Hints and Tips

This month’s tip is on nutrition. How do you fuel yourself before, during and after a walk?
It is best to eat at least 1 hour before a walk and keep it something light and easily digestible on the stomach. Something like oats with dried fruit and nuts, wholegrain toast and peanut butter or scrambled egg. These are high energy foods with slow release carbs and protein to help balance energy levels throughout the walk. If you are walking for an hour you probably won’t need to eat during the walk but anything longer than an hour and half you may want to snack on something like trail mix. This is easy to make yourself and consists of nuts, seeds and dried fruit which you can snack on handfuls regularly to keep your energy levels topped up.
Longer challenge walks or runs require a bit more planning on what you decide to eat. You will need to trial out different foods as you may find that you can’t stomach certain foods during the walk or run and the last thing you want on challenge day is an upset stomach!
Always make sure you are well hydrated before during and after any walk. Fatigue can be a sign of dehydration.
Gill from HQ remembers something as simple as marmite sandwiches at a feed station were a godsend when she was running her long distance events many years ago and at the Purbeck festival recently one of the leaders used squeezy sachets of baby food!
For post walk nutrition (apart from cake and coffee at the nearest café) you should consider topping up your hydration levels with water. A fruit smoothie with natural yoghurt and a spoonful of nut butter is a good way to replenish the glycogen in the muscles after a strenuous workout.

We are now working with a company called Mountain Fuel (founded by Rupert Bonnington – son of Chris) they have devised a balanced sports nutrition system designed to provide the body with the nutrition and energy to cope with any type of physical activity. Also ideal to keep in your backpack on a long walk.
The Mountain Fuel system provides sustained energy and recovery whilst also providing the vitamins, amino acids and minerals your body needs to perform at its best, taking the guesswork out of your fuelling needs.
Check out the range at NWUK Store and take advantage of your Members Discount.

Come to Corsica with the Dorset Nordic walking Team

If you enjoy Nordic Walking in lovely Dorset, why not join us to explore the Coast, Mountains and Villages of Corsica next May (12th – 19th)?

Join Gill from NWUK HQ plus Swanage based Instructor Sally and other Dorset Nordic walkers on a trip organised by EXODUS TRAVELS in conjunction with Nordic Walking UK. We have a few places left and would welcome individuals, couples, groups of friends etc. The walks are typically about 7 miles a day with one longer walk and a rest day. We aim to blend Nordic Walking with a lot of fun and we will be taking time to enjoy the scenery as we do in Dorset

Flights and Accommodation are included and if we get enough folk from Dorset, we aim to travel to the airport together if possible to save costs too.  Call 0333 1234 540 if you want to chat to us about it or want an info sheet but hurry as booking closes soon!

CORSICA TRIP INFO AT A GLANCE 

  • 7 nights in a family-run hotel with en suite facilities
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Well-marked trails, often rocky and uneven
  • Altitude maximum 1650m, average 800m
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • For more info about the trips (note our date will not so on the Exodus website as its a private trip)  – click HERE 

 

Join us on our bespoke Nordic Walking holidays

At NWUK we know what a Nordic Walker wants from a holiday and that’s why we have worked with travel experts EXODUS to select two perfect trips where exploring with poles is at the heart of the experience.

Exceptional scenery, qualified Leaders from our HQ Team plus the chance to meet up with other Nordic walkers from across the UK plus great accommodation and flights all included.

So, whether you are a lone traveller, couple or group of Nordic walkers – come and join us on our bespoke NWUK Trips.

Join us in 2019 and visit either Corsica or Chamonix Mont Blanc to enjoy a fun filled relaxed holiday with your poles!


