Thanks to the American Nordic Walking Association for the heads-up on a Mayo Clinic newsletter for (again) pointing out the benefits of Nordic Walking. “Could walking poles help me get more out of my daily walk” was the question in the Q&A section about healthy lifestyles. Dr. Edward Laskowski endorsed poles and enumerated the key benefits.
You know it’s spring when the Canadians begin to think about outdoor activities that don’t involve ice or snow. Registration is now open for the spring session of classes with Nepean Nordic Walk, which offers a “gentle” class on Wednesday evenings that is specifically designed for people with limitations such as knee pain which has previously prevented them from enjoying walking. Physiotherapists are now recommending urban poling for the rehabilitation of knee injuries.
There will be a free Nordic walking demonstration on Saturday April 12 in the east parking lot of the Walter Baker Centre in Barrhaven beginning at 10 a.m. Poles will be available to try and to purchase and instruction will be given by Anne Hutchinson, certified Nordic Walking/Urban Poling instructor. The eight-week session runs from April 28 through June 16. Check the calendar for dates and locations of the intro session as well as an intermediate-level class and one designed for individuals with limitation such as knee or back pain, arthritis, etc.
Go to her website to see YouTube videos of local television appearances she has made to discuss the benefits of Nordic Walking/Urban Poling.
First Wednesday in April is the day to walk — or walk more
The American Heart Association promotes the first Wednesday in April as National Walking Day. The goal is to get as many people as possible to commit to walking for at least 30 minutes a day. Many of us already put in more time on foot and with poles, but that that is the minimum that reduces health risks, according to the AHA.
Some communities, senior centers, rec districts and even companies organize National Walking Day activities for Wednesday, April 3 this year. The AHA offers a National Walking Day Toolkit for individuals and organizations. The US Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking solicits comments in the Federal Register on what the Call to Action should be to promote walking for health, wellness and fitness.
Nordic Body founder, fitness and Nordic Walking coach offers free tips
Malin Svensson, owner of Nordic Body in the LA. area and a multiply certified international fitness coach with a special concentration on Nordic Walking, is offering s a free teleseminar called “8 Simple Steps to Lose Weight, Look Great and Feel Sexy!” on Tuesday, April 10 at 5:30 p.m. PDT. Using online communications, she asks people:
- Did your New Year’s resolution to lose weight only last 2 weeks?
- Have you tried everything there is to look great but without results?
- Are you too stressed and too busy to get started with a fitness routine?
- Have you given up on feeling sexy or maybe even forgotten how it feels?
- Do you feel alone and helpless in trying to get the body you want and deserve?
Continuing, she adds, “If you have answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then you need to be on this complimentary teleseminar. I don’t know what topics she plans to cover, but whether or not Nordic Walking will directly be part of it, her orientation definitely is toward fitness walking with specially designed poles. To participate, you must register online before 4 p.m. PDT on the 10th.
Ski racing stars featured in video about Nordic Walking for off-season training, rehab & fun
Skiing’s World Cup season is winding down, and US Ski Team star Lindsey Vonn has already locked up the 2012 downhill, Super G and overall titles. Her home base is Vail, but she has a second home in Austria, and there, she and other top ski racers made a promotional video called “Lindsay Vonn Cross-Trains with LEKI Nordic Walking Poles,” extolling the virtues or Nordic Walking for summer cross-training,, cardio training, recovery and rehab from injuries. Vonn also points out that Nordic Walking gives her a chance to do get our of the gym to do something outdoors with friends who “are not athletes like me.”
Vonn, Marlies Schild and Benni Reich, all Alpine skiing stars, and cross-country racer Peter Schlickenreider have a boatload of Olympic, World Championship, World Cup and assorted lesser medals. They are all LEKI-sponsored athletes, but the the video they were in shows Nordic Walking fitting into the world of these ultra-fit elite racers. There’s no way that anyone could mistake thee or mefor these ultra-elite ski racers on snow, but it is quite amazing how similar their Nordic Walking outing looks to virtually any fit man or woman with a reasonable command of Nordic Walking Technique. Take a look and tell us what you think:
Yet another study has yet another quality-of-life benefit — or so it appears. Reporter Gretchen Reynolds’s piece in the New York Times, “How Exercise May Keep Alzheimer’s at Bay,” wrote that “a cautiously encouraging new study from The Archives of Neurology suggests that for some people, a daily walk or jog could alter the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or change the course of the disease if it begins.” The recommended minimum was the usual recommendation of 30 minutes, at least five times a week. Add poles, and you get an additional upper-body workout. It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?
