The town’s upcoming Senior Expo, called “Ideas For Life,” will include free Nordic Walking clinics. It will take place on Wednesday, June 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Traverse City Civic Center; not just locals but also visitors are also welcome. Pete Edwards (left), Nordic Walking coach and owner and founder of skiwalking.com, will conduct the clinics. Seniors not only fine Nordic Walking to be good exercise, but the poles are reassuring for anyone with balance and stability issues, including those with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s. Skiwalking.com also distributes the Swix VIP Nordic Walking pole.
Like many Nordic Walking advocates, Edwards likes to remind people that “over six million Europeans of all ages and fitness levels are Nordic Walking every day. It is surprising that more Americans haven’t embraced this amazing new fitness activity that turbo charges the normal walking regimen.” With Michigan-based Edwards spreading the Nordic Walking gospel in his state, and especially at events like Traverse City’s “Ideas for Life” expo, I’ll bet more and more Nordic Walkers will be striding across the Sleeping Bear Dunes’ sandy shore
Edwards relates the story of “one lady [who] called during the fall of 2004 and asked if the poles would help improve her balance problems stemming from an inner ear issue. Edwards told her he wasn’t sure, but did share with her several impressive success stories from folks with knee, hip and/or back problems. By using the correct length poles she was able to navigate even the roughest terrain with balance and security provided by the poles. She has been successfully using Swix VIP Nordic Walking Poles for over two years.”
He also relates a story from a previous Nordic Walking clinic in Traverse City, held at The Fitness Center, where he met Michelle Honer. who had signed up to participate in one of his Ski Walking Classes. “When she walked up the handicap ramp prior to the class with her cane it was apparent that she had some balance issues, and she informed her classmates that she had MS,” Edwards relates. “Her first Ski Walk was only a few blocks down and back. Within several weeks, she was covering about two miles in one hour. For seven prior years Michelle had ridden an electric scooter in the Traverse City MS Walk. The last couple years Michelle has Ski Walked the 5K (3.1 miles). Local newspapers and TV stations have covered her remarkable story.
“My special Nordic Walking poles have allowed me to walk taller, faster, further and with much more stability than with my cane. My walking poles’ one-piece design is so much better than my old adjustable poles that broke unexpectedly at an extremely inconvenient time,” Honer has been quoted as saying.