The dates for our first two trips are:-

CORSICA
12th – 19th May 2018

CHAMONIX MONT BLANC
28th Sept – October 5th 2018

To book or for more information – contact us on: 0333 1234 540 or email support@nordicwalking.co.uk 

Both trips will be exclusively for NWUK and both will include plenty of moderate walks  – check out what’s included


CORSICA

  • 7 nights in a family-run hotel with en suite facilities
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Well-marked trails, often rocky and uneven
  • Altitude maximum 1650m, average 800m
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • For more info – click HERE


CHAMONIX MONT BLANC 

  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Travel by minibus, local train and cable car
  • Altitude maximum 2352m, average 1525m
  • 7 nights in comfortable chalet, all rooms with private bathrooms
  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • For more info – click HERE


If you would like to chat to us about the trips or have any questions – please call Gill on 0333 1234540

Out N About Summer 2018

Wessex Nordic Walkers took part in the Walk for a Brighter Future 10k raising over £250 for their local NHS hospital in Swindon. NWUK Instructor Ashley Sandy  led the way with all that and took first place with others in the group just behind her.

Groups around the UK have found that taking part in a charity walk is a great way to add some oomph to your Nordic walk and do good at the same time                                              

Tracy Larvin from Mercian Nordic Walking was one of a group of Nordic Walkers form Glocestershire nd Worcestershire who took part in the Cotswold 24 hour race – Tracy, however was the Nordic walker who covered the most miles in the 24 hours – read more about the event and their personal accounts here 

A hot Summers day in Cheshire saw the ‘Millenials Nordic Walking Group’ heading for the shade and wearing their best sunhats. Reason for their name? Simple, their combined ages total over 1000! Yep, we’re talking  92,91,85,84,84,84,83,83,80,77,73,73,69,50,47years.! 

Becki Stevenson and her group from Wales got to the top of Pen y Fan on one of the few wet days of 2018! Whilst South Warwickshire NW seem to have got their priorities right – even their cupcakes are branded! We hope that they had purple plates too!

The HQ Team toured the UK in June July and August with appearances at the Grasmere Gallop, Keswick Mountain Festival and Countryfile Live and it was great to see hundreds of purple clad people take part in the Gallop which is the first ever Nordic Walking event in the UK and one we are proud to support every year. As you can see from the pictures it’s a great event in a stunning place and the perfect chance to meet up with other Nordic Walkers. Join us in 2019 see HERE for details of how to enter

 

 

 

See you there?

We will be at the Countryfile Live event 2019 again too although we doubt it will be quite as hot! This year we sweltered at Blenheim Palace and soldiered on with Tasters in the shade as the 125,000 visitors tried to stay cool (even opting to be doused by the local Firefighters) The heat did not dampen the spirits of the NWUK Instructors who worked tirelessly to promote Nordic Walking                                                            It was also hot for the 10th Anniversary of Sam Armstrong who started her Mid Derbyshire group back in 2008 when she was one of the earliest Instructors to train with NWUK . Her brilliant group gave her a party to remember. What was lovely is that  walkers who also started with her 10 years ago were keen to tell us how grateful they are to Sam and her team for providing such a brilliant, effective and enjoyable way to exercise with lovely people. 

 

A unique Festival of Fun!

The Isle of Purbeck in Dorset once again became PURPLEBECK this September when Nordic Walkers from around the World arrived to take part in the 3rd Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival organised by local company Nordic Walking UK

Dressed in their signature Purple branded shirts they took part in over 120 different walks and workshops which saw them experience this amazing location at its best. The walks took in the coastline, the history, the geology, the scenery and the literature that makes the area so unique whilst the local hospitality added delicious cream teas, meals and more!

The main HUB for the event was ideally placed by the Norden Park n Ride in Corfe Castle which meant Festival goers could easily park for free and get around the area via buses and the local Steam Railway. There was even a Purple Express Train that took them back to Swanage after the Saturday Evening music event where bands played as people enjoyed a rustic Hog Roast or choice of suppers and local Cider.

On the Saturday, a large proportion of the walkers took part in two challenge events organised by the Purbeck Marathon team. The 16 mile and 27 walks took them out in to the most dramatic and rugged scenery and it was certainly no walk in the Park!

