Going the extra ‘smile’ – the Car boot Cafe!

We often get asked why would people pay to go walking? or why do they keep coming back and not just walk on their own once they have mastered technique and learned a few routes?

The answer is simple………… Their Instructors are brilliant and go the extra ‘smile’ We are not talking about actual miles of walking or expert teaching we are talking about the proven ingredients of fitness retention…. sociality and fun! At this time of year when motivation is on the wane, the fitness providers who have got this factor right will be retaining their new year clients whilst others will experience the usual churn rate.

When the days are dark and damp, mud is underfoot and it’s chilly, there are two reasons somebody will drag themselves out to be active 

  1. They know it will make them feel good all day
  2. They have fun and feel like they belong

Nordic Walking can always achieve the first factor as its a brilliant whole body workout that makes you feel energised  BUT factor two is all down to how well the Instructor has planned the route, the class content and more importantly…..the whole experience. That’s where the CAR BOOT CAFE comes in…………………………

 The what? I hear you say!

Yes, the CAR BOOT CAFE! Generally Instructors aim to plan walks that end at Cafes or Pubs but sometimes they want to explore areas with less facilities and that’s how the Car boot Cafe was born. Tired walkers would simply leap into their cars at the end of these particular walks so there would be no nattering or feeling of ‘reward’ that was captured when there was somewhere to relax with a drink after a walk. Savvy Instructors spotted this and leaped into action to make every walk a more rewarding and sociable experience.

Many now provide a hot drink from the boots of their cars but the concept has gone from strength to strength and now seems to form a vital part of the NWUK experience. In the picture above (of Norfolk Nordic walking) we are reliably informed the cups contain mulled wine with ginger no less and we see everything from cake shares to picnics these days!

One group even have a Campervan cafe (see the delicious menu at the start of this article and image to the left) This luxury ‘eaterie’ enables the group from Harmony Nordic walking to create pop up picnics in stunning locations where the deck chairs come out as well – what a way to relax after a walk? 

Sam Armstrong (pictured left ) from WALX Derwent and Dales was one of the early innovators who started to haul mega flasks of hot water around to her more remote walks. Whilst in Dorset, Sally Challis started what was affectionately referred to as Aunt Sally’s basket after a coffee lover admitted he would skip certain walks because there was no coffee at the end! Both of these groups ask for a donation to a local charity and now, the car boot cafes are a standard feature on the NWUK circuit with more instructors going the extra smile and taking time to create a real sense of camaraderie and belonging after every walk.

SAM says  “We started doing these in 2009 when one of our NW’s got fed up of the pub not being able to provide us with a coffee when we finished the walk. So he took it upon himself to start bringing a flask and some cups for us all. This progressed to us providing a drink and a snack to one other walk a week and charging 50p for the drink and 50p for the homemade snack, we are now doing this 3 x per week as the other walks have a café we can go to. Once our costs are covered all the rest goes to charity, over the years we have raised money for Prostate Cancer Uk, Dogs for Good,  Treetops Hospice Cancer Support, Sock and Chocs, Derby Homeless Charity (twice) and probably more that I can’t remember. I have to rely on my amazing Walk Leaders to help out with this although I do take responsibility with one of them. Whilst this does put a little extra pressure on me at 7am every Friday, I could not possibly think about not taking the coffee!!

We now have provided all our members with the recycled bamboo WALX mugs which is partly to help the environment by not having throw away cups and partly for marketing purposes as well as no washing up!.  They now are really good at bringing these to their walks so we do not have to provide cups any more. 

We try and invite a guest speaker to our Christmas Lunch to talk about the chosen charity and have a whip around during the lunch. Combined we raise at least £500 per year for each charity, raise awareness for the charities and gain a sense of continued friendship. It helps us to support those who are new and is so sociable that some members turn up early at the end of on walk to grab a coffee with us before the start of the next walk! It is now a firm fixture on many of our walks and woe betide you if you forget the milk or leave the flask on the side in the kitchen!

