Category Archives: Weight Management

Malin Svensson’s Free Fitness Teleseminar

Nordic Body founder, fitness and Nordic Walking coach offers free tips

Malin Svensson, owner of Nordic Body in the LA. area and a multiply certified international fitness coach with a special concentration on Nordic Walking, is offering s a free teleseminar called “8 Simple Steps to Lose Weight, Look Great and Feel Sexy!” on Tuesday, April 10 at 5:30 p.m. PDT. Using online communications, she asks people:

  • Did your New Year’s resolution to lose weight only last 2 weeks?
  • Have you tried everything there is to look great but without results?
  • Are you too stressed and too busy to get started with a fitness routine?
  • Have you given up on feeling sexy or maybe  even forgotten how it feels?
  • Do you feel alone and helpless in trying to get the body you want and deserve?

Continuing, she adds, “If you have answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then you need to be on this complimentary teleseminar. I don’t know what topics she plans to cover, but whether or not Nordic Walking will directly be part of it, her orientation definitely is toward fitness walking with specially designed poles. To participate, you must register online before 4 p.m. PDT on the 10th.

Malin Svensson’s Free Weight Loss Teleseminar

Nordic Walking authority shares tips & advice

Malin Svensson

Malin Svensson, Nordic Walking and fitness expert in Los Angeles is hosting a FREE teleseminar called “8 Simple Steps to Lose Weight, Look Great and Feel Sexy!” on Tuesday, January 10, at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Click here to sign up online (scroll down to the simple registration form).

The teleseminar will not be Nordic Walking-specific,  although Svensson has sterling credentials. Originally from Sweden, she came to the United States in 1989 with a Masters Degree in Physical Education. Among her numerous credentials are several in Nordic Walking: First INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) Master Trainer in North America and is one of the four INWA International Coaches in the
world.
INWA-certified International Nordic Walking Coach. Founder and president of Nordic Body Inc., a California wellness company helping people get fit to stay fit at any age. President of NWNA (Nordic Walking North America), an educational organization for fitness professionals. Founder of Nordic Walking USA, an informational resource on Nordic Walking (and not associated with this Nordic-Walking-USA blog). Author of Nordic Walking instructor manuals and subject of numerous fitness articles.

 

Nordic Walking “Coach Kit” Tunes Up Technique

Malin Svensson’s package audio workouts, book, poles, pedometer & more

Malin Svensson, a certified international Nordic Walking coach, has assembled several key products into a kit called “My Nordic Walking Coach” to keep Nordic Walkers on track and their technique tuned up. She wears several hats in the Nordic Walking community, the first of which was her LA-based Nordic Walking USA. Malin’s business is no relation to this blog, except similar names and a passion for fitness walking with poles.

She teaches the International Nordic Walking Association technique — born in Europe and imported to the US — that calls for powering through each strike with a straight arm, a definite push with the pole and a slight forward lean. Deviations from the technique can diminish the maximum benefit from the workout, and Svensson’s kit is designed to help combat problems the way a coach would.

The basic standard kit ($147, above)  includes her book called Nordic Walking,  five CDs containing eight workouts, a pedometer, a four-week calendar and a magnet so you have no excuse not to put it on the fridge. Click here to order. The deluxe kit ($295, or $327 with three payments of $109) also includes  pair fixed-length LEKI Platinum poles. Click here to order.

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.

Forest Versus Trees

Considering what really matters in fitness walking with poles

I have been following the impassioned and yet dispiriting discussion on the UK-based Nordic Walking eCommunity about whether Pacer Poles with their unconventional grips can be considered Nordic Walking poles in the broadest sense of the term. Click here if you care to slog through the discussion on the topic, “Is There A Place For Pacerpoling on a – Nordic Walking – Forum?”

I read through long discourses on why Pacer Poles belong or don’t belong, a divisive thread that seems to pit purists versus globalists. I read the tangential discussion about whether the Pacer Pole people play well with others, which is totally irrelevant to an individual who wants to gain fitness by walking with specially designed poles.

