Category Archives: Certification

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.


Nordic Walking Weekend in Wisconsin

October 8-9 are the dates and Greenfield is the place. Here’s the skinny from Suzanne Nottingham, founder and education director of Nordic Walk Now Now, who is producing the third annual annual WALK STRONG event next weekend: “This is our third consecutive WALK STRONG event in Greenfield and brings together walkers, runners, seniors, fitness instructors and enthusiasts of all ages and abilities with a headlining emphasis on promoting Nordic walking, or using specially designed poles to enhance walking fitness experiences to produce a life-long commitment to one’s health and well being, an opportunity to redefine your fitness walking commitment. Taking place at the newly renovated Greenfield Community Center (at the former library), we are excited to a FREE walking education classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings. No special experience is necessary and we provide free use of poles to everyone. We have an indoor rain option should the weather not cooperate.”
Here’s the SCHEDULE in the organizers’ words:
Saturday October 8:
9 – 10:15am: Take a “WALK WITH THE KING & QUEEN”! Join us for this entertaining and educational walking experience with the country’s leading Nordic fitness walking experts literally known throughout the US as the king and queen of this fitness movement, Tom Rutlin and Linda Lemke. Also on Saturday, we will be traveling to other venues in Greenfield to offer this same experience.

Sunday October 9:
8 – 9:15am: Sooth your spiritual side for “WALKING IN THE WORD” led by spiritualist Rachael Clark. This is an easy walk that focuses on enhancing your relationship that blends higher power, nature and body for an uplifting experience.
The following fee-based educational intensives on Sunday require registration online at, or on
site at the Greenfield Community Center prior to training:
9:30am- 12:30pm: EXERSTRIDE METHOD NORDIC WALKING (EMNW) Teacher Training: The Exerstride Method Nordic Walking Teacher Training is for experienced instructors who aspire to teach Nordic walking skills to a variety of individuals and groups. The virtue of simplicity is the key to both teaching and retaining information for students. Learn the Exerstrider proprietary
methods and techniques, and how Exerstrider poles enhance any person’s fitness goals. See prerequisites at
1:30 – 4:30pm: WALK TO LIVE WORKSHOP is for everyone! Any person who wishes to enhance posture, stability, weight loss, injury recovery, pain management, strength, cardiovascular and back health should attend! This is not a “workout”, rather a comfortable opportunity to learn more about keeping your body healthy using poles to improve fitness. No special experience is

World Original Nordic Walking Federation, An Introduction

New (or at least new-to-me) organization based in Finland. Thank you, Facebook, for the introduction

I vowed to myself (and to you too) that I would post more frequently to this blog, and I’ve fallen behind again. I vowed to myself (but maybe not to you) that I would try to focus more of my posts to happenings in North America, even though Europe and the U.K. continue to produce more Nordic Walking news. So much for vows, at least as far as this bloe is concerned. Here goes, after another too-long lapse, with word of yet another new-to-me Nordic Walking organization that began in Europe. I found it on Facebook (where else?), and from a glance it the archive on its website, it appears to have launched in January of this year, making it the new kid on the Nordic Walking block.

I am not clear on how the World Original Nordic Walking Federation fits in with or stands out from the rest of the alphabet soup of Nordic Walking organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. I do know that it is based in Finland, and that it sells products under imprimateur of Marko Kantaneva, the Finn who now lives in Estonia and is generally acknowledged as the father of Nordic Walking. In fact, the MARKO – MARKO KANTANEVA® trademark label seems to have developed to support the federation and further research into and promotion of Nordic Walking.  Or perhaps the Federation was developed to support and promote the brand. Like the chicken and egg, I don’t know which came first.

The ONWF (the initials different in other languages) website has pages dedicated its vision, its values, its “five statements” (which seem to be mission statements), the ONW Club that manages the federations education programs and an org chart.  The website is extensive, as is the Facebook profile.   ONWF believes there are 14 million Nordic Walkers in the world, and it aims to reach 10 percent of them within five years. Take it from there, folks.

The ONWF office adress is Ravikuja 4b A 10, 57710 Savonlinna, Finland; the E-mail addres is, and the phone number is +358 41 707 8916.