Tracy Reeve from Nordic Walking Watford (pictured) says

“I started running my Car Boot Cafes nearly 3 years ago. 

The group are a very sociable bunch and so staying for a coffee and a chat after the walk is now a big part of what we do. Most of the time we are blessed with lovely cafes, but for walk venues where there isn’t, I bring along a selection of hot and cold drinks and someone will usually make cakes too. 

Each year our members nominate a charity they would like to support from a selection of 5 or 6 chosen by myself and the walk leaders. We try to select charities which are local to us. Contributions from the Car Boot Cafes go directly to the charities and over the year this soon mounts up. 

In 2017 and 2018 our nominated charity was Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and we raised over £1700 for them mainly through the Car Boot Cafes and a couple of challenge events. This year our members chose Hertfordshire Mind Network, which is really appropriate – so much of what we provide at Nordic Walking Watford is not just about physical health – it is about mental health too.

Exercising outdoors in green space, with people who become your friends, has a very powerful and positive effect on our mental wellbeing. In addition we also always run a specific Macmillan Car Boot Cafe in September too.  We travel with our Car Boot Cafe and last year took it to Epping Forest when we shared a joint walk with Nikki Barnett and her gang. 

So, it’s easy to see what draws people out on inclement days or otherwise… the thought of some friendly banter and a cuppa after one of the most effective workouts you can get! Simples!

We loved doing this feature so much that we just had to add some more images courtesy of MK Nordic walking and Sherwood Nordic Walking. Thanks to all the groups who shared the fun with us!

 

 

           

Couch to Coast – what a way to get active!

We love initiatives that inspire people to get out and active so when the South West Coast Path association got in touch to see if we could help them inspire people along their route we had to get involved.

SWCP had linked up with Active Devon who we have worked with before over the years and it soon became apparent that a NW course on the stunning North Devon Cost might be a great way to winkle (pardon the pun) people off their sofa’s for the initiative they were calling Couch to Coast!

That was not a problem for us as we have a great delivery Partner in the area who delivers courses and walks with her team of Ladies. Jane Cumming is also a physio so can help those not used to exercise or concerned about fitness or mobility.

We are delighted to see the first Nordic walking course is now available and that participants will also be able to attend a weekly walk as part of the scheme too. Even better that all those who take part will be able to browse Jane’s additional list of walks and possibly even be tempted to take their new skill further afield and join one of the 2,000 plus available every week in the UK

Who knows…… they may continue around the SW Cost Path and land up at NWUK HQ on the final section some day!

You can read more about the Couch to Coast concept here 

It worked for us! – whether you want to lose weight or abseil – try Nordic Walking!

THE AMAZING PAM LOST 8 STONE – Here’s her story
 
“Following a routine appointment with a nurse at my local surgery, I was told a few home truths about being overweight (nothing I didn’t know already), however, the way in which I was told was really quite hurtful. This was the push I needed to make me seriously think about how to make some changes to my lifestyle. I needed to think consciously about what I was eating, also drinking (the wine would have to go) and start planning meals a bit more etc etc. I was offered a referral to Slimming World which I accepted. So this was the start…
Having decided that the answer was not just a diet alone, some regular exercise would be needed, but what to choose? Being overweight, I couldn’t face going to the gym! Around the same time, there were some free Norfolk Nordic Walking Taster sessions being organised by our Aviva Wellbeing Group at work. I thought this could be it, a good way to incorporate some regular exercise, so signed up. Anyone can walk, right? Well, as it turns out, there is a bit of a technique to master, but in the capable hands of our instructor, Rebecca, I soon had my ‘NWUK Passport’ and was on my way.
Just over a year ago when I started, I was the one always at the back huffing and puffing, trying to keep up with the others. What a difference a year makes. Now it’s a different story. I can’t believe how much my fitness has improved over the year. Some niggling hip pain from osteoarthritis is now non-existent. I am no longer at the back of the group, nearer the front. I have bags more energy, so much so, I have joined Rebecca and the Norfolk Nordic Walking Team to compete in the 2020 Marriott’s Way Half Marathon in February, being nearly eight stone lighter!
Rebecca runs two workout sessions a week up at Broadland Business Park which I regularly attend (shifts allowing). As these sessions take place straight after work, I just love the convenience of it. I can get straight out of the office after a stressful day at work and we soon get walking at a brisk pace to blow away the cobwebs. The hour flies by.
I cannot recommend this form of exercise enough. It has helped me immensely over the past year. In fact you could say, it has changed my life. If you don’t know what to do to get a bit more active, please try this. You will be welcomed into a friendly group of like minded people of mixed ability and I’m sure you’ll fit right in.”
 