The outright winner this year in a time of 6 hours 26 mins was Tracy Larvin from Bromsgrove who is fast becoming the one to beat when it comes to endurance Nordic Walking. Here she is getting her trophy. You can view the rest of the results HERE

It was not only the speedy folk who were celebrated at the Prize presentation either – These three (Duncan, Kathy and Caroline) were awarded the Inspiration prize as nominated by their Instructors. Great stories that remind us of how many people battle ill health to stay active or how in just two years it’s possible to go from coach potato to taking part in the Marathon challenge (yes the two Ladies are wearing marathon medals!). They were no dry eyes in the crowd and it was great to embrace how Nordic Walking is for all levels and really changes lives.

The new scenic and private HUB area was buzzing with registrations, retails opportunities, presentations and workshops which included beginner’s courses, rehabilitation sessions, Ski fit, Speedhyking (see picture) and a host of other technique and training options.

All participants were given a T shirt (purple of course) plus a goodie bag which contained a festival neckerchief courtesy of Fizan poles. Every walk was lead by a qualified and first aid trained leader and back markers where in place to ensure everybody made it back safely too. A Team of Orange clad volunteer Hosts which included NWUK Instructors from around the UK plus local Nordic Walkers from the Dorset Nordic walking group made the event go without a hitch and Festival goers remarked on their efforts which even included rubbish recycling and traffic management. 

Organiser Gill Stewart from Nordic Walking UK said, “we simply could not put on the walks and workshops without this team of dedicated Folk who spend all year mapping and risk assessing walks and helping come up with our innovative programme” On that note…. Many of the Festival goers have already reserved their accommodation for next year and Gill and the team have already pre booked the Cream Teas, Ferries and Bands that make this event so iconic. Dates for 2019 are 13th – 15th September and tickets are about to be released. Get in early as those who book first get the first choice of walks and workshops when the full timetable is released in June and those with tickets can log in to book specific walks and workshops in order to make up their own schedule for the weekend. Tickets cost from £25 a day which gives access to at least 3 walks and workshops plus presentations and access to the HUB and music events.

 

 

 

 


Don’t take our word for it – check out this feedback…………………….

Thanks for a great festival, great walks, lovely people and enjoyed the hub on Saturday night!

Thank you so much for a fantastic day on Saturday, I had a brilliant time and thoroughly enjoyed every single moment. Great walk in the morning followed by several workshops, all excellent and well run, I very much appreciated it all.

Congratulations on a great event and people were saying how much they were enjoying it.  I loved your new hub location in Corfe, great to have all the parking, space for the Workshops too as well as very scenic.

It was great to see people I hadn’t seen since last year’s festival and to meet new people too. It really was a  lovely atmosphere.

Well done for everyone’s hard work and organisation I know how much work goes into these events and you organised the great weather too.

I’d like to thank your team for organising such a brilliant Festival-it was evident that so much thought and care had gone in to arranging everything and it must have been a logistic challenge to think of all the contingency plans. Everyone from the Purbeck Team was so welcoming and friendly. The walks were an absolute delight and the classes were wonderful. The leaders were really superb. It was the first time I’ve attended a Nordic Walking Festival and it won’t be my last!

What an awesome event. A very big thankyou to All the team. My wife & I had so much fun. Please email us when you set a date for next year !

I would like to say a huge thank you to you, the whole NWUK team and the local hosts for the totally enjoyable Festival 2018.  I know you all worked so hard before, during and probably after the event too, to give everyone such a fab time.I loved the walks – in particular Corfe to Creech, Secret Arne (what a beautiful location) and the Foraging with Joe was wonderful.  He hinted that he could include a cookery session next year which could offer a brilliant addition.The local hosts were excellent, especially David and Sally and Pam who I walked with.I’m now very excited about the possibility of going on one of the Exodus holidays with a party of Hampstead nordic walkers.

Come and join us –  See the Event website HERE and take advantage of Earlybird ticket prices up until Christmas. First come first served and don’t forget that NWUK Members save £5 on ticket prices too.

