Category Archives: Starting Out

9-Day Walking Festival in England

The Brits really get the benefits and pleasures of walking (“tramping” as they call it in the country), and walking with poles is part of the picture. Here’s what the Staffordshire newsletter writes about its upcoming walking festival. Staffordshire is in the West Midlands, the largest nearby city being Birmingham. The photo below is also from the borough’s newsletter story.

Stafford Borough Walking Festival returns for its sixth year on Saturday, May 2, and runs until Sunday, May 10.

More than 30 activities will be running at locations including the Trentham Estate, Izaak Walton Cottage, Shugborough Hall and Doxey Marshes. There will also be fun family events linked to walks, such as a treasure hunt in Stafford town centre, a fairy hunt in Victoria Park and picnics at the Trentham Monkey Forest.

Anyone interested in taking up a new way of walking is invited to try out Nordic walking, a whole body exercise using specially designed poles. Instructor Gareth Davies will be running taster sessions at Rowley Park each day and borough residents who want to do more Nordic Walking, and normally exercise for less than 150 minutes a week, can sign up to a 10 week course for just £20.



Free Sample Class in Santa Monica

NordicBody-logoMalin Svensson, the L.A. area’s energetic proponent of Nordic Walking and founder of Nordic Body fitness, hosts a free community fitness event on Sunday, March 28 from 10 to 11:15 a.m. She leads a Nordic Walking class to kick off an eight-week body makeover program. The group meets at Perry’s Café, 2600 Bernard Way (end of Ocean Park Boulevard) in Santa Monica. The first 30 people to register online get an included pole rental, and everyone has a shot at a six-week package of Nordic Walking classes ($110 value).


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.


Sports Reporter Describes First Steps, First Stumbles

NordicWalkingI can’t think of a better name for a Nordic Walker than Diane Walkowiak. This Omaha sports columnist wrote “Making Strides with Nordic Walking,” in which she summarizes the stalled state of Nordic Walking in this country. She bought poles, watched videos and stumbled around while trying to feel comfortable and get real benefit – and overcoming the DIY frustration. She managed, in a DIA fashion, to achieve a semblance of skill and enjoy some satisfying results. I am assuming that she is healthy, somewhat (or very) athletic and has no trepidation about trying something new. She managed. Most people, I daresay, would have given up.

If only the basics of Nordic Walking instruction were available in Omaha, and  if classes were easy to find there (or anywhere) and elsewhere in this country. The American Nordic Walking “community,” if there is such a thing, remains a house divided — with no single and much-needed resource for finding poles, instruction and walking companions for those who would enjoy the companionable aspects. An Internet search for “Nordic Walking, Omaha” brings up 13 results, including two Tae Kwan DO schools, a local soccer club, the Absolute Serenity Day Spa, a dentist and a couple of national sites that purportedly sell poles. The most promising result was Tiger Coaching & Personal Training, a gym with no mention at all of Nordic Walking. Omaha is not unlike most of America when it comes to access to instruction or support. Sadly.

Nordic Walking Intro in Ottawa

Anne Hutchinson, Nordic Walking/Urgan Poling instructor
Anne Hutchinson, Nordic Walking/Urgan Poling instructor

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.

Post Mortem on 2014 Winter Trails Day

Strong turn-out where there was snow — except in Colorado

WinterTrails-logoThe 19th annual Winter Trails Day on January 11 experienced a strong turnout at recurring locations with good snow, especially in the Midwest with attendance up 20 to 30 percent at some venues, according to administrator Reese Brown, who noted that snowsports newcomers were “very excited” for this year’s event. It’s a free intro, which might enhance the excitement. However, other events were canceled in the Pacific Northwest and California due to low or no snow and driving, then freezing rain in the Mid-Atlantic and New England region.

Colorado’s two big Winter Trails Days that focused on snowshoeing were canceled, but not because of weather. REI’s Denver flagship store, which traditionally provided loaner equipment and personnel for the event at Echo Lake in the foothills west of Denver, has had major changes in personnel and is “not ready” for this year. The Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park event generally held a week later was canceled because the park’s and the town’s were severely strained by wildfire, the federal government shutdown and catastrophic September floods.

Canada’s Sun Peaks Adds Nordic Walking

Sun Peaks-logoCanada’s Sun Peaks Resort, a year-round, destination north of Kamloops in interior British Columbia, is adding Nordic Walking, or as they call it Nordic Pole Walking, to its summer program. Discover Sun Peaks Adventures, which handles the resort’s activities program, will be offering introductory and intermediate clinics throughout the summer with experienced instructors and interpretive guides to teach the technique while exploring the walking and hiking trails at Sun Peaks.

The two-hour introductory program begins at 10 a.m. on the following Saturdays: June 22, June 29, July 13, August 3, August 18, August 31 and September 14. Those who have completed the Discover Nordic Walking program can “graduate” to the  Discover Alpine Nordic Walking program, a 2½-hour program, still described as “novice” but on upper-mountain trails. It takes place at 1 p.m. on the following Saturdays: July 13,  August 3,   August 31, plus Sunday, August 18. If you’ve had a bit of Nordic Walking experience, you might ask whether you can participate without the intro session.

Each session costs CDN$39 for  instruction and interpretive guided program, plus use of Keenfit Nordic Walking poles and, for the Alpine option, one uphill ride on the Sunburst chairlift.

Book through the Sun Peaks Adventure Centre located in the Village Day Lodge or call 250-578-5542.

Nordic Walking Classes Start in Broomfield

Paul Derda Center

Broomfield, Colorado’s exemplary Paul Derda Recreation Center is starting Nordic Walking classes on Thursday, May 3.  I haven’t been able to find any info about the classes on-line, and I haven’t had a chance to phone either. I don’t know who is teaching them either. But the Daily Camera did indicate that the classes start at 8:30 a.m. and cost $32-$48 for an unspecified number of sessions. Those rates might be resident/non-resident fees or depend on whether or not poles are included. The rec center is at 13201 Lowell Boulevard, Broomfield. For more information or to register, call 303-460-6900.

Nordic Walking Technique on YouTube

Kanteneva video is Nordic Walking short course

Beginners needing tips on how to start Nordic Walking and experienced Nordic Walkers wanting a quick refresher ought to check out a YouTube video feature Marko Kanteneva, a Nordic Walking pioneer who continues to promote Original Nordic Walking to differentiate it (however so slightly) from other brands. The vidoe shows him Nordic Walking at regular speed and in slow motion, includes illustrations of muscles engaged during Nordic Walking and shows uphill and downhill technique as well as walking on the flat.


Tomorrow is Winter Trails Day 2012

“Winter Feels Good” is the snowsports industry’s promotional slogan, and Winter Trails Day 2012 on Saturday, January 7, is designed to provide a no-cost and easy way to sample winter outdoor activities and an opportunity to try equipment on your own or go on a group tour. Problem is that in much of the country’s snowbelt, it doesn’t feel much like winter at all.

Here in Colorado where there is some snow in the high country, the show willl go on. Winter Trails Day activities have ebbed and flowed over the years, with more scheduled some years than others. The big event hosted by REI is snowshoe-only — no cross-country skiing. It takes place at Echo Lake along Colorado Hwy. 103 between Bergen Park and Idaho Springs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and features hundreds of demo snowshoes for adults and children, guided hikes, snow activities, outdoor gear displays and free giveaways. For more information, call 303-756-3100.