SANDY JONES – SUPER WOMAN!

This e mail to Instructor Ian Northcott from one of his regulars made his day and sums up the job satisfaction he and his fellow NWUK Instructors get on a regular basis (although we have to admit most of our clients don’t quite reach Sandy’s heights!)

I am currently on a trip up the coast from Perth in Western Australia with a group of young back packers (I am 72). Yesterday I did a challenging 3 1/2 mile trek into Kalbarri Gorge with some abseiling included. My younger friends and the guide were impressed with what I achieved with remarks ‘my mother could not have done that’ and ‘do you go to a gym’ from a young Chinese lad who wants to be able to do this when he is my age. I could not have achieved this without you Ian and all the resistance training circuits, trek fit at Ryland, Hill walking in the Clent Hills and your team of walk leaders, Elaine, Malcolm, Carol

SO, If you want 2020 to be the year you achieve something spectacular…………….. you know what you need to do folks! Visit www.nordicwalking.co.uk and search for your local group

NEW year NEW View!

Every New year you see heaps of advice about health, fitness and happiness often with the title NEW YEAR NEW YOU. At Nordic Walking UK however, we think that should read NEW YEAR …….NEW VIEW because unlike many of the other so called solutions to improving fitness, we think its all about your outlook!

NO, we don’t mean the outlook on your laptop, we mean a positive outlook on life and towards being more active every day. So how do we think our message is different from the gyms and other exercise regimes out there? It’s simple, we can change your outlook because we literally do change your outlook or view every time you join one of our sessions!

Why visit a gym where the view is potentially a sweaty you looking back from a mirror when you could be working every muscle you have whilst exploring places you never knew existed? Our Instructors work hard to inspire you with quality teaching tips and advice as well as plenty of VARIETY. We know that those who take on a new regime are highly likely to quit after a few sessions due to a number of reasons so we work hard to make every session worthwhile. We spend hours searching out brilliant routes that will challenge you at the right level but be full of interest too.

Its much more pleasing to work that bit harder to climb a hill if you are rewarded with a VIEW at the end” says Martin Christie from Nordic Walking UK “And even better if you have a laugh as you do it” We also like to change your view about exercise in general by making sure our sessions are good fun and tailored to your level – no scary Instructors, gym bunnies or need to don tight lycra either! What we do always manage though, is to make sure you get RESULTS and leave feeling energised! 

Another reason people stick to our sessions is that our groups of like minded people who also have a positive outlook. Don’t take our word for it though – here’s what Ursula from Milton Keynes thinks

I am so happy that I discovered Nordic Walking.

I had to stop running, after many years, due to Osteoarthritis in my hip. Waiting for a diagnosis took a long time and I could feel myself getting very low. Once I knew I couldn’t run anymore, I looked to see what activities there were in my local area of Milton Keynes… I signed on to the ‘Learn To Nordic Walk’ course and joined Milton Keynes Nordic Walking. That was October 2018 and I have not looked back since. I am feeling so much better physically and happier in myself. I have no more neck, hip and back pain and I have met wonderful like minded people and made new friends who enjoy exploring our beautiful Milton Keynes area. Our group have Nordic Walked the 10 Mile ‘Midnight Moo’ to support Willen Hospice and had GREAT fun at ‘Purbeck’ the brilliant Nordic Walking festival in Dorset.(see pic below)

Nordic Walking is in my opinion a wonderful remedy for body, mind and soul. 

