WIN a £250 Cotswold Outdoor voucher!

Enter our Nordic Walking UK members’ New Year competition for a chance to WIN a fabulous prize!


The Nordic Walking UK team are very excited to announce that this month the prize is from the lovely people at Cotswold Outdoor and it is a voucher for £250.

 

Cotswold Outdoor have hundreds of brands in their range for walking, running, climbing, cycling, skiing, camping and watersports, so there will be plenty for our lucky winner to choose from.

Not a member? You can join now at nordicwalking.co.uk for exclusive members’ benefits PLUS a chance to win this fantastic prize.

Membership costs £9.95 for twelve months plus £2.50 p&p for your membership card and pack. You can join for FREE (subject to £2.50 p&p) if you complete a Learn to Nordic Walk Freedom Passport course with a NWUK instructor. Looking for a course near you? You can search for courses and classes on Exercise-Anywhere.com.

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

Last date for entries: 31 January 2018

PRIZE:
A Cotswold Outdoor voucher worth £250

Ts & Cs:
One winner will be drawn from correct entries received by the closing date and will win a Cotswold Outdoor gift voucher to the value of £250, valid until 12/01/2019.
Gift Cards can be redeemed online at www.cotswoldoutdoor.com or in any Cotswold Outdoor stores. If the full value of the gift card is not redeemed in one transaction, the remaining value will stay on the gift card. No cash alternative.

And the winner is… December’s Hi-Tec competition result

Don’t miss your chance to win lovely things in our Nordic Walking UK members’ competitions!

December’s prize was a super pair of Hi-Tec Bandera II waterproof walking shoes (RRP £79.99).  The lucky winner was drawn from the correct entries received by the closing date 31 Dec 2017.

The quiz question was ‘In what year did Hi-Tec celebrate their 40th anniversary?’ and the answer (which could be found on Hi-Tec’s website) was 2014.

Diane rests her poles while out walking with Instructor Sam Armstrong

The winner is Diane Marshall of Derby who walks with NWUK instructor Sam Armstrong.  Diane is pictured here resting her poles for a moment in a woodland den on one of Sam’s walks in the beautiful Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.

If you would like to experience Nordic Walking in the Peak District our Rustick! Nordic Walking Festival on 4th and 5th May will be the perfect opportunity. You can find out more and register at www.nordicwalking.events and if you are a member you can save £5 on the cost of your ticket by logging into the members’ area on nordicwalking.co.uk and finding the discount code.

Although this competition is closed now, members of Nordic Walking UK can get 20% discount on purchases from www.hi-tec.co.uk as one of their membership benefits.

Not a member? Sign up at nordicwalking.co.uk and click ‘join’. Look out for more chances to WIN prizes in our competitions coming soon.

Walking poles for WEIGHT BEARING – a Physio’s View.

Pam Jolliffe, an extremely active Physiotherapist who was a keen Nordic Walker – outlines how she trialled the Urban Poling Activator poles following a dramatic change in her health and mobility

June 2017 just 5 days before my 70th my life was disrupted by a stroke and despite a moderately rapid recovery the immobility caused a final rapid deterioration of my hips allowing only about 10 strange steps without support. Following replacement of both my hips in the new- year a new life should begin. In the meantime I am thrilled to have found the Activator poles -originally introduced to me as Physio or rehab poles.

In 2013 I attended Nordic walking sessions to see if I could recommend the training and the poles to my Physiotherapy and Pilates clients. Climbing and mountaineering have been my love and I had previously used trekking poles, so I learned the benefit of using the Nordic strap to take some weight and lighten the grip.

The physics of using walking sticks has been etched in my mind since a brilliant physiotherapy lecturer brought the ergonomic principles of the remarkable weight relief given by using a stick in the opposite hand to the affected leg. Simply the distance from stick rubber on ground to foot is about four times further than if held on the same side.

The physics works incredibly – very little weight goes through the stick. We can picture the person with a stick next to the same foot leaning heavily. Now visualise a runner the right arm and left leg reaching forward. This trunk and pelvic counter rotation improves power and efficiency.

Nordic walking uses these principles but add a new element by creating a driving or propulsive force forward while giving some weight relief. This force is by virtue of the Nordic glove, the steep backward angle of the poles and the remarkably shapes pads – the “paws”- for hard ground.  Excellent technique requires training and encourages the posture which has been my mantra as a therapist encourages a powerful and efficient walking pattern. The Nordic method uses the link between upper and lower body diagonally across the core muscles reducing joint stress from rib cage through lower spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet.

