NWUK membership – a bright idea

One of the newly added benefits of Nordic Walking UK membership is 10% discount off LEDlenser head torches.

Martin Christie, founder of Nordic walking in the UK, runs Exercise with Friends Nordic Walking Club in London. Here’s what he says about Ledlenser head torches:

‘One of our clients purchased a LED Lenser H7R rechargeable head torch two winters ago and within weeks more than half our regular group had followed suit, including me. Collectively, we had tried a number of brands, models and price points but found that the quality of the LED Lenser outshone all competitors. If you think it’s a car coming over Hampstead Heath at night, you’re wrong; it’s a group of Nordic walkers!’

See all the other benefits here…

Membership is only £9.95 but if you have completed the FREEDOM programme and have a unique CC code you can join for FREE for the first year (£2.50 p and p for the membership pack). You can sign up using your CC code at nordicwalking.co.uk

A magical night-time walk at RSPB Arne during Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival 2017

What is a Nordic Walking UK SHOP n DROP?

20161114_123406_resizedNordic Walking UK is the largest retailer of specific NORDIC WALKING POLES and ACCESSORIES in the world. Run by Nordic walkers and with a network of independent Instructors across the UK – we can provide unbeatable advice, service and discounts.

Many NWUK Instructors and Community projects now operate the innovative NWUK SHOP N DROP concept which means their clients save on postage and we collectively help to save the planet too!

The concept was born when the NWUK team noticed that following tuition courses in certain areas, there was a rush of orders for poles from those looking to join regular walks. It did not sit well with the team that often several separate parcels were leaving the depot and going to the same town in the same week. Not only did this mean each individual was paying postage costs and had to arrange to be in for collection BUT it meant more cardboard for packaging and more miles travelled by delivery vans. Whilst we appreciate that today’s market for internet shopping does have an environmental impact , we felt that we could minimise this by coming up with a strategy that combined parcels so …. welcome to SHOP n DROP!

Its simple! The Instructor or project arranges for a box to be delivered to them on a pre set date. Our retail team then add this to the postage options in the on line store via a drop down menu and the customer can select to have their products added to the group parcel! Inspired! web store shop n drop

The customer saves £5 on post and packaging costs and does not have to stay in to receive the parcel, we save on packaging and there are less courier miles too! Instructors also report that it creates a buzz when the parcels arrive and they distribute the items before their classes. Sam Armstrong from Derbyshire says ” I feel like Santa handing out presents, my clients love getting their new poles and equipment and it does also encourage them to come back to the regular sessions after they have completed
tuition. As I also deliver the FREEDOM programme, my clients gain free membership of NWUK which saves them a further 10% too. They sometimes save up to £15 by ordering this way and I can help them to set up the poles when they arrive too.

NWUK MD Mike Rollason says ” We believe in customer service and by delivering the poles via the Instructor network it helps us to provide both discounts and support that you simply can not get from the bargain basement retailers”

If you are an Instructor who wants to set up a SHOP N DROP with the team – contact store@nordicwalking.co.uk or call 03333 1234 540

If you are thinking of ordering poles check with your local Instructor to see if they operate a SHOP N DROP scheme.

 

SHOE report – what our Tutors are wearing!

ascics gelThe question we get asked more than anything else is…..which shoes do you advise for Nordic Walking. Our answer is simple – they MUST be flexible soled, comfortable, not too heavy and ideally waterproof but footwear is a very personal thing so no one make or style fits all.

In this issue we decided to ask our Tutors (the chaps who have trained all of our Instructors around the UK) what they all prefer and why. You might be quite surprised by our findings!

Martin Christie our lead Tutor has been Nordic walking since 2004 and as well as having personally trained over 1,000 Instructors he runs several sessions a week on Hampstead Heath in London.

Martin wears  – ASICS Gel Trabuco – he says

ascics gel

These trial running shoes are great – flexibility through the forefoot, lightweight, and decent tread and grip. I have a narrow foot and I’ve found the fit of the ASICS gel Trabuco ideal. I don’t choose the Goretex version as I prefer to wear Sealskinz socks when the weather dictates. And for Nordic walking, they have a tongue pocket for tucking in your laces to avoid poles catching in the lace loops (not that I’ve ever seen that happen).

Tanya Adolpho is our Childrens’ fitness specialist and Gymstick (resistance bands) supremo as well as a highly successful Nordic Walking Instructor and Tutor.

Tanya wears  – Vibro Trail Barefoot

I love Barefoot footwear, with waterproof socks.   They are like marmite; you either love them or hate them!  I absolutely love them and I’m slowly convincing my clients as well.

Why?