Ursula (age 66 yrs)

 

So get started this New year and the best VIEW you will get is the NEW YOU that you see in the mirror!

 

WALKING IN THE PROSECCO HILLS!

 

The Prosecco hills in Italy

WALX DORSET are going on Tour this Autumn and want YOU to come and enjoy a long weekend in magnificent scenery with them!

This EXCLUSIVE trip has been put together by our Partners at EXODUS Holidays and is going to be an unforgettable long weekend of walking, relaxing and possibly sampling a Prosecco or two (rude not to!)

THE DATES ARE:-  24th – 29th September 2020

A perfect way to wind down after the Purbeck WALX festival and enjoy some warmth before the chilly nights draw in. 

The trip is open to Friends and Family too but we do need to know by mid January if you would like to join us so have a read through and let us know by e mailing Lucie@nordicwalking.co.uk to register your interest and to get a full info pack – LIMITED PLACES ….DON’T MISS OUT!

Prosecco may well be one of the world’s most famous and appreciated wines, but its home, a place where vineyards cling to the sides of endless rolling hills and quaint mediaeval villages dot the lush verdant landscape, remains one of Italy’s best undiscovered secrets. On this regenerating and soul-fuelling weekend adventure, we get the chance to walk this beautiful wine region which has recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and visit one of the best producers for a guided tasting of the finest local bubbles. There is also time to visit charming Asolo, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, and tuck into delicious ‘cicchetti’ (small snacks) and Aperol Spritz in some of Treviso’s traditional canalside osterias.

At a Glance

  • 3 nights at 4-star hotel, all rooms en suite
  • 4 days walking and sightseeing
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 18 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 700; average 500m
  • Well marked trails and paths
  • Travel by private air-conditioned minibus
 

Is This Trip for You?

Grade: 2 (Leisurely/ Moderate). 

On days 2 and 3 of the itinerary we walk for 3 to 5 hours (including stops).

The terrain and type of path will vary from manmade paved tracks and tarmac, to forest trails and dirt roads. The walks are easy, although some ascents, occasionally steep, and descents should be expected: a reasonable amount of fitness is required.  Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximates only, include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of the group. 

 

A local leader will be with the group throughout the trip and aA local licenced guide will accompany the group in Treviso.

Come and join us!

E mail lucie@nordicwalking.co.uk asap to reserve a place

 

Pop a toy into HQ and make a child smile on Christmas Day!

This year our local Charity is Cash for Kids and they really need MORE presents for disadvantaged Children. We thought we would help out by becoming a drop off point where the folk of Purbeck and our visitors from further afield can pop an unwrapped gift into our collection box. We will make sure that get to the charity and the team here are also pitching in with a variety of lovely goodies for Children of all ages.

Last year we had a bumper sack load of gifts and this year we aim to exceed that BIG TIME so please pick up one extra gift next time time you hit the shops. Gifts for Boys and teenagers would be ideal but anything you can spare will make sure another child wakes up with a smile on Christmas Day!

Last date for the drop off is 16th Dec so come and see us for a coffee and even a quick browse of our store whilst you are here!

We are at :-

French Grass Works, Kingston Road, Worth Matravers, Dorset BH19 3JP  – call us if you get stuck! 0333 1234 540

 

 

Testimonials – How Nordic walking helped me to breathe better

Every season we like to share a good news story or two as way of inspiring others to take their first steps with us. We also like to remind our Instructors just how much their clients value them!

In this issue as the air becomes damper, we thought we’d focus on a couple of folk who have used Nordic Walking to conquer or manage breathing and lung conditions – read on and be inspired!

Recent reports of how air pollution can cause an increase in heart attacks, strokes and Asthma (BBC 21st October) may put people off going outside and of course we need to be mindful of this factor in built up areas and on certain days where harmful emissions are higher due to weather etc. HOWEVER, there is also a huge amount of research that support the fact that those with breathing difficulties do need to exercise and that walking is recommended. 

