Category Archives: Starting Out

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

Nordic Walking Notes from Colorado

Boulder County leads the way with programs for beginners & beyond

Is Nordic Walking finally getting a toehold in Colorado? I certainly hope so. I was delighted when I saw a front page story on May 23  in the Denver Post’s Fitness section called “Take Your Workout to the Great Outdoors.” There was a photo of Annette Tannander-Bank leading a Nordic Walking class — not walking in that particular shot but doing lunges with poles for stability as part of the warm-up, strengthening and cool-down exercises that instructors favor, and that people like me don’t bother with. I’m more of a grab-and-go walker. I grab my poles and I go.

Annette coaching a beginning Nordic Walker in proper arm position at North Boulder Park.

The Post piece was about outdoor workouts in general, and reporter Sheba K. Wheeler listed 20 in the metro area. Of those, several were walking programs including some specificially Nordic Walking. One was a one-day intro last Saturday, but the following are still available. 

  • Intermediate Nordic Walking, Annette leads two classes on Mondays at 12:00 noon at Boulder’s  Scott Carpenter Park and on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. at North Boulder Park. Walk-in fee is $10 or a Rallysport Health & Fitness Club punch card., plus $5 for optional pole rentals. 303-449-4800.
  • Nordic Walking, introductory program offered the first and third Saturdays of every month. Meet at Fleet Feet Sports, 2624 Broadway (at Alpine), Boulder. $5 walk-in fee; participants may borrow poles from the store. 303-939-8000.
  • Nordic Walking, Tuesdays, 6-7 p.m. from June 14-July 5, and Thursdays, 8-9 a.m., June 16-July 7. No drop-ins. $42 for residents and $48 for non-residents, including use of poles. Broomfield Recreation Center, Broomfield County Commons, 13200 Sheridan Boulevard, Broomfield.

Paley’s Pole Presentations at REI

'Poles for Balance & Mobility' DVD.

On Wednesday, June 9, Jayah Faye Paley, creator of two DVDs on walking with poles, will be at Boulder’s REI giving two free presentations — one on each DVD. From 3:45-5:15 p.m., the topic is balance, mobility and functional walking showing people with with mobility issues can use poles to improve gait, posture, endurance, function and  strength. That class is full, indicating how much of a need there is for it. From 6:30-8:00 p.m., shedemonstrates how to expand hiking horizons and improve health with poles.

Paley is based in Pacifica, California, where she runs Adventure Buddies, which promotes use of the outdoors (including Nordic Walking) and creating a network of people who enjoy outdoor recreation for health and fitness. She is also a personal trainer and mobility coach , using poles to help people stay as active as they can as long as they can under a program called Poles for Mobility.

ANWA in Colorado

As part of its nationwide schedule, the American Nordic Walking Association presents three levels of training and certification to the Denver area in mid-July. The four-hour Nordic Walking Guide Workshop ($149) for people who want to lead primarily groups of social Nordic Walkers, July 16; eight-hour Basic Instructor Training & Certification Seminar ($236 for registration before June 16, $355 after, $284 for ANWA members); July 16-17, 12-hour Advanced Instructor Training & Certification Seminar for those holding Basic certification ($288 for registration before June 16, $45 after, $360 for ANWA members). Denver area location to be announced.

Free Nordic Walking Instruction in Florida

Instructor Lori Clinch is ratcheting up her efforts to promote Nordic Walkers in Polk County

Pole Walking Polk Co. is recruiting healthy and social walkers interested in local non-competetive community walking events. In general, she is eager to promote Nordic Pole Walking in Polk County for the health, fitness and rehabilitative benefits, as well as enhance the walking experience and maximize the workout of the participants. In a broader sense, she wants to nourish the development of an active Nordic Walking “team” of individuals enthusiastic for the sport, and to network neighboring Nordic Walkers so everyone who wants to has someone to walk with and to meet new people. Such a group would also appeal to people who want the company of other like-minded health/recreation individuals in preparing for non-competitive, 3K, 5K and 10K’s charitable walks.  