Against this background, I was heartened to read a post by a Canadian blogger named Deborah who writes “The Unbearable Lightness of Becoming.” I don’t know her last name, nor do I care. She describes herself as “a 41 year old female living in the beautiful province of New Brunswick.” She has been trying to lose weight and also seems to be a fairly new Nordic Walker who just completed half-marathon. She wrote a post titled “I choose Not to run! But I will Nordic Walk” that continued, “Which is exactly what I did do this past Sunday for a half-marathon. I am proud of myself for seeing this through because I am a great one for starting something and giving up half-way through. It was a tough ten weeks. Today I hurt in places I did not know I even had but it is worth it.”

She didn’t write about which poles she uses or even whether they are one-piece or adjustable, which shoes she wears, which technique she practices and whether it is biomechanically correct. She wrote about setting a goal and accomplishing it, feeling proud and strong. Her enthusiasm for walking with poles is palpable. And that, IMHO, is what everyone in the small community and smaller “industry” should be focusing on.

Exerstrider founder Tom Rutlin, who himself was long considered an outsider and renegade by the orthodox Nordic Walking community, wrote on the eCommunity thread, “Pole walking in just about any form trumps ordinary bipedal walking (for health benefits, enjoyment and motivation). Let’s all  finally all begin to concentrate far more on getting more people to ‘taste’ this wonderful healthy activity which just happens to come in a number of flavors’ — all of which would likely to be equally tasty to those without prejudiced minds, not to mention the kind of fear and confusion arising from the endless technique and equipment debates which have too long obscured to the outside world’ the simple fact that ‘Walking with poles is great!’.” Amen.

Utah Demo Class for the "Not So Fit"

I have nothing but admiration for Elizabeth Foote, a plus-size lady in the Salt Lake City area who took up Nordic Walking some years ago, got trained to teach the sport and began to see improvements in her own health and vitality even as she taught others. Under the name FootePath, she has been helping others use poles to gain positive results. She started  her business in August 2006, three months before I wrote the first post on this blog. She and her partner Donna Mirabile have been written up in the likes of the Wall Street Journal and appeared on local television for their efforts.

This Tuesday, March 23, FootePath is offering a free demo class at Utah’s Olympic Oval, a climate-controlled venue that is out of the public eye — a consideration for plus-sized or otherwise challenged students who might otherwise be self-conscious outdoors. While the class is free, including use of poles, there is a $2.50 track use fee for the Oval.

They say that the most popular option is the $50 three-class package. Each one is 45 to 60 minutes long and includes pole rental during and between classes. The cost is $50 — which is a great deal. This package is most convenient for students between Bountiful and Lehi, but anyone who is willing to travel is certainly welcome. They say, “We prefer to teach our local classes at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah, but our motto is: ‘Have poles, will travel!’ That means we’re more than willing to meet you just about anywhere.”

I wish I could give you a time for the class, but it is not on their calendar and news of it is hiding somewhere in the depths of the new Facebook. If you are interested, contact FootePath at 801-654-1059 or info@footepath.org.

Newspaper Reporter Waylays Nordic Walker; Gets Local Scoop

Earlier today, I received an E-mail from Nordic Walker Warren Nelson from Vancouver, Washington. I’m delighted to share his message (with his permission):

“I have your blog feeding into my Goggle Reader and track it regularly. So, I thought when I got this write up in our local Vancouver, WA “Columbian” circulation 40,000, you’d be interested. (By the way, Vancouver, WA is just across the Columbia River from Portland, OR.)

“I was out walking last Wednesday and the reporter drove by, turned around, stopped beside me and handed me her card! I was at the end of a fairly intense 8 miler with a lot of hills and thought she was just a delivery person trying to bulk up subscriptions so I took her card and walked the last 3/4 mile to my home.

“When I finally read her card and saw she was I reporter, I called her back!

“She was in the middle of writing this feature and was frustrated that she hadn’t found anybody actually walking! She interviewed me for 20 minutes and arranged an appointment for photos and the article was featured on the (3/4 of the page!) in the Life section of the paper this morning.