This Blog is Back

Here’s the backstory behind the new design

After a short hiatus for a redesign of this blog — with more tweaking to come — I’m back. Did you miss me? What do you think of the basic new design? My inbox is filled with Nordic Walking news and events, and I’ll try to catch up as soon as I can. Meanwhile, just as a re-entry explanation, I selected the image above for nostalgic reasons. Shortly after I got the contract to write Nordic Walking: A Complete Guide to Health, Fitness and Fun and was starting my research, Gottfried Kürmer came to Colorado to lead Nordic Walking classes of various levels. The American Nordic Walking Association invited me to join the class, where I did a lot of multi-tasking — trying to integrate the philosphy behind European-style Nordic Walking into my brain and fundamental technique into my muscle memory, and also take notes and pictures.

The class took place on the paved recreation paths of Anthem, a spacious suburban development on farmer grazing land between Broomfield and Erie. The water is probably a former stock pond. Leading the pack is Gottfried, whose form is classic and perfect.  I fell that an image including my fellow students trying to get the hang of Nordic Walking gives and accurate picture of what an introductory class is like.

So keep on reading — and grab those poles and keep on walking.

ANWA Nordic Walking in October

Gottfried Kürmer returns to US to teach and train on both coasts

I don’t think I’ve ever gone two weeks without posting on this blog, but I’ve had killer article deadlines and a little “distraction” called the Fourmile Canyon Fire, which scorched more than 6,000 acres in the foothills west of Boulder and even had us under a possible mandatory evacuation alert. We live on the west side of town, and strong winds could have driven the fire over a ridge or two right into town. We packed up, ran the sprinklers to wet down what we could and waited for the reverse 911 call that never came. In the meantime, I’ve neglected this blog, for which I apologize.

It’s quite appropriate that I restart with the news that the American Nordic Walking Association is bringing master coach Gottfried Kürmer back to the US in October. When I seriously started research for Nordic Walking: The Complete Guide to Health Fitness and Fun, Kürmer came to Colorado, and I spent a day getting my instructor certification. I never intended to teach, but it was immersion into classic European technique. 

Kürmer will be in Baltimore, October 22-24 and in Los Angeles October 29-31. Courses offered are Nordic Trekking and Weight Loss Workshop, Nordic Fitness Workshop for Nordic Blading and Skike, Nordic Walking Guide Workshop and ANWA certification workshops for Basic, Advanced and Professional Instructor levels.

According to the ANWA website, the Trekking/Weight Loss workshop “will focus on combining Nordic Fitness with Europe’s revolutionary new weight-loss and body-shaping tool Wrap’nGo.” It including an assortment of lotions and potions, plus a wrap belt, wrap suit and several foil suits, which gives you an idea of how it aims to help people accomplish weight loss. Click here for more details. In the US, a Wrap’nGo system sells for $749.50, which is not a trivial purchase. I am not sure how it can be incorporated into a one-day workshop.

Walk Strong Event Set for September

Top Nordic Walking gurus to gather and teach in Greenfield, Wisconsin

If you read this blog (ir)regularly, you’ve heard me describe the Midwest as a hotbed of Nordic Walking in the US. Most recently the second annual Nordic Walking Expo was held in the Minneapolis area, and coming up next month is Walk Strong, September 11-12 in Greenfield, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee. Walk Strong is a two-day event with components for the public and for fitness pros. On the schedule are certification programs for fitness pros who want to add Nordic Walking to the repertoire, specialty lessons and, importantly for the growth of Nordic Walking, free introductory sessions including use of poles. Suzanne Nottingham, who organized Walk Strong,  has designed this program with commendable inclusiveness in the spirit of two previous Expo. Walk Strong also brings together top trainers and instructors to interact with each other and with the public to instruction options for beginners and broaden the horizons of pros.

Leading Nordic Walking experts will be there, so whatever your level or interest, your meeting and learning from three of Nordic Walking’s gurus: Suzanne Nottingham of Nordic Walk Now and Malin Svensson of Nordic Walking North America, both from California, and Tom Rutlin of Exerstrider, the in-stater from Madison. Promoting lifelong fitness through walking with is a passion of these Nordic Walking authorities. Jenne Goldberg (above left in Nordic Walk Now photo), who is in her late 70s, is an example of one senior who practices just that.