She offers free Nordic Walking instruction, incuding free use of poles. Getting started requires a commitment of three hours to learn the Beginner Basic Techniques, and a then a commitment to participate in a minimum of three community walks (within 20 miles of Lakeland) in the year 2011, the first one being within six weeks of the instructional sessions. She is also willing to offer team training in other localities (such as St. Pete) for a group of 8 to 10 individuals at one time for a three-hour instructional workshop, rather than three one hour lessons. For more information, contact her at 863-268-4404  or

Guest Post: Nordic Walking Epiphany

Mary Collette Rogers, "Kitchen Coach" and new Nordic Walker.

 Nordic Walking coach introduces “Kitchen Coach” to new  fitness activity 

 The other evening at a writers’ gathering , I spent time chatting with Mary Collette Rogers. We started talking about food, and ended up talking about Nordic Walking, which she recently took up. Mary knows a lot about healthy eating and healthy cooking, and shares that knowledge in person, via cooking classes and online. She calls herself a “Kitchen Coach” because she is an authority on kitchen organzation, the author of  Take Control of Your Kitchen, teacher and speaker who guides people into gaining good health through good (and good for you) food. In short, her health awareness is stellar. 

Still, like so many people, Mary started  having bothersome knees and recently started Nordic Walking. She got its benefits immediately — just as people “get it” when she introduces them to restructuring their kitchens, pantries and habits to eat in a more healthful way. I appreciate her appreciation, but I’d share her Nordic Walking revelation even if she didn’t give me any credit me for it. Here is her guest post — for which I thank her:
A Nordic Conversion  

If you live anywhere close to Claire Walter’s circle of influence, you’ve heard a lot about Nordic Walking.  To me, it didn’t look like much more than walking with two sticks, so I wondered why all the fuss.  

 Unfortunately, in making this quick dismissal I forgot one of the more painful rules I’ve learned over the years:  Judgment should always be preceded by experience.  So now, having dismissed Nordic Walking without ever trying it, I have to eat my words.  “Walking with two sticks” is actually a terrific activity.  

 Maybe it was the promise of decreased knee pain that finally made me swallow my pride and join the monthly walk sponsored by local running store, Fleet Feet.  Who knew that walking could be such an absorbing, full-body workout?  Under the guidance of INWA National Coach Annette Tannander Bank, I learned how the simple addition of poles turns walking into a serious fitness activity, with pre-walk stretches, five or six different strides and forms, uphill and down hill strategies, speed variations and cool down stretches. 

 The specialized poles used for Nordic Walking force the arms to serve as additional “legs.”  So they get a great workout (especially those triceps), along with the entire upper body.  As if that’s not enough, pushing those poles Nordic style creates good posture–automatically.  I think that was my favorite part:  feeling tall and looking up and around as I walked.  

 Lest I forget, the poles do indeed make walking easier on the knees.  Along with everything else, that’s a big reason for shifting my regular morning walk to a Nordic Walk–if I can just remember my poles!  Here’s a tip:  I’ve started hanging poles with jacket until they become an habitual companion.  

  So here’s to Claire Walter’s persistence and Nordic Walking–a twist that adds a whole new–and fun–dimension to an ordinary activity. 

 Mary Collette Rogers is a healthy eating coach who loves just about any form of physical activity that can be done without aggravating or adding to the physical injuries she has already accumulated.  Visit her at

Famous German Ski Couple Promotes Nordic Walking in Germany

Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther high on fitness walking with poles

If you ever need confirmation that Nordic Walking is as appropriate for world-class athletes as it is for the rest of us, consider Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther, two German ski team stars of the 1970s. In addition to two gold medals and one silver at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Rosi has a  US connection, “Gold Rosi,” as she was nicknamed, won the last of 10 World Cup races before retiring from ski racing at Copper Mountain, Colorado. The resort named a trail Rosi’s Run in her honor.