However if like me joints are so severely worn that poles are required in the house your major need is weight relief and the propulsive force is not quite so important. The solution is Activator poles. These have a weight bearing ‘shelf’ built into the handle (see image). This clever shelf  takes a great deal more body weight than the Nordic glove and is also  more practical when poles are constantly being put down to do a task when in constant daily use in the home.

The “ulna” or little finger side of the hand rests on the shelf while fingers lightly hold the pole. The poles have less spring than my old travellers, feeling solid and supportive while remaining light. The technique remains similar with the pole angled backwards but to a lesser degree than Nordic and the extra large pads (paws) give really secure contact on the ground. I have found that they hold me more upright and generally improve my posture. I can see that they will be used right through my rehabilitation until I have recovered muscle strength and bulk which will once more support my joints and I can get back to thinking of more speed and power with my faithful travellers.

If you have been advised to be partial weight bearing you should be supplied with crutches designed for this job and taught by a professional.

I can see that as a professional these poles fit a much needed gap in the market and I can think of so many clients who could have benefitted.  Personally I think they are wonderful and I hope you can see how excited I am about them.

I Challenge YOU!!

Who is up for a challenge? And by that, I don’t mean those half-hearted resolutions that we make every January – the same ones we have made every year for the last five years!

No, I mean a good meaty challenge to focus on, one that takes you away from your daily life and that you could look back on at the end of the year and say with pride “I DID THAT”  – something that makes the year stand out for you in your memory, one that you will never forget and that spurs you on to do other things that you never thought you could do.  Continue reading

FESTIVAL FEVER

Purbeck in Dorset is the home of the aptly named Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival, a NWUK event which attracted over 700 pole walkers from a host of Nations in 2017.

This iconic event is now entering its third year and is about to GROW! This year, the festival goers enjoyed a choice of 120 walks, workshops, keynote presentations and a lot of fun. There was also a Marathon and 16 mile challenge event which included the new sport of speed hiking (a mix of running and walking with poles)

The unique themed walks included campfire suppers on an RSPB reserve, Literary walks, Geographical and Historical walks plus fun workout walks along rugged coastal paths.

Our festival team have listened to the feedback and suggestions from those who attended and and are now busy planning an even more fantastic event for 2018! Festival 3 will include a lot more social activity (including a range of Friday night ‘supper’ walks in amazing locations and a music event on the Saturday in an iconic setting.

We are busy training Festival Hosts and Leaders and would welcome applications from anyone who wants to be involved. E mail Emma@nordicwalking.co.uk if you can help in any way.

More information will soon be available on our NEW Festival website (launching soon) and we will open registrations for booking by the end of December.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS….

The Festival is booked by the day and there are 1, 2 and 3-day packages to choose from. When you initially register, all you need to do is select your preferred days in order to secure your place. It is possible to change those days and there is no need to do anything else until the full schedule is released in June. At this point, we will enable those who have registered the opportunity to choose which walks and workshops they would like to do, in order of the date they registered. We will also be simplifying group bookings in 2018 so make sure you let us know if you are coming with others.

Most of the walks and workshops are repeated to make them available on ALL 3 DAYS although the Marathon and 16 mile events are on the SATURDAY only and some specialist sessions may depend on the availability of an expert! A Day ticket will mean you can enjoy a choice of circa 30 activities from Dawn to Dusk and gain access to the HUB and social events. You even get a T shirt and Goodie bag!

All you need to do now is be ready to choose your dates as soon as we send the invitation out. It might also be an idea to book some accommodation –  we will have lots of ideas for you but the best locations are Wareham, Swanage and Corfe Castle – click here for some ideas. Bear with us as we build the new interactive Festival website which will make booking and changing walks really easy. In the meantime… the 2017 website is still live so you can see the type of things we have planned for 2018 plus a whole lot more! See 2017 website here

Can’t make it to Dorset or for that weekend in September?

INTRODUCING our FIRST ‘RUSTICK’ MINI FESTIVAL in DERBYSHIRE!!!

Come and join the HQ Team and the local Instructors for two days of walks, workshops and fun in the wonderful setting of TISSINGTON!

Come for the day or make a weekend of it – more info to follow but save the date

4th and 5th May 2018! 

 

 

 

Highlights from 2017

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It’s been a busy year again at NWUK – here are just a few of the highlights

The NWUK trailer hit the road this Summer and was seen in Scotland, the Lake District and even Blenheim Palace. Packed with equipment, goodies and information about Nordic Walking, watch out for it at an event near you in 2018!


