Nordic Walking coach introduces “Kitchen Coach” to new fitness activity
The other evening at a writers’ gathering , I spent time chatting with Mary Collette Rogers. We started talking about food, and ended up talking about Nordic Walking, which she recently took up. Mary knows a lot about healthy eating and healthy cooking, and shares that knowledge in person, via cooking classes and online. She calls herself a “Kitchen Coach” because she is an authority on kitchen organzation, the author of Take Control of Your Kitchen, teacher and speaker who guides people into gaining good health through good (and good for you) food. In short, her health awareness is stellar.
A Nordic Conversion
If you live anywhere close to Claire Walter’s circle of influence, you’ve heard a lot about Nordic Walking. To me, it didn’t look like much more than walking with two sticks, so I wondered why all the fuss.
Unfortunately, in making this quick dismissal I forgot one of the more painful rules I’ve learned over the years: Judgment should always be preceded by experience. So now, having dismissed Nordic Walking without ever trying it, I have to eat my words. “Walking with two sticks” is actually a terrific activity.
Maybe it was the promise of decreased knee pain that finally made me swallow my pride and join the monthly walk sponsored by local running store, Fleet Feet. Who knew that walking could be such an absorbing, full-body workout? Under the guidance of INWA National Coach Annette Tannander Bank, I learned how the simple addition of poles turns walking into a serious fitness activity, with pre-walk stretches, five or six different strides and forms, uphill and down hill strategies, speed variations and cool down stretches.
The specialized poles used for Nordic Walking force the arms to serve as additional “legs.” So they get a great workout (especially those triceps), along with the entire upper body. As if that’s not enough, pushing those poles Nordic style creates good posture–automatically. I think that was my favorite part: feeling tall and looking up and around as I walked.
Lest I forget, the poles do indeed make walking easier on the knees. Along with everything else, that’s a big reason for shifting my regular morning walk to a Nordic Walk–if I can just remember my poles! Here’s a tip: I’ve started hanging poles with jacket until they become an habitual companion.
So here’s to Claire Walter’s persistence and Nordic Walking–a twist that adds a whole new–and fun–dimension to an ordinary activity.
Mary Collette Rogers is a healthy eating coach who loves just about any form of physical activity that can be done without aggravating or adding to the physical injuries she has already accumulated. Visit her at EveryDayGoodEating.com