  

Autumn kit essentials – be prepared and avoid the ‘FALL’

Autumn is the season of glorious colours, crisp leaves and golden light but it’s also a time when the risk of accidents increases. Perhaps that’s why they call it the FALL? Why is this so? Well, with Autumn comes darkness, mist and fog for one! Visibility is reduced massively by the shortened days and increase of misty mornings and fog filled Valley’s so all Nordic Walkers should make sure they can see and be seen. (Like these lovely Ladies from Reading!

Walking in poor light will mean you miss those tree roots or rabbit holes so always pack a headtorch that can help you pick out the trip hazards in advance. This great little lightweight  LEDLENSER HEADTORCH will light up your path and make sure you are seen by others too. There’s no reason to stop Nordic walking as the evenings draw in – simply join your local Workout Walk and enjoy the torch lit banter! It’s a well kept secret that people tend to be more inclined to take part in workout drills/exercises under the cloak of darkness so let your inhibitions melt away and use the winter to get fit and trim ready for the Spring

walks!

If you are venturing near roads or cycleways you will need added visibility – these little safety lights fit onto backpack straps, clothing and even shoes so grab a pair today and keep with you at all times.

 

A waterproof backpack cover is also a great idea if you want to keep spare clothing warm and dry and this one will help you stay visible too!  

Another Autumnal risk is frost and slippery pavements so make sure you have good grip on your shoes and stick to the grass if there is even a hint of Jack Frost on harder surfaces. Be especially careful on stone steps and paths too as these can be slippery due to leaf mould and moss. In fact watch out for leaves in general as they don’t stay

The MERRELL SIREN – Our favourite Ladies shoe

crisp for ever and wet leaves can be a hazard. These waterproof shoes from Merrell are a winner when it comes to both comfort and grip – this is the lovely Purple and grey ladies version called the Siren Sport but we also stock the Men’s Moeb which is plain grey. 

Finally, now is the time to take layering seriously. A good base layer will keep your core warm and you should then think about layers that are lightweight, windproof and not too heavy. This way, you can add or peel off according to your heat levels. One addition that’s great for the chilly start or a walk and perfect to pop on if you stop or at the end of a walk is our super lightweight padded Gilet. It packs down into a tiny bag and weighs virtually zero so it’s a must have backpack item now the weather is closing in.

Men’s and Ladies in stock CLICK HERE TO ORDER

So. no excuses for letting your exercise regime slide this Autumn – just make sure that you don’t by taking care and tackling the elements with the right gear!

 

Tales from the Cotswold 24hr race

We love supporting our Nordic Walkers as they embark on personal challenges and this year it was great to hear from two Ladies who completed the Cotswold 24 hour challenenge event in early August. There is a growing band of Nordic walkers at this event every year so why not put it in your calendar for 2019?

Read on to hear Helen and Tracys’ stories…………………

Helen celebrates with her medal!

I am still on a “high” following the Cotswold 24hour race and would very much like to tell you about my experience via an email as I don’t use Facebook. However, I have a little story to tell you first.

I have always enjoyed walking and for many years was a member of the Ramblers organisation. I thought that was good but I cannot praise Nordic Walking highly enough. Not only is it a total physical body workout but overall has such a great feel good factor due to the sociability and fun we all have together. It is great being able to exercise so effectively in an “outdoor gym”. 

 However, over a period of about 10 years before I had major surgery to replace a disintegrating hip joint, my mobility deteriorated until I could barely walk anywhere even with a stick. Following very successful surgery in October 2015, I was desperate to regain and increase my fitness levels. A few months later, I  saw an advert for a Nordic Walking taster session and duly booked on. However, after just a few minutes it was clearly apparent that my muscles were too weak at that stage.  I was so fortunate though because, sensing my extreme disappointment, not only did Ian Northcott  suggest some exercises I could work on at home but he kept in touch to see how I was progressing!!! 

After a few more months I booked on again  and this time was strong enough to learn the technique and sign up for the well being walks!!!. I have not looked back since and am fitter and stronger than I have been for years. I am now taking part in endurance walks, trek fit and hill climbing sessions to name a few.