“I love Nordic Walking! Since starting seriously about 8 months ago, I walked the Portland Marathon, have lost 40 lbs and have schedule three marathons and three half-marathons for this year so far.

“Here’s the link to the article: http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/feb/08/walkings-new-stride-nordic-style-using-poles/

The story is a must-read for all Nordic Walking enthusiasts. If every Nordic Walking were “discovered” by one local reporter (print or TV), the word would get our all the faster about Nordic Walking’s benefits — especially by featuring someone like Warren Nelson, his 40-pound weight loss and race accomplishments. 

A Weighty Question

I received the E-mail below and will answer it here.

A visitor to this blog wrote:

“I understand that you may not be a nordic walking trainer, but i enjoy
reading your blog and just wanted some advice. i took up nordic walking quite by
accident 4 months ago and i throughly enjoy getting up in the morning and going
out for a god walk. i have however been losing weight and am very pleased with
that notion walking is something that i enjoy doing but in the last month or so
i have noticed that i am not losing weight as before in fact i have stopped
losing weight. i dont want to give up the walking but i reaslise i may have to
supplement my walking with some other form of exercise do you have any links
that i can look at in order to probably up the ante in my nordic walks thank
you.”

I hope that others with more precise knowledge of physiology and nutrition will also (pardon the pun) weigh in on this. But here’s my short answer. Losing weight is a combination of calories ingested/calories burned. As you become more comfortable Nordic Walking, you might also become more efficient and therefore burn fewer calories. If you want to use only Nordic Walking for weight loss without any change in the foods you eat, you would have to walk faster and/or farther and/or and/or hillier terrain and/or put more energy into the propulsion with each step. You don’t indicate whether you are a self-taught Nordic Walker or learned from an instructor, but either way, a session with an instructor or trainer might be very productive in restarting your weight loss and getting off your weight plateau. Good luck.

"Walk Off Pounds FAST!"

Magazine covers often promise more than reality can deliver

That’s the promise on a Prevention magazine promotional insert in yesterday’s paper. “Fast” is a four-letter word that means excessive expectations. The subtitle, “…in just three short walks a week!” In fact, every issue of every woman’s, health, fitness and other magazine makes such rash promises. Trimming belly fat, getting rid of unwanted pounds and generally getting slimmer fast is a coverline writer’s staple, dragged out of the editorial pantry issue after issue. If it were that easy, we’d all be sylphs.

Recent covers from other recent issues make similar promises on walking’s behalf. “Walk Off Weight After 40” and “Walking Off 20 Pounds” have appeared recently, but Prevention‘s promotional implication that pounds can be walked off “fast,” in fact in “three walks a week” is especially egregious. In time, when walking regularly with or even without poles, the pounds will come off — but the gain in physical health, wellness, strength, stamina and emotional well-being are even more important than rapid-fire weight loss. Such goals are attainable with a regular walking routine — but they don’t happen as “fast” as the magazine’s promotional cover implies.

"Mince Pie Calculator"

British walking site calculates calories expended and how much walking is needed to work off how much mince pie

From the nation that brought us Monty Python, “Are You Being Served?” and “Keeping Up Appearances” comes a wonderfully humor-based calorie calculator that correlates excessive holiday eating with how much walking will undo the damage. Click on Walking Works’ calculator, enter your weight (in kilograms, pounds or even stone) and the length of time you walked, and up will come a number representing calories burned. It doesn ‘t ask how far you walked in that time, so i’s not science, but it is fun. Once you stop smiling about the walking/mince pie connection, remember kicks out a ballpark estimate. The Walking Works website supports just plain walking in the UK, so if you are Nordic Walking, you can give yourself a caloric bonus of 20 to 45 percent, depending on how aggressively you use your poles.

Thanks to a thread on the UK-based Nordic Walking E-community for the link to the calculator that made me both smile and calculate yesterday’s walk. Credit goes specifically to Malcolm Jarvis, co-moderator based in Leeds, or Andi, whose screen name is WetlandTraining, for their online discussion about the mince pie/walking correlation.