeling when you overtake someone is great! The focus is on achieving your best possible time. Twenty seven miles in 7 hrs 45mins – I still can’t believe it! The icing on the cake was to finish 3rd fastest female!
I only achieved that time because of the fantastic motivation and support given by Ian, my Instructor, who walked the marathon with me. The steeper inclines were the hardest part for me, making me feel nauseous. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I’m glad Ian didn’t show me any sympathy. He simply made me dig deep and get on with it!!
If I do it again, I would definitely do Ian’s Marathon training and a hill climbing course to be fully prepared. To go to this event as a large group would be fantastic and i am glad several of my group are booked in already for 2018.

I’m still buzzing from this experience and to be cheered over the finish line by my hubby and friends was a fantastic feeling. I really would encourage you to give it a go!” 
Sue
 
Meanwhile lots of nordic walkers completed the shorter 16 mile challenge event fpr a host of reasons including motivation for weight loss. Emma on the right of this picture is a busy Mum of three who suddenly realised she was leading a sedentary life. At the end of 2016 she took up NW and this is a picture of her in a Workout Walk (having climbed her very first hill) She fet she needed something to focus on in order to keep her walking every week so the Team at Dorset Nordic walking trained her up for the 16 miler. Emma took part in workout walks during the week and every sunday from July, the team took her out on the Sunday training walks which gradually got longer and tested parts of the actual route. (these are happening again this year folks so check out DORSET NORDIC WALKING if you fancy joining them!)
 
Now Emma walks twice a week and is 5 stone lighter (see second from the right in this picture) In fact she loves Nordic Walking so much she even works at HQ and is on the Festival planning Team “Only problem is I will miss the 16 miler this year as I will getting things ready for the Satuday Night Feast with live music at the HUB. However, I can definatley recommend the atmosphere on the event, everyone was brilliant.The other participants, marshalls, back markers and team giving out medals at the end made it something I will always remember” she says.

 

Adventures of a Nordic Walker – The Camino De Santiago

As someone already with a love of walking you may have already been aware of and caught BBC2’s recent programme “Pilgrimage – The Road to Santiago”. If not, don’t despair it can still be caught on BBC iplayer and it’s worth a watch as it may inspire you to give it a go. The show follows celebrities such as Neil Morrisey, Debbie McGee and Heather Small as they attempt parts of the 500-mile pilgrimage from St Jean Pied De Port in France to Santiago in Northern Spain.

BBC2 Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago

Image credit: www.bbc.co.uk

Regular Nordic walker Julie has walked parts of the Camino and is going back to finish it this year – we asked her about her thoughts on the show and what it’s really like. Continue reading

The Magic of Birdsong and Blossom – Why exercising outdoors is so good for you

The Magic of Birdsong and Blossom – Why exercising outdoors is so good for you

It’s mid-March – we are eagerly anticipating the return of spring, brighter mornings and later evenings. The temptation to hide under the duvet is strong, or if you are more committed, you may head down to your local gym to keep your exercise regime going while you wait for warmer days. Continue reading

Step up and enter our latest prize-winning competition

UPDATE: There’s still time to enter our March competition, but hurry, the closing date is 18 March!


We think you will love this prize for our Nordic Walking UK March members’ competition. 

Enter now for a chance to win a voucher worth £80 to spend on the fabulous range of shoes from www.Rieker.co.uk

 

 

Blending fashionable styles with incredible comfort in a wide variety of footwear for men and women, all Rieker shoes are designed for support, flexibility and durability as well as style.

 

Log into your membership area at nordicwalking.co.uk and select ‘My membership benefits’ for details of how to enter the competition.

Last date for entries: 18 March 2018

PRIZE:
A Rieker.co.uk voucher worth £80

Ts & Cs:
One winner will be drawn from correct entries received by the closing date and will win a www.Rieker.co.uk gift voucher to the value of £80.
Voucher can be redeemed online at www.Rieker.co.uk.  No cash alternative.
Entrants must have an active membership of Nordic Walking UK.

 

Not a member? Join up here for membership benefits including discount at www.Rieker.co.uk, Cotswold Outdoor, Millets, Blacks and many others. Membership costs just £9.95 (plus £2.50 p&p).

 

 

If you completed a Learn to Nordic Walk course and have a FREEDOM Passport, you can get the first year’s membership FREE (subject to £2.50 p&p). Looking for an instructor near you? Search online at exercise-anywhere.com

Get away for less with Cottages.com and your Nordic Walking UK membership card

STOP PRESS! This announcement just received from our benefit partners Cottages.com:

Summer Flash Sale- Extra £50 off breaks June-September – Sale runs from 9th-19th March

Summer Flash Sale- £25 Deposit breaks June-September – Sale runs from 9th-19th March

After last week’s Arctic blast, what better than to dream of a summer getaway in comfort with cottages.com!

We have joined forces with cottages.com to bring members of Nordic Walking UK over 18,000 self-catering holiday cottages, villas and gites in the UK and overseas. Whether you’re looking for a cosy romantic retreat, a fun-filled family getaway, or somewhere large, lavish and filled with luxury, you’ll find a great selection of properties to suit everyone. Many properties offer a short break of 2, 3 and 4 nights, or stay for a week or longer!

