14 Apr 20

C-19 Lock-down Health and Fitness

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C-19 Lock-down Health & Fitness


The Covid-19 lock-down is the most sudden and unusual situation many of us have experienced in our life.  We are in a curious state of limbo.  Our ability to leave our homes has been severely restricted, along with employment, business, social engagements, shopping, recreational pursuits and face-to-face contact with friends and family.  How we manage self-isolation is important to our health and wellbeing.  Anxiety and stress may surface quite quickly, showing up in mood-swings, withdrawal or an increase in "comfort" behaviours.  As individuals, we can only influence those things we have control over.  In the "Wellness" section of this newsletter, the "Body, Mind and Spirit" triangle may offer a platform to consider, restore or enhance our balance. 

In looking for the silver-lining amongst this disruption, it has been heartening to see how many people have taken up 'lock-down' walking and parents try to keep up with their kids who are on scooters and bikes.  I have received feedback from regular Nordic Walkers, detailing their walks, so I have summarised the 'Benefits of Nordic Walking', which gives so much more value to movement.  There is also a 'Mobility' section to help with upper body movement, which may have lessened as we sit more at home.  There are some light-hearted 'Things to Ponder' as a consequence of lock-down and finally a little 'History' on pandemics.

We can't predict the future, but it does seem that things may not normalise for some time yet.  As our lifestyle continues to be affected and we endeavour to restore normality in this altered setting, the next newsletter will discuss 'Wellness Coaching', outlining how you can identify reasons, motivation and barriers to making lifestyle changes.

Lastly, the International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA) has put together a short video with C-19 messages from some of the National Trainers from around the world.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/c36VkblJ6cE?feature=oembed

Keep safe and sane!


Nordic walking National Trainer (NZ)
Wellness Coach
Exercise as Medicine Trainer

Benefits of Nordic Walking

Bath-Bristol Walkway_opt

1. Increases caloric expenditure up to 40%:  One of the most effective activities for burning calories and building cardiovascular fitness is cross-country skiing.  Both large upper and lower body muscles are fully engaged in this sport.  With the correct technique, Nordic Walking will gives similar benefits.

2. Increases upper body strength: Regular walking only uses the legs, while using Nordic Walking poles, you add resistance to the arm action.  This engages the core, chest, back and arm muscles.

3. Less stress on the joints:  The Nordic Walking poles simulate two extra legs, giving the body a beneficial weight distribution.  This results in less stress on the joints. 

4. Relieves neck and shoulder pain:  Nordic Walking increases muscular endurance in the upper body, decreasing musculoskeletal tension, which seems to have a positive effect on muscles involved in daily tasks.

5. Improves neck and chest mobility:  Nordic Walking requires torso rotation, increasing flexibility of the muscles in the thoracic area.

6. Increases safety, reduces risk of falling:  Any individual who has a problem with balance can receive great benefits from the stability provided by the Nordic Walking poles.  This can be beneficial to pregnant women as they experience a changing centre of gravity.

7. Allows same intensity of running without the high impact:  At some points, Nordic Walkers can achieve the same heart rate as with running.  This is due to the increase in muscle usage.

8. Enhances mood: One of the first studies on Nordic Walking analysed mood states.  Research subjects walking with poles showed a marked reduction in anger, depression, fatigue and total mood disturbances. 

9. More fun! Many Nordic Walkers say they have more fun Nordic Walking than regular walking because it gives them more variety and definitely more exercise!


522 triangle free clipart | Public domain vectors

Consider the "Body, Mind and Spirit" triangle as a way to check in with how 'well' you are coping with this altered situation.  When external discipline is removed, we have to rely on our own internal resources to maintain wellbeing.  Make small, doable steps, which may include changing mental, emotional and physical behaviours relating to nutrition, exercise, stress management and sleep.  Here are some tips to consider:

  • Anxiety can lead to overcomsuption of food, alcohol, drugs, sleeping, over-exercising and mood-swings.  Identify the triggers and your reactions.  The following resources may be helpful.
  • Remember to brush your teeth in the morning, as if you were leaving home for the day.
  • While at home, to avoid foot issues, consider wearing supportive shoes for some of the day.
  • Take time to do some positive relaxation and contemplation e.g. stretching, meditation, prayer, reading.
  • Find a  time-out, quiet place and spend time there every day.
  • Telephone with pictures!  Virtual contact to E-Socialise and keep contact with others - Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook, Houseparty, Skype, etc.
  • There exists a 'digital divide' with those who are not connected or interested in communicating digitally.  Respect their choice.
  • Take care with the amount of news, social media and screen time you are consuming.
  • Maintain good sleep hygiene - no screens, coffee, food, alcohol or upsetting TV or book stories before bed.
  • Structure your day and week.  Make a list of things to do.   It is always gratifying to complete a goal.
  • To place your focus elsewhere, dip into an inspirational book, tackle something intellectual or take up a craft.




Pole Stretches for Back Mobility

Nordic Book B 50 test

  • Things to Ponder in Lock-Down

File:The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, Grand Palais, Paris 13 July ...

  • Will the common cold be cured during the global lock-down?

  • Car-less days (again!)

  • Will the homeless, street beggars, mental health and addiction affected people seek and get help?

  • As your hair grows out, enjoy channelling your inner hippy.

  • "Comfort baking"?  Buy some RSA ANZAC biscuits instead, as there is no poppy day this year.

  • The best thing to set up your day is ... a lie in!

  • Joined 'Zoom' yet?

  • What is a quokka?

  • Will the lock-down spawn the true digital age - computing not commuting?
  • Will the national credit card debt reduce?
  • Less land-fill waste due to no disposable coffee cups in use.




History WCBHCT45 | HD++ | FREE Washing Clothes By Hand Clipart Transparent ...

Pandemics have 'plagued' us from ancient times.  Pericles, the military commander and mayor of Athens, prepared to defend the city during the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and her allies (430 B.C) by commanding  the people from the surrounding countryside to abandon their ancestral homes and come into the walled city of Athens.  Overcrowding, lack of water, food and poor sanitation caused an outbreak of plague.  The Athens Plague resulted in the largest recorded loss of life in Ancient Greece and breakdown of Athenian society.

In what has been regarded as an early instance of biological warfare, in the fourteenth century, the Black Death plague wiped out between a quarter and a third of Europe's population (@ 25 million people).  The disease was passed to humans via fleas living on the black rat. It is believed to have been brought to Europe by the Mongols, attacking a town in Crimea, inhabited by Genoese merchants.  The Mongols catapulted the dead bodies of plague victims over the walls and into the town.  The escaping Genoese brought the plague into Europe via Sicily.

Newsletter Archives

16 Nov 21: Lockdown Lethargy
13 May 20: Exercise as Medicine
01 May 20: "In Your Bubble" Challenge
14 Apr 20: C-19 Lock-down Health and Fitness
23 Jan 19: The Smarter Way to Exercise
26 Oct 16: "The Whole Body Walks"
13 Jun 16: The Third Age
11 Feb 16: Summer/Autumn Events 2016
11 Feb 16: Summer/Autumn Events 2016
20 Dec 15: Christmas Edition
22 Jul 15: Every Mile is Two in Winter
07 Jan 15: Nordic Walking Newsletter - Self Supporting Behaviour
09 May 14: Nordic Walking Day Topics - Weight, Weather & Walking
24 Apr 14: Weight Control & Nordic Walking
26 Mar 14: Newsletter - Autumn 2014
10 Feb 14: Nordic Walking Newsletter - Welcome to 2014
17 Dec 13: Nordic Walking Newsletter - 7 Christmas 2013
08 Nov 13: Nordic Walking Newsletter - Summer 2013
19 Aug 13: Nordic Walking Newsletter - Spring 2013
06 Jun 13: Nordic Walking Newsletter - Winter 2013
10 May 13: World Nordic Walking Day 2013 Newsletter
28 Mar 13: Nordic Walking Newsletter - Autumn 2013
14 Dec 12: Newsletter Summer 2012:
25 Oct 12: Here's our new newsletter for Spring 2012:


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