NWUK Instructors Tracy and Sharon from Watford NW group visited the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital to work with Orthotic & Prosthetic Users earlier this year.

read more in the RNOH newsletter here 


The South West Coast Path is close to our hearts at NWUK as it features in many of our local walks and the Purbeck festival. That’s why we were so delighted that 37 Nordic Walkers from a range of groups and as far away as Watford helped us raise vital cash for its upkeep by taking part in the final leg of the SWCP challenge.


NWUK Instructor Bart from Lytham St Annes spread the NW message far and wide when he met lots of keen walkers on a recent trip to Japan. He even inspired some of them to book into the NWUK Purbeck Festival too which was lovely! Hopefully their trip will inspire more people to join us again next year?

We love this picture of Bart with his poles but wish the cloak had a touch more purple!!


Dame Kelly Holmes joined NWUK Instructor Janine Lewis (and her team which includes her flamingo Flo!) to help promote physical activity in Reading. Dame Kelly even had a go at Nordic walking by all accounts. Janine is one of many NWUK Instructors who flew the Purple flag this summer – well done to you all


Team NWUK entertained the crowds at the Countryfile Live show in August and had a ball introducing the thousands of visitors to the marvels of pole walking. We will be back in 2018 so come and see us (wear purple and be prepared to sing along!)


Hazel Smith, a NWUK Instructor from Hertfordshire managed to get 231 people to take part in a NW tuition class for a world record attempt in aid of the charity CHIPs. The event in September raised over 1,000 and a lot of fun was had by all.

Great effort Hazel and all involved!


SKY NEWS visited NWUK at one of their favourite partnership and festival sites, the RSPB reserve at Arne in Dorset to interview Gill and some amazing local walkers for a feature about Women in Sport

The piece aired twice on 5th Dec

 

Seven good reasons to take up Nordic Walking in 2018!

IT HELPS WITH 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 first hill!)

By September 2017 when the next picture was taken Emma was competing in the Purbeck 16 mile challenge and had lost 3 stone. Now she is over 4 stone lighter and works at NWUK HQ!

Emma says the challenge gave her the motivation to work hard and is contemplating the 27 event in 2018!


IT’S GREAT FOR ARTHRITIS!
“Having taken up Nordic Walking late last year, encouraged by my wife, I feel that I can honestly claim that it has helped me recover both fitness and body strength after a bad dose of arthritis some three years earlier. Medication helped overcome the initial effects of the arthritis, but soon this gave way to some of the more unpleasant side effects. The most severe of these was an attack on my gut lining resulting in poor absorption of food, which caused me to drop in weight from 12 stones to 9 stones. I am also type 2 diabetic, which means that I have to control my diet carefully.

Stopping taking the medication and avoiding certain food types saw my weight increase to 11 stone, where it has stabilised. Now, having taken up Nordic Walking, I have noticed that I feel much stronger, can walk much further than I have been able to for over three years – and a welcome side effect appears to be that my blood sugars have fallen to their lowest levels for some three to four years. And all of this whilst meeting a great bunch of people!”

IT HELPS WITH RISK OF DIABETES
It all started about 9 months ago when at the ripe old age of 64 my doctor informed me that my blood sugar levels were getting rather high and I was on the verge of clicking over into the the Type 2 Diabetes zone. He suggested I lose some weight and take more exercise. I wasn’t massively overweight (about 6 kg) but over the years had stopped taking regular exercise. What was worse was that the extra weight was all being carried in the worst possible place i.e. around the middle.

Luckily, my wife had seen a piece on breakfast TV about Nordic Walking. I was sceptical about trying it, since I thought what can walking do for a bloke of my age, but she insisted we give it a go. Thank God she did.

So what’s the position after 8 months of Nordic walking:-

  • I have lost about 4kg in weight
  • I have lost 2 inches off my waist
  • My blood sugar levels are near the normal category for a bloke of my age
  • I feel fitter, stronger and have more stamina and endurance.

– Gerry

IT’S GOOD FOR DIGESTIVE HEALTH
‘I started Nordic walking in September and already it has had a significant impact on my life.  Not only is it an extremely enjoyable way to exercise that I very much look forward to, but I have also noticed some significant health benefits.  My posture has noticeably improved which makes exercise much easier, more efficient and pleasurable to do.  However, for many years I have suffered quite severe digestive problems and much to my surprise since I have taken up Nordic walking this has completely disappeared and has not returned. I can see now how bad posture impacts on my body in many ways including my digestive system.  A final unexpected additional bonus,  I have actually lost weight.’

– Richard

IT’S SOCIABLE
I was looking for an alternative form of exercise when I had to give up swimming after developing a sensitivity to chlorine. I had heard about Nordic Walking and decided to try it. I found my Instructor through the Nordic Walking website and attended one of her courses to learn how to do it. I liked it from the start as it involves the upper body as well as the legs and provides a good work out. She is an excellent teacher and supports the mixed ability groups very well on the Adventure Walks. I also enjoy the social side, with conversation as we walk and some après walk treats in tearooms and pubs. Swimming lengths wasn’t very sociable!

