How to enjoy Christmas fare guilt free!

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Stepping out group enjoy their Xmas Dinner - poles at the ready chaps!

Stepping out group enjoy their Xmas Dinner – poles at the ready chaps!

As the party season gets under way, it’s hard to avoid eating a Christmas Dinner or two even before the big day itself! In this article NWUK Delivery Partner Instructor Bev Devereaux gives us the facts about just how many miles we might need to add to our Nordic walking routine in order to keep the weight off.



A good Christmas meal can rack up a whopping 3,600 calories  – here are some of the culprits!

  • Smoked salmon with buttered toast: 370 caloriesturkey
  • Turkey dinner, vegetables, stuffing, 3 pigs in blankets and gravy! 1,700 calories
  • Two mince pies: 400 calories (wowsers – can you believe that!)
  • A portion of Christmas pudding, custard & brandy butter: 500 calories
  • A slice of Christmas cake: 250 calories
  • One portion of cheese and crackers: 380 calories

Christmas Drinks – a worrying 880 plus calories! ( 2 x large glasses of red wine: 450 calories 1 glass of bubbly champers: 180 calories A warming glass of mulled wine: 250 calories)

So you can see how easy it is to literally cram the calories in when socialising – enjoy food and drink outlined above and you’ll have consumed a total of 4,480 calories!

However, if you want to fully embrace the festive season, Nordic walking is here to help.

So let’s take some healthy steps with some positive facts………

Dieting will only go so far in reducing the bulge, it’s good, old fashioned physical activity that will ultimately combat the Christmas cuddliness! Did you know that a brisk Nordic Walk can burn up to 20% more calories than normal walking at the same intensity.

In a study conducted by the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas (Morss et al 2001; Church et al 2002), the metabolic cost (the higher the metabolic rate, the more calories consumed) of Nordic Walking was compared to normal walking. This important study showed significant increases in oxygen consumption (up to 20% on average), calorific expenditure, and heart rate in the Nordic Walkers when compared to the regular walkers. There was no difference in the rate of perceived exertion between the groups. (RPE is how hard you feel you are working.)

nordic feetSo, I have looked at the average Mrs Nordic Walker ( Age 55 –  Weight 63kg(10 stone) Height 5’5″  – Body mass index 24 – Daily calories needed approx. 2,000)  and taken the liberty of working out how many calories she would burn on a typical walk so you can calculate how many extra outings with the poles you may require to minimise the effects on your waistline this Christmas!!

Brisk Nordic Walking for 90 minutes at 3.5mph on a firm, level surface will burn 372 calories. If you are Nordic Walking cross country at a brisk pace you will burn about 586 calories so taking the average as we usually do a combination of both, you can reckon on burning approx. 480 calories! OK it may still only cancel out the two glasses of red wine but make it a daily habit and you will be well on the way to getting rid of that Christmas excess!!!!

The alternative is to do nothing and enter the new year feeling lethargic, miserable and with clothes that are too tight! Go on, Make your poles you secret weapon this Christmas, I know I will!

Bev Devereaux – Nordic Walking UK Instructor

PS I’ve used this website to calculate the average calories burned for Mrs Nordic Walker

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