The couple is into Nordic Walking and has been for a number of years. Their sport shop in Germisch-Partenkirchen stocks Nordic Walking poles and accessories. They have co-authored two Nordic Walking books, one a technique book and a second specificially about Nordic Walking for back health

They promote the sport around the country with grace, humor and inspiration.  One YouTube video shows them doing just that, and another video shows them leading 700 Nordic Walkers on an itinerary that ends in their town. Seven hundred Nordic Walkers at once. North American promoters of the sport can only dream of such numbers.

The Turn- und Sportverein, the local Garmisch-Partenkitchen sports club that was founded back in 1899, offers a series of six Nordic Walking classes for 12€ plus 5€ for use of poles during the entire course for TSV members, 18€ for the course and 10€ for the poles for non-members. 

Mittermaier and Neureuther don’t teach the classes — one Elvira Witting does. But wouldn’t it be fine if the German ski stars would come to Colorado for a Nordic Walking session — just for old time’s sake?

Baden-Baden’s Pleasing Panorama Trail

Forty-kilometer trail circles spa & suits Nordic Walkers


The Panorama Trail, which encircles Baden-Baden is the spa town’s signature trail and is also part of the massive Black Forest network of recreational trails for hiking, mountain biking, simply strolling to a pleasant sightseeing vantage point and, of course, Nordic Walking. I write “of course,” because it is a major sport and fitness activity in Germany

Numerous trailheads are accessible by car or even by public bus, either directly to the trailhead or to a bus stop on a city street not far away. Because it is divided into segments, it is easy to  escape from anywhere in town for a walk of any length.

Scoping out a route.

Wide and smooth trail is ideal for cranking along with walking poles.
One trailside amenity is the availability of folding beach loungers, free in the small one hut.
Some people hit the trails for exercise, others just to relax and take in the view.
Fall colors along the Panorama Trail.
A vineyard between the Panorama Trail and the city, easy to see en route back to town to meet the bus.

Nordic Walking Gets Big Boost Down Under

Free intro classes offered in October — in Australia

The Victoria-based Nordic Academy is be on a springtime roll with a country-wide promotion to boost Nordic Walking participation. The Aussie organization’s website lists FREE “Walktober” intro classes on various dates between the 2nd and 10th of October in the Melbourne area, Whyalla and the Barossa Valley(both  in South Australia) and Perth in western Australia and in Canberra on October 25.  In a separate E-mail, there also seems to be National Nordic Walking Month. Whatever it’s called, it’s all good.

The Nordic Academy’s website also has a click-to “Find an Instructor” function, organized by state. I would link directly from here, but the WordPress link function seems to be a nonfunctioning function this morning. Sorry.

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.

Nordic Walking for Arthritis Pain Relief

Hip pain? Nordic Walking might help — a lot

Not a week goes by without another new revelation to parties interested in a chronic or temporary health concern, wellness issue or weight loss strategie that Nordic Walking can help achieve whatever goal. The most recent I’ve seen is a piece in a site devoted to arthritis relief. Called “Arthritis in Your Hips? Nordic Walking May Help You Get Rid of Your Hip Pain,” the article advises those with painful arthtitic hips:

“Walking helps get all of the muscles around your hip joint strong and balanced, each with the other.Maybe you can’t walk so easily anymore. You might be able to do Nordic Walking or you simply might not. You will have to really consider your body and how you feel, and you might want to check with your doctor.

“You can watch a video about Nordic Walking at the website “Live Healthy By Walking dot com”. When you watch the video, you might think, ‘They are walking way too fast. I could never do that.’ Well, maybe you can’t do it right now, but if you start walking gradually at the pace you can manage comfortably, your hips will start to get happier and stronger. Using the walking poles might be a helpful way for you to begin to walk.”