I can feel the floor, not only do I get a free foot reflexology session every walk as you can feel all the lumps and bumps, I have much better grip in the mud. Whilst people around me are slipping and sliding in the mud, I tend to walk with a smirk on my face as my feet mold into the environment feeling the mud whilst remaining upright.

FACT – The foot has 33 joints, 26 bones, more than a hundred muscles, tendons and
ligaments, as well as a sole loaded with nerve endings and a variety of touch receptors that allow us to feel, giving us vital proprioception to keep our balance as we walk, run and jump.  Over protecting our feet will stop this all from working, so  I’m convinced
that minimal footwear is the way to go.

I am also someone who also suffers from lower back pain, and since wearing minimalist shoes they have been fantastic to help keep the back in alignment, thus reducing the osteopath bills! Another plus no more blisters from over protection, my feet can breathe
and move how they have been designed too.

I can’t wait for the summer could be no shoes at all, (although I think I’ll need to keep the paws on the poles for that walk)”

Jason Feavers combines a full time job as Exercise referral co-ordinator in York with his role as a senior Tutor with NWUK. He specialises in  wellbeing and the use of exercise for those with health problems.

Through winter (and wet summers) I wear Inov8 Terroc 345 GTX shoes.  The shoes are incredibly waterproof yet breathable and light enough for long mountain walks or shorter walks through wet grass and muddy fields.  In summer I go for a minimalist shoe to really get the feel of the ground and allow my feet to move
as naturally as possible.  I’ve tried a number of minimalist running shoes, but found the Merrell Trail Glove to have  the most natural feel.Great for mindful Nordic walking and allowing the feet to work as nature intended.

Dawn McLean is a Tutor for both Nordic Walking UK and Later Life Training and her specialism is exercise for the older Adult

My favourite walking shoes are trail shoes as they always make me feel that I have a secure footing on all the varied
surfaces.

Brooks Hydroflow Trail Blade – These ones are grey with a wee bit of dayglo green on the bottom. I usually take a 6 or 6.5 and these are 6.5 and a perfect fit.  These are not
waterproof but are fabulous and sooooo comfy. I love them both for the comfort and for how they look.

My other pair are Asics Gel Trail Lahar which are gore tex waterproof and black with a wee bit of silver on and these are very comfortable too.  Size euro 40.5 is a great fit.

Hopefully, this article has helped you to see the vast range of shoes that are suitable for nordic walking and given you some ideas of what to look for when choosing your own pair?

WATERPROOF SOCKS?

We were quite surprised that a couple of our Tutors no longer worry about buying the more expensive Waterproof shoes but wear Waterproof socks instead! This way they can save money on shoes which they need to replace regularly and still stay warm and dry. We love the Sealskinz short waterproof socks so much that we now stock them on our website see here

 

 

Nordic Walking poles – which are best?

Leki Prestige Nordic Walking poles

Dont be fooled by the myth that Nordic walking poles must be fixed and carbon! We supply a high percentage of the poles sold in the UK and the most popular model has always been the Leki Prestige (pictured) which is neither carbon or fixed length! Two thousand NWUK Instructors and their regular Nordic walkers can not all be wrong ….they simply love them!

Yes, fixed poles provide slightly less vibration but unless you are Nordic walking for several miles a day that’s unlikely to be an issue and the risk with a fixed length pole will always be that it may just be slightly too long or too short for you as they only come in 5 cm increments. Our experts think this could cause more discomfort longer term than the tiny increase in vibration likely with a pole that is completely adjustable in height.

These days the adjustment systems on good makes of poles like Leki and Gabel ensure minimal vibration and they are exceedingly strong – in fact they will bear up to 130 – 140  kilos of downward pressure with no problem at all. If you are using them for Nordic Walking as intended, they will last for years and are completely safe.

We think the key things to consider when choosing Nordic Walking poles are:-

  • The straps – are they comfy and how easy is it to attach and unattach them to thepole when you need to. (if they don’t attach at all they are NOT technically Nordic walking poles)
  •  Pole composition – yes carbon is best but it costs and other compounds are entirely suitable for the recreational Nordic Walker.
  • The paws (rubber feet) are they suitably angled for the Nordic walking technique? (If not they are nor Nordic walking poles) and are they easy to remove when on softer ground?
  • The weight of the pole – the lighter the better if you are looking for top performance but all standard Nordic Walking poles are lightweight and simple to use
  • The make – avoid cheaper brands like Norstix and go for the established makes like Swix, Leki, Gabel and  Kompardell – these companies actually manufacture ski poles too and have invested hugely in the development of their products. newcomers to the nordic walking market are usually copies made in the far East.
  • Travelling? – If you know you would like to take the poles abroad or even on the bus, you may wish to look for telescopic poles such as the adaptable Gabel Fusion or the ultimate in carbon luxury the Leki traveller carbon

Our personal favourite here at NWUK HQ is the Gabel Inverso Carbon Alu pictured above, which performs as if it was fixed length but can be adjusted accurately for the user with a top section near the handle that allows the user to get the exact right height.

