KEEPING YOU WARM IN THE CHILLIER MONTHS….T’IS THE SEASON….DECISIONS DECISIONS!
If winter in Britain is characterised by anything – other than train delays and the latest must-drink flavour of mulled wine infused coffee (nice idea!) – it is darkness. And cold. Oh yes, and rain. As autumn slides into winter, mist turns to drizzle and sunset is replaced by mid-afternoon gloom, it can be hard to prepare for the months ahead. What to wear, how to warm up, even how to summon up the energy to get through the season. However, the greatest hurdle to winter living is state of mind. To a greater or lesser extent, all of us will find our mood affected by changes in weather, reduced daylight and a drop in temperature. So here’s what we can all do to embrace the chillier months ahead….
It has occurred to me that whilst we always perform a thorough warm up and cool down you may like to know the reason that we do it and the theory behind it. The answer is that it’s a perfect opportunity to do some of the mobilising and strengthening exercises that we should be building into our lives on a daily basis. In Japan, China and Taiwan many people follow an exercise routine every morning. Squats, arm circles, single leg balance, bending, stretching and foot rolling are all part of their day to keep them mobile into old age. What is important about a good warm up?
Increased Muscle temperature: A warm up programme increases the temperature within the muscles used. Once warmed up a muscle can contract more forcefully and relax more quickly.
Decreased risk of injury: A warmed up muscle is less likely to be overstretched and less prone to injury.
Blood vessels dilate: This reduces the resistance to blood flow and lowers the stress to the heart. Increased blood temperature: As blood travels through the muscles, the temperature rises and the haemoglobin releases oxygen more readily. A slightly greater volume of oxygen is then made available to the working muscles, and so can enhance endurance.
Improved range of joint motion: For most people this the most important benefit of warming up: the ability to move the body freely and comfortably through the joint movement that occurs with faster walking.
Mental preparation: You’ve battled the traffic to get to the walk. Now take a deep breath! The warm up allows us the time to relax and prepare mentally for the session, with increased attention on the activity itself.
… SO WHAT ABOUT STRETCHING? 3 KEY POSITIVES:
Not only can improved flexibility help you to perform everyday activities with relative ease, but it can also help delay the reduced mobility that can come with aging.
Increases your range of motion
Being able to move a joint through its full range of motion gives you more freedom of movement. Stretching on a regular basis can help increase your range of motion.
Improves your posture
Muscle imbalances are common and can lead to poor posture. One study found that a combination of strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can reduce musculoskeletal pain and encourage proper alignment. That, in turn, may help improve your posture.
BEAT WINTER BLUES AND COME ON FAB WALKS WITH FAB PEOPLE IN FAB PLACES….
At Norfolk Nordic Walking we offer a variety of GREAT walks in FAB locations. Some are faster than others. Some are better for beginners and others for those who like a longer leg stretch. Some end in a cafe, others are for those who like a good chin-wag and others are for those who want to add huff into the puff! Some days you may feel like pushing yourself on faster walks and on other days you may feel more like enjoying the chat on the walk. So, here’s our definitive menu of what’s on offer…
Suitable for beginners and those who want a gentle pace. Terrain mostly flat. Gear 1 with Gear 2 challenges.
Thursday Catton Park 10.15am
Mixed Ability Adventure Walks:
These classes are suitable for most fitness levels and the terrain is diverse. We will encourage some fast walking to increase your fitness. We will give fitter walkers extra challenges. Gear 2 mainly.
Monday Whitlingham 10.30am. incl HILLS!
Tuesday UEA Evening Sunset Walk 6pm
Wednesday Yare Valley 1pm
Thursday Caistor St Edmund 12.15pm. incl HILLS!
Friday Eaton/Earlham 11am
Workout Walks: MODERATE
These classes are suitable for most Gear 2+ fitness levels. The class includes additional strength, conditioning and balance exercises. Hills and High Intensity Intervals feature on these walks. Extra challenges included for fitter walkers.
Monday Broadland Business Park 5.15pm
Wednesday Broadland Business Park 5.15pm
Workout Walks: FAST
The class speed will be fast. Hills and High Intensity Intervals feature on these walks. The terrain is a mix of flat and hills plus some rocky ground. You need to be a confident walker who enjoys a ‘bootcamp boost’. Gear 2 – Gear 3.
Monday Whitlingham 9.30am
Thursday Caistor St Edmund 1.30pm
Longer Adventure/Stamina Walk:
Usually 3.5 – 6 milers in various locations. You need to be able to walk consistently in Gear 2. This class is suitable for most Gear 2+ fitness levels who can walk the distances but the terrain will vary.
Wednesday Blickling Hall 10am (moderate/fast pace)
Saturday / Sunday VARIOUS LOCATIONS 10am (moderate/steady pace)
…We’re definitely getting in the spirit of HO! HO! HO! with a selection of Festive Walk and Be Merry events.
On 30th November, 30 of us went on a (non-Nordic) walking tour of the Cathedral Close in Norwich, led by our very own Walk Leader (AND City Tour Guide) John Davis. Great to learn so much about the history of our city and absorb it at a leisurely pace. Lunch at the Louis Marchesi pub was the perfect winter warmer to top off this ANNUAL event.
Over the course of this month we have plenty more festive walks (along with the usual Weekly Schedule) on offer, from Holkham / Wells Circular to lunch at the Bucks Arms after our 18th December walk across Blickling Estate, not to mention some rather special 2020 events to look ahead to…
…For those of us who walk at night – there’s so much fun to be had adorning yourself and your poles with various ‘after dark’ paraphenalia, from multi coloured flashing lights to some serious head torches which could redirect air traffic with their beam. NOT TRIED IT? Come and join an ‘after-dark’ Nordic walk and see what all the buzz is about!
…Still lots of fab walks taking us right up to the 23rd December. In the run up to the overindulges of Christmas, walks do get very busy so please don’t leave the booking until the last minute as you may find you are on the Waiting / Reserve List.