It’s been more than a month since I noticed a couple of inaccurate articles about Nordic Walking (see my April 19 and 20 posts) or spotted CNN’s misinforming report (see May 15 post). I don’t mean to be persnickety for its own sake, but I see these erroneous reports as misleading new Nordic Walkers, who then put misiniformation into action.
My most recent find was an introductory article to Nordic Walking on northjersey.com that included the following paragraph: “Walk naturally with opposite arm and leg forward. Drag and plant the poles as you walk. Don’t think about it too much or you’ll mess up.” The report by Jessica Peralta was posted originally on an Orange County, CA, site called SQUEEZEOC, was picked up all the way across the country in northern New Jersey. It isn’t correct on either coast.
The report did not indicate that some instructors tell newbies to drag their poles only for a few steps in the beginning learning to actually use the poles. Nowhere did the article mention where the poles are to be planted in relation to the feet. Nowhere did it discuss the backswing, the open hand or even pole length, the most basic of basic info. Peralta did comment, “The most difficult part of the exercise is getting the straps on — they strap over your hands in a specific way.”
This is yet another example of why it’s good to take a class or workshop, preferably from a certified Nordid Walking instructor but at the very least from a fitness professional who has also been trained by a pole company to teach the basics of Nordic Walking.