Slow Walking in Italy

Slow Travel Fest for Nordic Walkers and others.

SlowTravelFest-logoThis announcement of the 2015 Slow Travel Fest is so intriguing (and tempting) that I am sharing it in its entirety. The website, alas, is only in Italian.  Here it is:

The inspiring new Slow Travel Fest, taking place in and around medieval Monteriggioni, near Siena in Italy from October 9 to 11, is offering walkers of all levels some unique propositions, as well as the chance to explore stunning Tuscan landscapes and the ancient pilgrim route – the Via Francigena.

This sustainable tourism focused festival – Italy’s only festival devoted solely to slow travel – will be welcoming walkers who wish to reconnect with nature, increase their health and fitness, discover incredible new villages, beauty spots and architecture, or simply walk for pleasure.

Continue reading Slow Walking in Italy

Department of Misinformation XXII

Wrong country attribution for Leki.

FrustrationNordic Ski Colorado, an on-line newsletter is encouraging Nordic skiers to become Nordic Walkers in the off-season when there’s no snow on the ground. An article called “Nordic Walking…Summer Fitness and Conditioning” is good far as it goes.

Exception: The sentence, “Leki, a Finnish pole manufacturer, claims that over seven million Scandinavians, Germans and Austrians have taken up the sport.” caught my eye. Leki poles don’t come from Finland rather than Germany, where it was founded in 1948.

9-Day Walking Festival in England

The Brits really get the benefits and pleasures of walking (“tramping” as they call it in the country), and walking with poles is part of the picture. Here’s what the Staffordshire newsletter writes about its upcoming walking festival. Staffordshire is in the West Midlands, the largest nearby city being Birmingham. The photo below is also from the borough’s newsletter story.

Stafford Borough Walking Festival returns for its sixth year on Saturday, May 2, and runs until Sunday, May 10.

More than 30 activities will be running at locations including the Trentham Estate, Izaak Walton Cottage, Shugborough Hall and Doxey Marshes. There will also be fun family events linked to walks, such as a treasure hunt in Stafford town centre, a fairy hunt in Victoria Park and picnics at the Trentham Monkey Forest.

Anyone interested in taking up a new way of walking is invited to try out Nordic walking, a whole body exercise using specially designed poles. Instructor Gareth Davies will be running taster sessions at Rowley Park each day and borough residents who want to do more Nordic Walking, and normally exercise for less than 150 minutes a week, can sign up to a 10 week course for just £20.



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.

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.