Nordic Walking authority shares tips & advice
Malin Svensson, Nordic Walking and fitness expert in Los Angeles is hosting a FREE teleseminar called “8 Simple Steps to Lose Weight, Look Great and Feel Sexy!” on Tuesday, January 10, at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Click here to sign up online (scroll down to the simple registration form).
The teleseminar will not be Nordic Walking-specific, although Svensson has sterling credentials. Originally from Sweden, she came to the United States in 1989 with a Masters Degree in Physical Education. Among her numerous credentials are several in Nordic Walking: First INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) Master Trainer in North America and is one of the four INWA International Coaches in the
world. INWA-certified International Nordic Walking Coach. Founder and president of Nordic Body Inc., a California wellness company helping people get fit to stay fit at any age. President of NWNA (Nordic Walking North America), an educational organization for fitness professionals. Founder of Nordic Walking USA, an informational resource on Nordic Walking (and not associated with this Nordic-Walking-USA blog). Author of Nordic Walking instructor manuals and subject of numerous fitness articles.
About.com explores the options
Unless is really cold (0 or below), really rainy (rare on Colorado’s Front Range) or really blizzarding (also rare, and when it is, shoveling is aerobic and strengthening), it’s morning for me. First I do a light workout at home, and then my neighbor, Vivian, and I go for a two-mile walk at 7:00 every weekday morning. I grab a pair of poles, and though I’ve offered her loaners, she walks empty-handed. We have been doing this for more than 15 years. But is it the “best” time of day to walk? For us it is, because neither of us generally has a conflict at that time of morning.
Wendy Baumgardner, About.com’s “walking guide,” tackled the topic a few months ago in a piece called “The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise.” According to her sources, researchers say 6:00 p.m. is ideal, and maybe it is for people not coming home from work (or not still working), not preparing dinner, not eating dinner, not urging children to get their homework done or anything else that generally happens in the early evening. Walking before the day gets away from many of us is ideal — and for Vivian and me, our regular time has become ingrained. If you find it hard to make time for a daily walk, find a walking companion or small group. My friend, Marcia, and a group of women in Corte Madera, California, get out and walk every weekday morning too.
About.com’s walking columnist suggests what not to buy — but recommends poles
We have all heard about the government’s “no fly list.” Wendy Baumgartner, who writes About.com’s walking column, has compile what might be called a “no buy list” of items that she writes she cannot recommend. In fact, it is called “Walking Products I Don’t Recommend,” either because claims for it have not been supported by properly designed studies, because they may increase the risk of injury or strain if used by fitness walkers for 30 minutes or more. I am not sure why she selected 30 minutes, but still her advice is worth taking.
Here are the products that she does not recommend:
- Toning shoes
- Weighted shoes
- Ankle weights
- Arm weights
- Fat-burning supplements
She also writes (and I like this part): “Better Choice – Walking Poles: Fitness walking poles are a superior alternative to make you burn more calories per mile while working out your upper body and taking some of the strain off your knees, hips and ankles.
Choosing Fitness Walking Poles“
Health benefits of walking with poles discussed in fianancial daily
“Getting a Leg (and Pole) Up on Burning Calories” is a piece by Laura Johannes in the Wall Strteet Journal’s “Aches & Claims” column,, which might be online only or also in the print edition. She thumbnailed a definition of Nordic Walking for those unfamiliar with it, writing:
“Nordic walkers stride along, planting a pole on the ground as the opposite foot comes down and then swinging the pole behind them. While similar to hiking poles used for balance and stability on difficult trails, walking poles are mainly for use on easy trails or neighborhood streets, say the companies that sell the poles.”
Johannes shifted back and forth between Nordic Walking and hiking with poles. She interviewed Exerstrider’s Tom Rutlin, who also alerted people in the NW community about the piece. (Thanks, Tom.) She cited 80-year-old Dr. Kenneth Cooper of the Cooper Institute whose 22-person study, authored by Timothy S. Church, nearly a decade ago is the foundation of Nordic Walking’s claim calorie-burning bonus. She also touched on the debates as to the whether walking with poles on flat ground helps protect the knees.
It is hardly the big feature that advocates and enthusiasts of fitness walking with poles might have wished for from the WSJ, but even modest coverage in such a prestigious publication can only help the Nordic Walking cause.