To book, simply log into your nordicwalking.co.uk membership account and select ‘My membership benefits’ from the left-hand side. Scroll down through your exclusive membership benefits until you find the link to Cottages.com.

Not a member? Sign up at nordicwalking.co.uk for just £9.95 plus £2.50 p&p for exclusive membership benefits. If you have been awarded your FREEDOM Passport at a NWUK Learn to Nordic Walk course, your first year’s membership is FREE (subject to £2.50 p&p).

Cotswold competition winner

We have been very excited about our Cotswold Outdoor New Year prize-winning quiz and judging by the number of entries, so have you!

The prize was a whopping £250 voucher to spend at Cotswold Outdoor (or Snow+Rock/Cycle Surgery/Runners Need)

The winner was drawn from the correct entries received by the closing date.

The quiz question was ‘The helpful experts at Cotswold Outdoor have compiled a useful list of buying guides on www.CotswoldOutdoor.com. What do they call these?’ and the answer (which can be found on www.CotswoldOutdoor.com) was B. ‘The Knowledge’.

Vicky (left) on a Nordic walk with a friend.

The lucky winner is Victoria Morling of Hertfordshire who walks with Nordic Walking UK instructor Savita Bhudia at St Albans Nordic Walking. Vicky says she is delighted with her prize and looking forward to using her voucher in Cotswold Outdoor in the spring to get togged up and ready for the new season.

Although this competition is now closed, members of Nordic Walking UK can get 15% discount on purchases from www.CotswoldOutdoor.com or in Cotswold Outdoor shops as one of their membership benefits.

Don’t miss your chance to win lovely things in our Nordic Walking UK members’ competitions. Look out for more chances to WIN prizes in our competitions coming soon!

Not a member? Sign up at nordicwalking.co.uk for exclusive membership benefits. If you have been awarded your FREEDOM Passport at a NWUK Learn to Nordic Walk course, your first year’s membership is FREE (subject to £2.50 p&p).

Age is but a number!

Meet Bleddyn a keen Nordic Walker from Cheshire who is pictured celebrating his 90th Birthday with his Instructor Kerley and the group.

You may be forgiven for thinking he could be the veteran of the group but this amazing wellbeing group are proof that walking with poles keeps you young!

Bleddyn is actually six months younger than Gwilym Jones who joined the group in April 2014, originally to recover mobility after a road traffic accident and spinal surgery. Kerley says “Despite undergoing major surgery  and a fractured hip in November last year, he is keen to recover in time to make my next longer adventure walk up Moel Famau. He enjoyed the pictures of my recce walk as his Family have farming connections there and he recalls running up Mountains when helping his Uncles’ there as a boy. This is possibly why he can manage the hills which had me puffing for sure!”

All very impressive BUT Ron Cheesebrough pictured is actually Kerley’s oldest member at 92! He started walking with the group aged 89 in September 2015 having heard about Nordic Walking at a talk for a support group at Leighton Hospital. He tells us he really appreciates the friendships he has made in the group as he finds he has outlived many of his friends.  Ron initially wanted to achieve more mobility and balance, improved breathing and weight loss. He had a heart attack in August 2016 but recovered enough to get back walking again, attending walks both in Frodsham and Chester.

In November he even had keyhole surgery for an aortic aneurysm and the Surgeon commented that it clear that If it hadn’t been for his excellent Lung and Heart Test results and the well received report from his Walking Instructor, there was no way that he would have contemplated that procedure at his age” Kerley’s husband, Ted who is also an Instructor had timed Ron over 100m and told him to let the surgeon know it was 1 min 30 secs!

Whilst Kerley’s Wellbeing group is specifically designed to cater for those with medical conditions, it is certainly not the only group with more senior polers! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking its an activity for the slow or frail either as many of them are far fitter than the majority of the younger group members too.

When we asked our groups if they had any members in their Eighties, it became clear that its actually the norm. In fact many Instructors reported that spritely octogenarians were often amongst the more active of the group too. Helen Richardson who runs the All Seasons NW group in South Gloucestershire told us about Ann Triner (pictured) who at 83 walks regularly. Whilst in Shropshire, the aptly named Barbara Walker is apparently a stalwart at the age of 84 according to her Instructor Beverley.

Here at NWUK HQ we have a brilliant local Instructor, John Challis (pictured) who is also the main route planner for the Purbeck Festival at the tender age of 79! He can be found out in all weathers either testing out routes or teaching technique and many of our younger group members struggle to keep up with him on the hills!

Once we move to Nordic Walkers who are only 70 plus, there are so many inspirational folk out there that we could go on forever. Instructor Ashley Sandy in Wiltshire told us she had 2 extraordinary walkers in this age bracket  – Alan, a 72 year old who Nordic walks 30 40 miles a week and is thinking of tackling the 26 mile Purbeck Challenge in September and Sue Worthy  who just before her seventieth Birthday attended a ski fit course and pictured performing this explosive drill! News has it that Alan wont be the only person over 65 to do the 26 mile challenge either. In fact we have quite a few entries in the senior category, including Eileen from Bromsgrove who at 73 also completed the Cotswold 24 hour challenge last year)

But before you assume that all Nordic Walkers are in the retirement age group…..THINK AGAIN because in the next issue we will be featuring some of our younger regulars and you might be really surprised.