– Diana

IT’S OUTDOORS
I was acutely aware, for some time, of the need to introduce some sort of exercise into my busy but largely sedentary routine. Given my age and gender – not to mention appalling levels of fitness and a gradually worsening weight problem – I have an aversion to gyms. I read about Nordic Walking and decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did! The walks are always in varied and scenic locations and leave me feeling energised. Despite having mild arthritis I have found that walking with poles helps to reduce the stress placed on joints and provides an enjoyable workout – it even burns more calories – hurrah! Being able to book walks in advance helps to keep me motivated and each walk is sociable and fun. Kate is a great teacher – her enthusiasm is infectious and she is extremely supportive and encouraging towards every member of the group. I would recommend Nordic walking to anyone wishing to improve or maintain their fitness level and who likes ‘the great outdoors’!

– Andrea


IT’S SIMPLY LIFE CHANGING!
I have decided to Nordic walk 500 miles in 2018 but that’s something I would never have imagined I would ever do!

My husband John died 6 years ago and I was totally exhausted, run down, lost and overweight. I joined Slimming World and started to lose weight. I knew I had to get fit and I was blessed to find Nordic walking and Mercian Nordic Walking in particular. The support from Ian, my Instructor has been amazing.

I now want to combine my love of Nordic walking with fundraising for the homeless charity Socks and Chocs which was set up by Ian.

I would like other Nordic walkers across the country to join me in this goal of Nordic walking 500 miles by opening up their own Virgin Money page for Socks and Chocs or simply donate to my quest via this link.

MY GOAL IS TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO WALK AND GET FIT SO THAT THEY CAN FEEL THE BENEFITS AS I HAVE DONE.

Nordic Walking offers more than just fitness, it offers a new way to enjoy life and meet new friends and proves that there is life after a sad loss.

– Lynne

IF THIS HAS INSPIRED YOU TO GET POLING IN 2018 – CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR LOCAL GROUP – SIMPLY POP IN YOUR POSTCODE AND SEARCH FOR A TASTER OR LEARN TO NORDIC WALK COURSE HERE

If you have a FREEDOM passport already, search for a range of fun walks and simply book in on line. Nordic walkers without a FREEDOM passport can gain one with a participating Instructor via a quick ‘refresher’ session – let us know if you would like us to arrange this for you – e mail support@nordicwalking.co.uk

Gift Ideas for Nordic Walkers

It’s the season to be Jolly which is perfect for Nordic Walkers who are a smiley bunch all year round, as you can see from the amazing pictures in our Calendar (which is available to buy for only £7.50! – click HERE)

However, they can be tricky to buy gifts for, especially if you don’t have a clue about Nordic Walking Poles, Waist packs and essential Nordic Walking Kit.

Have no fear, at Nordic Walking UK we have put together some lovely gifts that will suit avid Nordic walkers, occasional Nordic walkers and even wannabe Nordic walkers!


NORDIC WALKING GIFTS FOR BEGINNERS

Obviously Nordic Walking Poles are a good place to start and our tip is to make sure they are adjustable and made of good quality materials. there’s nothing as infuriating as a pair of poles that rattle, are the wrong height or can’t be lengthened as your NW technique improves. Our experts will help you get it right.

If you are buying poles for a Beginner, why not buy them lessons too – our gift vouchers will provide the Nordic Walking UK FREEDOM programme (plus FREE Membership of NWUK) with a local participating Instructor and you can team them up with poles, our best selling Nordic walking book and other kit too!

Click HERE to see the gift packs


NORDIC WALKING GIFTS FOR REGULAR NORDIC WALKERS

If your gift is for somebody who already Nordic walks, chances are they will have their poles already. However, it could be something they are looking to upgrade (maybe from aluminium to carbon or simply a better brand such as Leki or Gabel). Like all enthusiasts, it’s nice to have the best or latest kit, especially if you have improved or are doing more than ever. Our most popular quality pole in 2017 has been the sleek black Fizan Carbon pro which is stylish and super light too.