The Cotswold 24 hour race is just one of many activities I have been able to try that I never thought I would. I haven’t been camping since I was a girl guide [ not going to give my age away! ] and since my swimming days at school, have never considered myself to be very competitive, so the idea of entering a 24 hour race was off putting. When I realised that I could choose when to walk and for however many  laps, I decided to “give it a go”.

 Thanks to you giving us all a Nordic Walking t shirt, we all looked amazing at the start line and were a great advert for the sport. I am sure that you will have seen us on Facebook. As we set off the atmosphere was electric and as the race progressed, people were so supportive and encouraging to each other as they passed by on the track. I immediately felt part of it all.

Thanks to my team mates Eileen, Ian and Tracey, who were placed third, second and first in the mixed solo category, Nordic Walking has now reached a new level of credibility at Cotswold 24. Runners are no longer under the illusion that we “walk with poles” but that we “use our poles to walk” . En route, I heard many comments about our speed. Tracey was just incredible as she was walking as fast as one of the top runners!!!! and this was acknowledged when she was presented with her trophy. So Cotswold 24 hour runners, Nordic Walkers are a force to be reckoned with!!!  I felt so proud to be part of Nordic Walking and the Cotswold 24 hour race.

I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, even the camping!!! although next year I will pack an air bed, lamps and a small stove to improve my comfort. You can tell how long it is since I have been camping.  In-between the walks it was very sociable and fun because you have the opportunity to talk to so many different people. I am pleased I achieved my goal, increasing my endurance, with the laps I completed on both days.  I chose not to walk at night in the dark [maybe next year] so missed out on how fascinating the countryside looks and sounds, but did walk at dawn. What a fabulous time of day; crisp fresh air with the sun starting to rise. 

I had a great time and am already considering what to aim for next year. So Nordic Walkers everywhere, come and join us.

Helen Chambers

Tracy Larvin completed 15 laps and walked for 22.5 hours!

Tracy has always been active but her story shows that injuries can really impact on sporty lifestyles. Read on to see how Nordic Walking has enabled Tracy to get back to full fitness and get competitive too – a great example of how Nordic Walking is great for those who love sport and challenges too

I have always been a very active person, and played most sports. Started playing senior ladies hockey at 14, selected for u18s West of England hockey, County hockey, Shropshire athletics and the West Mercia Police hockey team…this is not me blowing my own trumpet, I am just letting you know my previous sporting activities

This all came to an end when I hit 30, I was having excruciating knee pain and was told I needed knee replacements and adviced to give up my sport as I was too young for the operations. I then gave up sport and bought a horse, and started competing and riding.

In 2013 I ruptured my patella tendon six months before my retirement date from the Police Force. I was in plaster, then a brace and on crutches for six months, and couldn’t walk without pain in my knee. The physio helped so that I could at least bend my knee, but the NHS said that there was nothing further they could do. Due to the pain, I struggled to ride and all I could do was walk my dog

In February 2016 I saw an advert in the local paper for Nordic Walking, with Mercian Nordic Walking. At that time my friend and I were arranging a holiday in the Smokey mountains and she needed to try and get fitter We signed up, and my thoughts were to go and give her some support but as I walked my dog 8-10 miles a day, I was unlikely to get anything out of it as “it was just walking with poles”.

How wrong was I ……………I am now an addict!

My Instructor Ian Northcott’s passion for fitness and Nordic walking soon rubbed off on me, and gave me the drive to enjoy fitness again Due to my knees problems the poles certainly helped to take the pressure off them, I really enjoy the Nordic walking, the social aspect and I have made some truly good friends

Ian started up the trekfit classes and circuits, and was able to cater to my needs with my knee issues. I can’t say it was easy, but the up and coming marathon at Purbeck 2018, gave me something to aim for. Gradually Ian introduced me to more fitness classes and longer walks, to help with fitness, for all those that had their sights set on Purbeck for the marathon and 16 miler in September

Then at the beginning of August, several of us from Mercian Nordic Walking attended the Cotswold 24 hour challenge. We all had set different goals, relating to how many laps we wanted to do We all surpassed our goals, each lap being 9kms, some of the ladies doubled their lap goal, having set 2 laps as a goal they achieved 4, which was amazing The great thing about the 24 hour challenge is that you walk when you want to, sleep when you want, eat when you want, so long as you do one lap.

