If you like to take an iPod along music to set your Nordic Walking pace (or just as diversion), you’ll be interested in the SportWrap, a slimmed-down version of a holder that can be worn on the upper arm or form. Two adjustable Velcro straps secure the iPod nano or other player, no matter how agressively you move. A little built-in cleat keeps any excess earphone cord out of the way. The pouch is water-resistant and allows full access to the controls — though it won’t hold your poles for you while you tinker with the buttons. The SportWrap sells for $29.95.
Another option is Sugoi’s Audio T shirt with a pocket on the sleeve for an iPod or MP3 player. The earpiece and wire feed from the pocket and through the shirt and loop round the collar. Made of performance fabrics called TechniFine Mesh and TechLite, the shirt features ventilating mesh inserts. It comes in four two- and three-color combinations and is sized from men’s XS – 2XL; there are also kid’s sizes from age 3-4 to 11-12. I don’t know a lot of kids who are dedicated Nordic Walkers, but they might just like tunes to go as well — and also to dress like the parental role model. The web page features a fit guide. The Audio sells for $45.
Stabilyx Insulator tights (right, available in men’s S, M, L and XL; women’s S, M, L and LL) support the lower backbone and knee joint areas. Retail price is $95-$110. The Insulator Pro Zip-T (zippered and not) for men ($85), and a support-top Zip-T ($80) and sleeveless support top/bra ($60) for women.
The stuff might seem pricey, but when you want to get out in the cold and also want an extra edge comes to protecting iffy joints, such technology is actually priceless.
I picked up a Walking Advantage by Sportline pedometer on sale at REI before Christmas, and I’ve finally gotten around to setting it for my stride and using it. And I love it. The model I bought is #353, which not only was well priced but also had features that appealed to me. It is lightweight and clips firmly onto a belt or waistband. It counts steps, distance (after be calibrated to the user’s stride length, which is why it took me a while to get around to using it) and calories burned. Also, its FM radio feature is a nice extra when I’m walking alone.
Perhaps this would be redundant for an iPod owner, but for me, it’s great. Now, I can’t claim not to know how much I’ve walked and use that as an excuse for not logging at least 10,000 steps a day. Pedometers are pretty inexpensive too. The most expensive mainstream, general-purpose instruments sell for less than $40, many are between $20 and $30, and some retail for under $20.
Sportline makes pedometers from a SpongeBob Squarepants model for children to more sophisticated models. The #360 can track walking/jogging/running and also measure steps, distance, calorie burn, speed and time spent on those activities. The #355 is similar to mine but instead of an FM radio, logs time expended, displays the time of day and also has a way to adjust the stride setting.