Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking or “Urban Poling” is a fantastic cardiovascular activity that works your entire body. The activity originated in Finland as a summer cross-training option for skiers and provides all of the benefits of cross-country skiing without the snow.

Using specifically designed poles for Nordic walking that are similar to those used for cross-country skiing, Nordic walkers stride along trails and roads while using a technique that engages the upper body and back as well as the lower portion of the body. Nordic walking is a great activity for active living participants who are walking for fitness, as well as athletes who are looking for a cross-training alternative.

In partnership with The Vancouver Sun Run, SportMedBC was the first to initiate Nordic walking clinics leading up to taking part in a 10K event. Training clinics featuring nordic walking were first introduced in 2007 and are now offered annually leading up to the Vancouver Sun Run. Not all Vancouver Sun Run InTraining clubs offer a Nordic Walking division, please check with your local Host Centre to confirm availability. Participants will be required to bring their own poles to the clinic. Nordic Walking poles ARE permitted in the Vancouver Sun Run. For safety reasons, no poles will be allowed in non-Nordic walking clinics.

NOTE: SportMedBC DOES NOT offer Nordic Walking classes or programming outside of Sun Run InTraining.

We encourage you to contact our official Nordic Walking Partner – Urban Poling – for information on programming throughout the rest of the year. Urban Poling is a Vancouver-based company lead by co-owners Mandy Shintani and Diane Oliver. In addition to providing technical training and certification in nordic walking for SportMed RunWalk leaders, Urban Poling has been instrumental in helping SportMedBC develop a network of trained nordic walking instructors, which has allowed us to expand our programming over the past several years.

If you are interested in learning more about SportMedBC’s Nordic Walking clinics or are interested in becoming a leader please contact us at

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