I set my sights on 10 laps, and having done a team event last year I hoped that was doable. I managed to do 15 laps and walked for twenty two and a quarter hours At the event last year, some of the runners accepted us but didn’t seem to understand what Nordic Walking was about, and others were quite patronising.

This year it was a totally different story by the end of the event The amount of support and in their words “respect and admiration “ “you walk faster than I run”  was overwhelming.The one thing I did notice this year during the night several runners actually took to poles and walked laps.  They certainly weren’t doing Nordic style, as they haven’t been instructed, but never the less, they obviously  realised what we have achieved the last few years at the event.

I am delighted that my Team Mercian Nordic Walking came first, second and third in the Nordic category, and had I done Nordic walking but entered as a runner I would have come 3rd in the ladies solos out of 53 and 23 rd in the mixed out of 119runners

So the point of the e mail, as long winded as it’s been, is to thank you as Nordic walking  UK for the concept as without the Nordic walking I certainly wouldn’t be as fit as I am, and definitely not able to compete in any sporting activities To let you know what a wonderful instructor Ian is, because there were so many of us who have been to the events and exceeded what we thought we were capable of And to try and encourage more Nordic groups to take part next year, it is such a well organised event, great fun and a relaxed atmosphere.

I would also like to mention that my sister who is a very keen cyclist, and has cycled for GB in the World Champs in her age category, and her partner Cat who is a runner and competes in triathlons, did a learn to walk course with Ian in readiness for the Somme trip in October. When they returned from the course, they admitted that they had a new found respect for Nordic Walking, didn’t realise how hard it was, and were even complaining about aching muscles when they returned home on the Sunday. 

The word is getting around other groups, so what better way for free advertising than to get groups into events like the 24 hour challenge, so that runners etc don’t just think we are ‘walking with poles’

We are looking forward to seeing how Tracey and the team get on at the Purbeck Nordic Walking Challenge Marathon in September – watch this space!

 

 

 

Testimonial from a Nordic walking sceptic

Are you one of those folk who scoff about walking with poles? Do you think its something you could teach yourself or simply think what’s the point?

You are not alone and when our Team are out n about at shows we hear the same comments a lot although once we have the chance to show them the ‘power of the poles’ people do change their minds pretty swiftly. Take this gentleman for instance, it seems he felt just the same until his Partner persuaded him to give Nordic Walking a go. Read on to see what he thinks after gaining his FREEDOM passport with a NWUK Instructor!

 was the original sceptic as far as Nordic Walking was concerned. “Walking with sticks, why do I need instruction for that? What possible benefits could I derive from it?” (Yes I called them “sticks”)
I went to the first lesson reluctantly to please my partner, who, wiser than I saw the possibilities it offered.
I met my Instructors Carol and Graham, who are very nice people, but I doubted they could teach me anything new on exercising. How wrong I was!!
By the end of the first lesson, I was a total convert and no matter how tired I was after a days work, the thought of meeting up for a lesson energised me.
I learned so much in those four weeks, plus it was very sociable as well. 
The instruction catered for individual needs, whilst nurturing a group bond.
We now do the organised walks every week, an experience I highly recommend to everyone.
Carol and Graham research each walk so that it will challenge, but at the same time be safe and highly enjoyable. The benefits to health and fitness are undeniable, but we chat, we laugh, we enjoy ourselves.
Every week the walks offer something different. New friends are made, my partner walks up hills she wouldn’t have attempted a few weeks ago. 
We see deer, rabbits, walk over fields and through woods, brilliant.
But do you know the best thing about it? 
It’s the smiles! You are enjoying it so much, you just can’t help but smile.
Thank you big time, to Carol and Graham, (and to my partner for ignoring my reluctance) for introducing me to this wonderful way of keeping fit.
Ian

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 ?