Free Sample Class in Santa Monica

NordicBody-logoMalin Svensson, the L.A. area’s energetic proponent of Nordic Walking and founder of Nordic Body fitness, hosts a free community fitness event on Sunday, March 28 from 10 to 11:15 a.m. She leads a Nordic Walking class to kick off an eight-week body makeover program. The group meets at Perry’s Café, 2600 Bernard Way (end of Ocean Park Boulevard) in Santa Monica. The first 30 people to register online get an included pole rental, and everyone has a shot at a six-week package of Nordic Walking classes ($110 value).


Valentine’s Day Walk for a Good Cause

Valentine’s Day walk to raise money for BC food bank.

NordicWalk-TsawassenWhile others are dipping into the heart-shaped box of chocolates or planning a lovely Valentine’s Day dinner, Carol Benson-Hitch (left), owner of CFS-Carol’s Fitness Solutions, has organized a Valentine’s Day walk in support of the South Delta Food Bank in British Columbia. Benson-Hitch, a certified urban poling rehabilitation and wellness instructor, and personal trainer, shared the idea of offering a walking clinic to benefit the Ladner-based food bank with participants during a session last fall. Initially, she wanted to organize it for the Christmas season but the walkers in her group suggested Valentine’s Day. Benson-Hitch thought it was a great idea.

Cupid’s Walk for Health takes place on Saturday, February 14 at 10 a.m., meeting at Petra’s Arts Kafe on 12th Avenue in Tsawwassen. Walkers are asked to arrive between 9:30 and 9:50 a.m., bringing non-perishable food items and/or monetary donations well ahead of the walk. The hour-long session consists of a warm-up, walking on flat roads, possibly the dike and a low-grade hill and then ending with stretches. “You don’t have to use walking poles but they’re welcome, along with leashed dogs and all two-legged creatures,” says Benson-Hitch.

Participants are encouraged to wear a bit of red to celebrate the day. The walk happens rain or shine and registration is not required. FoMoInfo about Cupid’s Walk for Health, email, visit or call 604-339-5985.

Euro-Pop Ode to Nordic Walking

Corny but catchy song celebrates pole walking.

The melody is catchy. The lyrics are in German and English — and sometimes a few English words (Nordic Walking is “cool and easy”) embedded into German. The walkers are slim, energetic and attractive. And the scenery of what looks like Bavaria is lovely.

ANWA Schedules Mega Training Event

Two days of Nordic Walking and Smovey training and certification in Los Angeles.

ANWA-logoThe American Nordic Walking Association has scheduled a two-day Nordic Walking event in LA on November 22-23 for  all enthusiastic Nordic Walkers and motivated health and wellness professionals too. Two ANWA Master Coaches, Gottfried Kürmer from Vienna, Austria and Bernd Zimmermann from Los Angeles, founder and president of the American Nordic Walking Association, in combination with their local ANWA trainers. The scheduled includes workshops and basic certification seminars for beginners and ANWA certification seminars for Advanced and Professional Nordic Walking Instructors.

The event includes the opportunity for a closer look at such other exercise training options as BungyPump, Trekking, and Wrap’nGo for Weight-Loss.
There are also integrated workshops from the hottest fitness trend from Europe like the Smovey Vibro-Swing System, two rings weighing 500 grams each that are used to combine fitness, health and weight loss. In case you’re wondering as I was, Smovey stands for SWING, MOVE and SMILE. Nordic Walking poles and the Smovey Vibro-Swing System are provided during this workshop and seminar.

Click here for the schedule, not just in Los Angeles but also in Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Jacksonville and elsewhere in the sunbelt in the next few weeks.


Sports Reporter Describes First Steps, First Stumbles

NordicWalkingI can’t think of a better name for a Nordic Walker than Diane Walkowiak. This Omaha sports columnist wrote “Making Strides with Nordic Walking,” in which she summarizes the stalled state of Nordic Walking in this country. She bought poles, watched videos and stumbled around while trying to feel comfortable and get real benefit – and overcoming the DIY frustration. She managed, in a DIA fashion, to achieve a semblance of skill and enjoy some satisfying results. I am assuming that she is healthy, somewhat (or very) athletic and has no trepidation about trying something new. She managed. Most people, I daresay, would have given up.