BAGS OF IDEAS

Other key items for Nordic Walkers are lightweight backpacks, waist bags and even bags to carry their poles when in transit – A Backpack needs to be fairly narrow on the back in order to not impede the  Nordic Walking arm swing action and all need to be comfortable and well fitted. Avoid cheap backpacks that do not have padded straps and a design which prevents the back from getting too sweaty. Check out our recommendations HERE

FINGERS, TOES and ANYTHING ‘PURPLE’ GOES

At this time of year, every Nordic walker needs to have a pair of gloves that do not make their pole straps too tight and a good pair of socks to keep their extremities warm!  Waterproof socks like the Sealskinz are a great option if shoes are not waterproof too. See the range HERE. Of course if they really want to look like a Nordic Walking pro, a bit of NWUK Purple goes a long way and this Purple Package contains all the essential NWUK branded items you could ever need

If you are still stumped for ideas, give our experts a call or pop in to our fully refurbished NWUK store in Dorset where we can offer you a cup of tea as we help you choose the perfect prezzie  from the largest range of Nordic walking products in the UK!


Parcels of nordic walking poles leaving NWUK HQ in Dorset

HOW TO FIND US……………

We are based just outside Corfe Castle on the Kingston Road towards Swanage. Postcode is BH19 3JP – Open every day 9 – 5 and Saturdays 10 – 2  Call us on 0333 1234 540

CAN’T MAKE IT IN PERSON? –  Order online for next day delivery and superior customer service. We only stock good quality NORDIC WALKING POLES and we know the difference!

 

 

 

Stay safe and upright this winter!

TOP TIP 1 – Stay Warm

It sounds obvious but getting cold is not only unpleasant, it can be dangerous too. Our ability to make decisions is greatly impaired if we get chilled and the risk of incidents or the ability to cope if one does occur is greatly increased.

Make sure you layer up and ALWAYS take a spare layer or at least a FOIL BLANKET out in severe weather

TOP TIP 2 – Be Seen

Although NWUK Purple can be seen in all conditions, be aware that white clothing will make you invisible in snowy or grey conditions and dark colours are not great in fog or if the light is poor. A lightweight hi Viz Gilet can be popped over your usual clothing and is super light. Pop one in your backpack to make sure you can be seen and perhaps even found in the case of an incident. This GILET is less than HALF price so snap one up FAST!

Pole lights, head torches and even flashing paws can also help you to be seen in poor conditions so make sure you have at least one in your backpack. Our Winter safe

TOP TIP 3 Stay upright!

We don’t advise that you Nordic Walk on icy pavements but you can Nordic Walk in soft snow as long as you check it’s not icy underneath and stick to grassy areas rather than harder surfaces. We love MERRELL shoes here at NWUK because they have Vibram soles which are great in slippy conditions and super comfy too. We also use Ice cleats or additional grips in the snow – try the HALF PRICE  ARTIMATE SNOW GRIPS.

TOP TIP 4 Keep feet and fingers dry!

Its always an idea to have shoes that are waterproof to stop you getting wet feet which will chill down very quickly and cause the rest of you to do likewise. An alternative option would be to use WATERPROOF SOCKS which are actually more comfortable than you would imagine and really do work! Sealskinz also do a range of waterproof gloves which make a huge difference in icy rain – much better than soggy wool which just makes your digits turn blue!

Our Purple warmer pack contains a Life Venture hot drinks flask

TOP TIP 5 – Carry a hot drink!

No, not a huge great Thermos but a small thermal leak-proof drinks carrier that is no bigger than a water bottle! We are bonkers about these little life venture drinks flasks here at HQ and that’s not just because they are purple (although that helps!). Just using hot water and a herbal teabag rather than your water can make all the difference when temperatures drop. It will encourage you to rehydrate and keep your core temperature up at the same time. Not to mention the caffeine boost if coffee is your tipple!

So no excuses chaps – keep Nordic Walking whatever the weather!

 

WIN a pair of Hi-Tec boots!

It’s Christmas competition time!

Enter our Nordic Walking UK members’ Christmas competition for an opportunity to WIN a fab pair of Hi-Tec boots worth £79.99!

Not a member? You can join now at nordicwalking.co.uk for exclusive members’ benefits PLUS a chance to win these great walking boots.

 

Membership costs £9.95 for twelve months plus £2.50 p&p for your membership card and pack. You can join for twelve months FREE (subject to £2.50 p&p)* if you complete a Learn to Nordic Walk Freedom Passport course with a NWUK instructor.

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

Last date for entries: 31 December 2017

 

PRIZE
A pair of Bandera II Waterproof walking boots or shoes RRP 79.99

Hi-Tec Terms & Conditions:
One winner will win one pair of Hi-Tec Bandera II Waterproof walking boots or walking shoes in a colour and size of their choice from stock available at https://www.hi-tec.co.uk/bandera-ii-waterproof-walking-boots-shoes/

Subject to availability
Delivery is available to UK and ROI addresses only
No cash alternative

* renewable annually at £9.95 plus p&p