By Gill Stewart at
One vital element is FLEXIBILITY and it is not simply a case of being able to touch your toes! Increased flexibility makes every day living easier by improving the range of movement of the joints which means you can reach, bend and generally function better. In short it will impact on every day things like reaching to get things from cupboards, getting in and out of cars and even putting your coat on!
Those of you who Nordic Walk regularly with our Instructors will know that they are careful to make sure that you are fully prepared before your session and enjoy a lovely cool down afterwards with plenty of stretches.
Many participants comment on how much better they feel after a few weeks of doing these simple exercises in the classes and we always encourage them to replicate the moves at home too. A daily stretch will help to maintain mobility, prevent injuries and above all help relieve stiffness and even some related pain.
What’s really nice about stretching is how quickly you notice results and improvement week on week …….no matter what age you are!
Whilst stretching will benefit those who do no exercise at all it becomes vital for those who are active or embarking on new exercise regimes because muscles do tend to shorten if they are worked fairly hard and not allowed to cool down properly with a nice conditioning stretch. This simply makes the exerciser feel tight and achey rather than energised and mobilised!
So – the pictures in this article outline a few of our favourite stretches which you can do with you poles or adapt to do every day at home!
TIP:- We recommend you learn how to perfect these with an NWUK qualified Instructor but here are the basic rules
1. Hold each stretch only until you feel a slight pulling in the muscle, but no pain. As you hold the stretch the muscle will relax.
2. As you feel less tension you can increase the stretch again until you feel the same slight pull.
3. Hold this position until you feel no further increase. Make sure you do not bounce or jar the muscles – simply feel them lengthen, keep breathing and enjoy!