If only the basics of Nordic Walking instruction were available in Omaha, and  if classes were easy to find there (or anywhere) and elsewhere in this country. The American Nordic Walking “community,” if there is such a thing, remains a house divided — with no single and much-needed resource for finding poles, instruction and walking companions for those who would enjoy the companionable aspects. An Internet search for “Nordic Walking, Omaha” brings up 13 results, including two Tae Kwan DO schools, a local soccer club, the Absolute Serenity Day Spa, a dentist and a couple of national sites that purportedly sell poles. The most promising result was Tiger Coaching & Personal Training, a gym with no mention at all of Nordic Walking. Omaha is not unlike most of America when it comes to access to instruction or support. Sadly.

Active NW Page on Facebook

Xabier-NWI stumbled on a Spanish Nordic Walking page on Facebook and was impressed by (and a little envious of) the amount of information and activities Xabier Medina Ayerbe manages to post about. His corner of Spain seemingly has a lot going on, Nordic Walking-wise, including courses next month on November 15, 21 and 29.

I have to click on Facebook’s translation button, but if you read Spanish, you probably won’t have to.

I’m Quoted in an Article On Nordic Walking

Writer Ellen Nordberg writes for Boulder Lifestyle magazine.

Ellen Nordberg

Ellen Nordberg

Nordic Walking caught the attention of my friend Ellen Nordberg, a local fitness instructor, author, humorist, performer and mother of twins, and I was one of her sources/resources for an article she was researching a couple of months back. Click here to read the article she wrote for Boulder Lifestyle  magazine. The full-color photographs accompanying the piece are pretty nice too.

Thanks, Ellen.

Nordic Walking Classes in Bozeman

The mind and Nordic Walking.

NordicWalkingRecreational Sports and Fitness at Montana State University in Bozeman hosts a series of free workshops on Wednesday, September 17  that focus on Nordic walking and individuals’ mental lifestyle presented by Robert Sweetgall, who has walked across America seven times and is often called “The Real Forrest Gump.” His motivational Creative Walking program focuses on health and wellness issues.

The first workshop, “Nordic Walking 101,” from 11 a.m. to 12 noon in Shroyer Gym is a hands-on session focusing on basic Nordic walking techniques and tips. “Nordic Walking 201” follows from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in Shroyer Gym. Approximately one-third of the session is a seminar, one-third focuses on advanced learning techniques and one-third is a workout. Individuals who attended the Nordic Walking 101 session or who attended a similar Nordic walking session in 2013, are eligible to attend.

“The Brain Workout Workshop” from 1:15 to 2 p.m. addresses a mental lifestyle that improves and maintains brain function. It incorporates mental and physical activities, nutrition and strategies for controlling blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. It is to be “The Brain Workout Workshop” will be repeated fom 6:30-8:30 p.m. in SUB Ballroom B.

While fhe workshops are free, RSVPs are required. To register, call 406-994-5000 or visit 120 Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center. FoMoInfo: Michele Cusack, 406-994-5000 or

Department of Misinformation

Not ski poles. Definitely not ski poles.

FrustrationFrom a UK post, “New Fitness Walking Activity on Offer at Luton’s Stockwood Park“: “NORDIC Walking sessions have been introduced in Stockwood Park for people who want to improve their fitness. Nordic Walking involves walking with ski poles to ensure the upper body muscles are used as well as the leg.”

How often do Nordic Walking advocates explain that walking poles are similar to, but not the same as, ski poles? Seemingly, not often enough. Some of the confusion might come from the fact that “ski walking” is one of the several names that what I refer to as “Nordic Walking” has gone by.


Pole Walkers on My Street

NordicWalkingI haven’t added any posts in months, because I wasn’t seeing a lot of traffic — or a lot of interest in Nordic Walking. I was encouraged this morning. When I popped outside to pick up my newspapers, I saw a couple striding up the street at a good clip — poles in hands. I was still wearing my nightshirt, so I didn’t trot after them to talk to them. Also, they were behind parked cars, so I couldn’t tell what kind of poles they were using. But the very sight of them encouraged me enough to post this, to approve some comments left since I last checked and to be more conscientious about posting now and then.