Studies show that building overall fitness and the muscles used for breathing will make a huge difference and once people get over the initial fear that exercise makes them more breathless (which is actually a good thing if done gradually in a supportive group)

That’s why we wanted to feature these two Ladies who have managed to push past the fear of being breathless and gained the confidence to work hard enough to transform their health. NWUK Instructors are trained to deliver our Wellbeing programme which includes breathing exercises, functional movement for active ageing and the balance drills that Jenny describes below  – look out for the icon when booking your sessions.

Jenny Frankland (pictured here with the purple coat and headband) was feeling really low and lethargic when she took the plunge and joined her local group WALX Dorset. Battling a lung disease called Sarcoidosis which thankfully has been stable for the last five years she struggled to find an activity she could actually do and also liked to do. Walking was the answer but on her own it was easy not to push herself . “The support and encouragement of the Instructors has made all the difference, they taught me how to breathe well, how to improve balance and strength, how to take things at a pace suitable for me and stayed with me every step of the way on my initial walks. I am now walking at a good pace for a number of miles and even climbing hills I would never thought I could manage” she says. “They have such empathy which I now know is because they themselves have improved their fitness via Nordic Walking and that plus the lovely sociable group full of like minded people makes the walks a pleasure to do. I can’t believe that I now really enjoy this exercise and feel amazing after every walk. I have great plans for the coming year with new goals to achieve on my walks and even more excited to get the next results of my lung function tests which I am certain will show a great improvement.”

Susan, aged 74 – from Lancashire became asthmatic following a lung section operation after being diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in 2010.  “I joined a local walking group in the hope that the fresh air and exercise would help to improve my breathing, but it wasn’t enough.  Then, in the Summer of 2018, a new Nordic Walking group started in my village.  It sounded interesting; it was more than ‘just walking’; I signed up immediately.  After initial training with my local Instructor Cecilia, I joined as many of the regular Nordic Walks as possible and went walking with my husband.  With Cecilia’s encouragement, hills that I used to struggle to climb became easier by the week and, by Christmas, my blood oxygen levels had risen to 98% from 93% 12 months previously.  I was using my reduced lung capacity much more efficiently and it was all thanks to Nordic Walking.  I recommend anyone who thinks it is impossible because of a lung condition to JUST DO IT. You might have a lot to gain and there are lots of Nordic Walking friends waiting to meet you and drink some coffee at the end of each walk!

OUR TOP TIPS for those who struggle with their breathing…..

  1. Take things slowly and one walk at at a time
  2. Be aware of weather conditions and air quality
  3. Take two steps for every breath in and three for every breath out
  4. Walk with a group and make sure the Instructor knows your limits
  5. NEVER try to keep up if you can’t
  6. If you need to get your breath back, stop and breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose before exhaling through the mouth with your lips pursed. This is far more effective than gasping and taking short breaths.

The biggest tip of all is to keep as active as possible and to get outside whenever the weather and conditions allow!

All speed – no substance?

Recently I have been fascinated about the way some people seem to connect the exercise benefits of pole walking only to SPEED rather than thinking about engaging as many muscles as possible in a way that will maximise the over all training effect . Used correctly, poles will tone the upper arms and provide a highly effective cardiovascular workout but not if you only seek to move fast with them. In fact being too speedy could have the opposite effects and reduce the toning and cardiovascular benefits gained by using more muscles in a controlled way

Yes, its true that using poles will make you feel lighter on your feet and will therefore help you move faster than normal but if you think back to the origins of Nordic Walking and imagine the ‘push’ of the pole into the snow in order to gain propulsion, you can begin to appreciate that it was not a fast action but a strong concentrated effort in order to harness the power of the upper body in order to make you glide forward. Today’s Nordic Walker in the UK may not be using it to train for this precise gliding action but they would do well to focus on the quality of their pole plant and make sure that they are not simply tapping it into the ground and going through the motions in order to move quickly

So, how do we take stock and work on quality pole planting? The best things to do is to think of the cross trainer in the gym, use it with low resistance and you can work all of your muscles and move pretty fast BUT up the resistance levels and slow down to really feel the training effect. Nordic walking is similar and a good way to practise this is by using a one arm pole plant to begin with!

