A very well-intentioned but error-filled post called “Discover Nordic Walking” has appeared on an ooh-la-la-sounding blog called French Sensations. Writer Jane Smith’s words are in italics, and my attempts to set the record a bit straighter are in Roman type:
“As its name indicates, Nordic walking is an activity that comes from the far north. Developed in Scandinavian countries in the early 70s, this practice was initially limited to cross country skiers.”
Nordic Walking wasn’t developed in “the Scandinavian countries” but in one Scandinavian country (Finland) and more or less simultaneously in one US state (Wisconsin) — and the timeframe was the mid- to late ’80s, not the early ’70s. It spread from Finland and Wisconsin.
“The secret of Nordic walking is pretty simple: it lies in the use of two poles, made from carbon fiber that you lean on while walking. This technique allows you to increase the natural balancing movement of your arms.”
Two sentences, three misleading phrases. Poles can be carbonfiber, composite or aluminum or a combination. You don’t lean on the poles but push back on them with every stride. And what is a “natural balancing movement of your arms” supposed to mean?
“In terms of cardio-vascular activity, a two-hour Nordic walk is worth a short run.” What?
“Nordic walking remains less tiring than running because the use of additional supports to lean on triggers a better oxygenation.”
Nordic Walkers don’t lean on their poles but use them for propulsion and take some of the stress off lower-body joints, but the poles are not “supports.” And what would leaning on anything have to do with oxygenation anyway?