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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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!