DRILL 1 – The one pole practice drill

Yes, put one pole aside and take care to slow the movement down as you slowly push into the pole strap whilst rolling up onto the opposite toes before pushing off. What you should feel (providing you have kept your arms fairly straight as per good technique) is that there is a point in that movement sequence where your body weight is being held by the upper body via the pole and the foot just before you push into the next step. Now try ‘hovering’ in this position briefly and feel how your core engages too. It’s this element that will be lost if you rush the pole planting in order to step forward again at speed.

Now go through the one pole drill again and simply tap the pole as you quickly step forward on the opposite leg – you should be able to feel far less upper body and core engagement and actually less propulsion too. This ‘tapping’ is a bad habit to get into and results in very fast movements but often shorter strides and minimal upper body work

Here’s another drill that we find very useful:-

DRILL 2 – The buzz or counting drill

This time, go back to using both poles but as you plant them on the ground try counting loudly 1 2 3 in order to keep the pole in contact with the ground for longer with each arm movement. Think of the ‘tapping’ as a brief ‘1’ and now keep the pole on the ground for the count of 2 and 3. 

Another way of thinking about this drill is to imagine that the ground makes a sound when the pole hits it – like the buzzing sound generated by those children’s toys where you try to pass a loop over a fixed wire. Now plant the poles and imagine that the BUZZ sound needs to be a long concentrated buzzzzzz like a bee and not just a short buzz! OK, you may feel odd buzzing your way along with your poles but get this right and your upper body will thank you for it. 

What you will notice after a while is that you can still pick up the speed AND plant the poles to maximum effect as you build up fitness. The key difference is that you are working harder AND smarter and not just faster! 

Tips provided by Gill Stewart Author of the Complete Guide to Nordic Walking and the UK HQ Team.

 

Festival 2020 – tickets are now on sale

It seems like an age since the sun shone for a whole weekend and there was no mud but it did actually happen and in some style too! Yes the 4th Purbeck Nordic Walking festival was a major success with hundreds of walks and workshops walks in sizzling sunshine!

This year our sponsors GRUB’S SHOES, EXODUS and The OUTDOOR GUIDE (with Julia Bradbury) helped us to add more interest and open up the walks to more people. We were particularly delighted to welcome Debbie from Access TOG (pictured)who helped us plan our accessible walks which we aim to build on nationally throughout the year. Debbie also did a fantastic review in her blog which you can read HERE

There were so many new ideas and experiences we could not possibly mention them all but the Alpaca walks were a major hit as was the Promenade and Prosecco on Swanage beach! Workshops included our new YOGA WALX, Navigation, Smoveys and the ever popular Check your tech(nique)with our experts whilst presentations covered topics like adventure holidays and how to prepare for challenge events.  

Talking of the latter, the two distance challenges (27 and and 16 miles) across some of the most stunning but challenging coastal terrain saw some amazing times and inspirational stories. Each and every finisher worked hard to complete the distance and definitely earned the medal and T shirts!

 

 

                         

 

Once again, however, it was the social element of the event that made it so special with glorious supper walks on tranquil beaches and a lively music supper at the HUB where people sat around crackling braziers and danced as the moon rose over Corfe Castle. The HUB is where we have presentations and workshops plus a food village and massive store full of poles, backpacks and walking goodies.

The festival HOSTs are all volunteers mainly from the local DORSET WALX group but also Instructors and leaders from other groups some of which (like Colin from Derbyshire, pictured with our favourite box!) came and spent days route planning and helping with the setting up. As you will see from the review below – these amazing people are the essence of the event and we are always looking for more so give us a shout if you are a smiley, patient and fun loving person who loves to get stuck in!

 

In case you wonder what festival goers say about the event and why so many have already re booked their tickets for next year

(WHICH YOU CAN ALSO DO BY CLICKING HERE )

Read on………………….