Other poles we recommend to the recreational Nordic Walker are the Prestige (of course) and the Gabel Stretch – both are adjustable, affordable and perfectly suitable for those learning the technique and participating in regular Nordic walks.

To view our full range of Nordic Walking poles visit our on line store or call us at any time on 0333 1234 540 for expert advice. See what our customers say about us here

Why buy Nordic Walking poles from NWUK?

Nordic Walking UK have a team of experts who understand Nordic Walking and know everything there is to know about Nordic Walking poles.

Our Leki and Gabel models all come complete with warranty and we pride ourselves on getting orders out to Customers within 48 hours. If you need to talk to somebody, we are available 7 days a week and are happy to provide advice and take orders over the phone. Call us on 0333 1234 540 or visit our STORE today.

John and Oz the dog prepare poles for dispatch at NWUK HQ

These people did and this is what they say about us……………………

“Just a quick note to say thanks very much for the excellent service received!  The poles (Gabel X6) arrived promptly this morning and I am very impressed with the service.Gaynor is delighted with them.Thanks again. Arwel”

” I must say I have experienced the best customer service I have had in a long time. Extremely helpful staff who took the time to listen, explain and deal with the problem at hand. Thanks you Nordic Walking UK now I can walkthe Journey for Brain aneurysm sufferers.” Victoria

To let you know- the second pair of poles was collected today (Parcel Force tried to deliver yesterday but we were out) so all is well with the order. Thanks again for your rapid and efficient response. Much appreciated.

Please pass on thanks to all your staff for prompt attention to order 86325 yesterday especially as we are walking the Moray Coastal Trail tomorrow.  We also run an internet business and pride ourselves on this same level of service – but not often from others.Thank you. Wendy.

All received at 09:15 this morning – a five star quality service thank you very much. I have recommended you to my personal trainer and he has added you to his list of companies to recommend to clients.

Thank you for your prompt action in dealing with my broken pole. It was delivered this morning as advised and at the time advised. All set for Althorp10k on Sat. I will post photos of the event next week. Once again thanks for the prompt action. John

Thank you for the time you took helping me with my order yesterday.  It was a
pleasure to speak to you and I look forward to shopping with you again in the future.
I am fairly new to Nordic Walking and, after having spent years working behind
a desk, I can truly say this form of exercise beats going to the gym any day!

Hello.  Yesterday I ordered two pairs of Leki Nordic Walking poles  and they arrived within 24 hours.  I would like to say how impressed I was with the service that you
provided. Your web site was easy to navigate; the ordering process was simple
and the follow-up communication excellent.  It was a pleasure dealing with your company and I would certainly recommend you to anybody needing walking
equipment and accessories.  Thank you and Regards David

“Fantastic service-thank you indeed!
Please be assured that should the original poles arrive in the meantime- I will return to you one pair of Nordic Poles! Regards” Paul

“Wow, that is what is called customer service.Thank you so much. Will give it a go right now. Fantastic. They fit:-)”  Zanna

Multi Functional Pole – Fusion

It is well known that you can use a Nordic Walking pole for Trekking, but NOT the other way round.  The reason is simple – you need the specific hand strap to perform the technique correctly and Trekking poles do not come with this.  However, The ‘clever chaps’ at Gabel have come up with a great solution which comes with attachments for both – the Fusion. Continue reading

Day Trippin’ – Have you got everything?

As we approach mid summer and the days stretch on and on, there is no better time to pack up your gear and head out on one of the many walking trails a bit further afield from your local routes.  Here is our guide to all the essentials you may need to really make the most of it: Continue reading

New Gabel Poles

Gabel have been busy……… with many subtle changes to the 2012 line up which are making them the affordable alternative more established brands such as Leki.  Now in their 3rd year in the UK, Gabel have been listening to our customers and Instructors and have made some great changes, were sure you will like….. Continue reading

Nuflex – a helping hand in your session

In this damp weather it’s a lot harder for those of us who suffer from joint stiffness to make sure we are in the best condition possible before and after our activity sessions and sometimes we need a bit of help! Similarly, those who are extremely active and need to stay in top condition, should make an effort to help their muscles recover and keep them as supple as possible. That’s why were are delighted to have teamed up with Nuflex. Continue reading