Saturday the 11th is open to anyone who wants to learn what Nordic Walking is about, try different kinds of poles, workshops and leadership intensives. Rutlin and Svensson will team teach two free Intro Nordic Walking sessions, open to the public on Saturday with no pre-registration required. Also on Saturday, Nordic Walk Now is offering demos of inline skating with poles. Bring your helmet (mandatory) to try this energetic, energizing workout. The organizers supply skates, poles and protective gear in two demo times on Saturday. No registration is necessary for the free sessions, but it is necessary for the NWN intensives, the Walk To Live Workshop for everyone and the four- hour Instructor Training Program just for qualified instructors. Also on Saturday is the launch of the stepping stone to the ITP, Master Fitness, an eight-hour course for individuals who have completed the NWN ITP in order to qualify for Master Fitness.

Sunday the 12th is is open only to qualified instructors. Malin and Tom will each offer a 75-minute certification prep courses for any instructor who has a teaching certificate from any Nordic Walking education organization. Pre-registration is required for these two courses at,
 A $10 donation to the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department is also required.
A schedule and registration information are promised soon on the Nordic Walk Now website. Meanwhile, for more information, call  760-912-4471 or email

Skike: When Nordic Walking Isn’t Enough

Blading with poles is top-level aerobic workout on-road or off-road

For super-fit Nordic Walkers who want to get leaner, stronger and even fitter, Nordic Blading represents the next level. The use of inline skates and longer poles is known to be an extremely effective form of exercise. Wheels instead of shoes and poles for propulsion bring extra speed to blading. Skike (skate + bike = Skike) is the brand name of a European product with larger pneumatic tires for cross-country capability, brakes activated by pressuring with the back of the lower leg and a semi-cuff that works as a lever to transfer that pressure from the body to the brakes.
Skike, which was invented by an Austrian named Otto Eder (above), has now joined Nordic Walking and other fitness activities with a training and instruction model that can accommodate trainers, coaches and instructors. The American Nordic Walking Association is offering a four-hour blading workshop on Friday, June 4, from 2:00 to 6:99 p.m. in Pacific Palisades, California. It is unclear whether this is Nordic Blading in general or Skiking in particular. The workshop costs $149 (discount for ANWA members).

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Click here for links to Skike videos. The one in the upper lefthand corner has music but no voice-over, so language is not an issue.

A Bit About Equipment

There are currently three Skike models on the market, in Europe anyway, all featuring two pneumatic tube tires, industrial-quality ball bearings, “a robust and stable lightweight frame” made of aluminum that is said to be produced exclusively for Skike. Three colors and two sizes are offered. In addition, there are spare parts and accessories, special poles by Pole4 and assorted safety equipment, sportswear, accessories and bags. 
The US. distributor is Pan Trading LLC (contact Franz Zarda), 26723 Lucas Canyon Lane, Kathy, Texas 77494; 713-458-0905 or It is carried at retail by, which also handles rollerskates, inline skates, ice skates and “aggressive skates.” Click here for the Skike trail skates page on their website.

Other than that, the Skike website also does have a link to Skike USA with a phone number (888-460-8789) but no other contact information. That number reaches an “ATT virtual receptionist” who informs callers that no one is available at the number but requests that a voice message be left.By contrast, the list for Germany, where it is promoted as “Der neue On- und Offroad Skater”  includes 288 trainers, instructors and coaches, both individuals and sports training facilities or physiotherapy clinics.

Meanwhile, a training course has already taken place in Nanjing, China (above). I’m betting that it won’t be long, trademarks and pates notwithstanding, before Skike clones appear in the People’s Republic — if they haven’t already.

Upcoming Nordic Walking Classes in Colorado

Recreational, guide and instructor training classes scheduled

I Nordic Walk year-round in Boulder, and I keep expecting this sport/fitness/outdoor activity to skyrocket in Colorado. It may not be skyrocketing, but it is growing at a deliberate pace. Right off the bat, I can think of several people right in my orbit who would benefit greatly from using poles but don’t.