Dear Team I want to say a huge thank you for the fantastic walks your provided over last weekend. It was my first time in Purbeck and taking part in such a big event and it was just brilliant. The organisation was first class and all the walk leaders I met were really nice and helpful. I will come again!!! and may even tackle the 16 mile challenge. Many thanks for your hard work. Ursula

Had a great time and it’s an amazing event.  I feel privileged to be part of it.  And more than happy to help again next year. 

Just a quick note to say a big thank you to all of you for masterminding what was a really fantastic weekend. The walks were fabulous and the area is absolutely stunning – I wanted to move house immediately!  Not easy to put on such a big event so well done to everyone and please do pass both mine and Simon’s thanks to all involved (I know most wont’ be on this email).  We’ll definitely be coming again next year

Thank you ALL for your fantastic Purbeck Event which I had previously decided not to attend because I wasn’t sure if I could manage much of it.  But our local ND Walk Leader (Nicky Sanders) gave the confidence to come & it did me a power of good, physically & mentally.

Thanks Festival Team. We had a brilliant time and definitely be back next year. 😁

Well done to all the organisers.

For Gill and the administration team. Congratulations and many thanks. For me going to Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival, is an amazing achievement, with my son joining us after his accident few years ago and my husband motivated enough to make the choice  of walks. This is our three day health therapy. Thank you 

Thanks for another fantastic Festival, with interesting workshops, great instructors and walks – all topped off with marvellous weather! 

You and your team put enormous work in to make the event a success year on year, I hope you are having a rest now!  Congratulations also to the cheery ladies in the organisers’ tent for keeping it all together. Till next time,

So much fun and so many laughs! A true tonic!

Next year we are going EVEN BIGGER and have a new image – as the PURBECK WALX FESTIVAL we will have more walks, more experts, a whole day of professional Instructor workshops and an even bigger party night on the Saturday. Follow the event on Facebook @WALX Festival to find out what we have planned and when walks are open for booking etc.

We are delighted to now be working with the team from the original Swanage Walking Festival so we can combine forces to provide interesting, inspirational and safe walks for all ages and abilities.

Looking after your Nordic Walking Poles

We know its really muddy out there and your poles are likely to be subjected to wet weather, snow and even road salt soon – here are our tips for giving your poles a little TLC to make sure they keep working perfectly throughout the winter months.

To make sure your poles don’t let you down you should:

  • Always clean your poles after use
  • Remove the paws after each walk so they do not get stuck on too tight
  • Loosen your height adjustment regularly rather than keep it tightly at the selected height
  • Not over tighten your adjustment mechanism
  • Store your poles in a dry environment

If you are having trouble with tightening or adjusting your poles our team of experts are on hand to show you how – see videos and explanations for common problems below.

Pole adjustment does not tighten up

This is a common problem on brand new poles and is very quick to fix.  Simply watch this video for a full explanation

To explain this further, the poles are adjusted by tightening an expandable plug to grip inside the pole, which can spin around and not tighten.  By gripping the blue plastic plug in the adjustment collar, this can begin to tighten the adjustment when back in the pole.

Pole Adjustment does not loosen

It is possible to ‘over tighten’ the adjustment mechanism, making it stick.  Also, if the poles have been stored dirty and wet from walks, moisture and dirt can creep up inside the adjustment making damaging the mechanism.  Try heating the outer section of the pole with hot water (be careful) and then with a tight grip and a bit of muscle, unscrew the mechanism.  Sometimes lubricating the join with washing up liquid can also help.

Poles are bent

Sometimes, aluminium poles are bent when you accidentally trip over them or catch them in a hole or drain.  Cheaper models can also bend when excessive force is put through them when used to support your full body weight for example.  However, the most common reason by far is in the storage of the poles – when they are bundled in the back of the car and your shopping piled on top!

Both Carbon and Aluminium poles are very strong but a padded bag can really help protect them in transit. We have a range of pole bags to suit all types and sizes so check out the bag section of our Nordic Walking STORE   

If you have any other questions the Retail team at Nordic Walking UK can help – call them on low cost number 0333 1234 540 at any time.