A friend and neighbor and go for a two-mile walk every morning. I use poles. She doesn’t, and while she is a fast energetic walker, she periodically mentions an ouchy back. We often see another neighbor who is hunched over from osteoporosis, has spindly little arms and walks gamely with an awkward gait. She owns poles, took one class and never uses them. When I see her across the street, I raise my poles overhead and click them together to remind her. A writer colleague who was in a Foot Solutions class I joined when they were in town also owns poles — and also never uses them. She keeps intending to. Finally, still another neighbor, an octogenarian whom I can occasionally lure out on a brief walk up and down the block does bring her poles along. She acknowledges that they provide balance and stability, but unless I coax her outside, her only walking is from the house to the car and back for appointments with various doctors and her hairdresser, and an almost daily lunch out with her husband.

No excuses or reasons will hold any water at all, since this area offers several opportunities to learn Nordic Walking and hook up with companions for future walks.

Boulder Parks and Rec

The Boulder Parks and Rec’s Summer 2010 catalog is out now. It features one — just one — Nordic Walking class. Five classes are offered on  consecutive Thursdays between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. from June 3 through July 1. “All levels are welcome,” states the catalog, which would make it ideal for those two women who have poles but don’t use them. If there is only to be one, the East Boulder Community Center (left) is the ideal place. It houses both the East Boulder Recreation Center (pools, gyms, yoga studio, dance studio, weight room, etc.) and the East Boulder Senior Center. Excellent paved recreation paths are right outside the door.

The Nordic Walking five classes cost is $35 for residents, $45 for non-residents, including use of poles for those who don’t have their own. Register in person at any of the city’s three rec centers, online or by calling 303-413-7270.

Fleet Feet Sports

Fleet Feet Sports is a North Boulder running store (and as far as I know, the only Boulder retailer to carry Nordic Walking poles) that continues to offer low-cost classes on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Click here for my post and photos about such a clinic last June. Then, it was free. Now, the  cost is $5, including use of poles.

American Nordic Walking Association

The American Nordic Walking Association has scheduled guide and instructor training in the Denver area, July 17-18. Three levels of training are to be offered: 

  • Nordic Walking Guide , $149, July 17
  • Nordic Walking Basic Instructor, from $236 for early-bird ANWA member registration to $355 for non-members, July 17-18
  • Nordic Walking Advanced Instructor, from $288 for early-bird ANWA member registration to $40 for non-members, July 17-18 

The location will be announced. Go the the ANWA website for details about what to bring and what participants get for their registration fee. The site also lists other Nordic Walking guide and instructor training and certification clinics in the U.S. and Canada. When I was researching my Nordic Walking book, I was invited to the ANWA Basic Instructor Course, which was given by Gottfriend Kuermer, who was but no longer seems to be ANWA’s master trainer. Click here for my post and photos from that two-day session.


Spring Training for Nordic Walking

Guide and instructor training seminars posted on organizations’ websites

Spring training starts on April 10. The phrase means one thing in baseball and another thing entirely in Nordic Walking, where spring brings a wave of programs and events, including intro levels to advanced instructor training certification programs in North America. I am going to save myself a lot of typing and point you to schedules that I know about. Just click on the links to find the dates, times, certification levels and costs. Keep checking these websites, because it is possible that programs might be added.

American Nordic Walking Association

ANWA offers programs at Nordic Walking Guide, Basic Instructor, Advanced Instructor and Professional Instructor levels. The schedule begins and ends in Los Angeles, where ANWA is located. The first is on April 10-11 and the last on December 11-12. In between, they will be offered across the US and also in Vancouver, Canada. The photo above is from ANWA.

Exerstride Method Nordic Walking

EMNW, the technique associated with Exerstrider poles, does not have any instructor training courses scheduled at the moment, but you can click here to check on future events or contact them at contact either us at (put “Instructor Training” in the subject line), indicate where you live and in which major cities you you might be able to attend an instructor-training event

International Nordic Walking Association
The schedule currently up on INWA‘s website begins April 10-11 in Portland, Oregon, and runs through June 12-13 in Seattle. Weekends in between include Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Dallas, Montreal and here in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.

Nordic Walk Now

Nordic Walking Now  also starts its full on April 10 in Honolulu and continues through September 12 in Wisconsin. Options are the Walk to Live leadership workshop and Instructor Training. There was an instructor training program at the Body and Mind Conference last month in Chico, California, introducing a special interest community to the sport.

Canadian Nordic Walking Assocation

In addition to ANWA and INWA instructor courses respectively in Vancouver and Montreal, CNWA offers Nordic Group Leader certificaition on request. Contact Gerry Faderbauer, 905-713-264 or