Snow-deprived ski walkers?

“Exercise is, hands down, one of the most powerful and well-documented ways to stay young for as long as possible” says Dr. Christiane Northrup. When she tried Ski Walking (aka Nordic Walking), she “was astounded at how effective this way of walking is. If you’re a regular walker, I urge you to try ski walking because it will add a whole new dimension to your workout. If you have knee, hip, or back problems you will be pleasantly surprised at how good walking with these poles feels. They automatically put you into proper alignment”.

Dr. Christiane Northrup is internationally known for her empowering approach to women’s health and wellness, and a leading proponent of medicine and healing that acknowledges the unity of the mind and body. Recently she highlighted the sport of Nordic Walking, and an article by Pete Edwards, owner/founder www.skiwalking.com and The American Nordic Walking System.

Pete describes how ski walking is not just for snow-deprived ski racers anymore

“Ski Walking, also called Nordic Walking, is the fastest growing fitness activity in Europe. Over 760,000 Finns of all ages and all fitness levels are hiking with their poles—that’s 20 percent of Finland’s entire population. And over eight million are Ski Walking all across Europe, too. Ski Walking is basically walking with special fitness poles—no skis and no snow required.

The Finns saw the success of their world class cross country skiers utilizing ski poles in the summer for Ski Walking and Hill Bounding. They also saw how a hiker with knee pain could walk with a hiking stick and eliminate that knee pain, and how back packers complained that their backs hurt until they were given poles. So the Finns developed walking poles with removable rubber tips (for hard surfaces, such as pavement), added special carbide ferrules (for snow, ice, beach, trail, sand dune), and borrowed the most comfortable cross country ski straps they could find. They also discovered that the perfect length poles for recreational Ski Walking were poles that put the Ski Walker’s elbow at 90 degrees when strapped in and standing tall. And now Americans of all ages and athletic abilities have the opportunity to unlock the calorie burning and aerobic benefits of Ski Walking.

Ski Walking provides a better aerobic and cardio workout than regular walking and radically reduces the pounding and stress to the knees, hips, and back. And Ski Walking is appropriate for people with sore or new knees, sore or new hips, back problems, MS, Parkinson’s, shin splints, runner’s knee, and other issues.

By utilizing the correct length poles, we are automatically forced to walk taller, with hips forward and the back straighter. Better posture is biomechanically a good thing! Combine this improved posture with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive action of walking with fitness poles and there is a noticeable decrease in the stress put on the weight bearing joints. It is not magic. It is just physics.

Ski Walking really does burn up to 40 percent more calories than regular walking. According to the Cooper Institute’s Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sports 2002 publication, Ski Walking produces up to a 46 percent increase in energy consumption compared to regular walking. Unlike regular walking, running, and biking, Ski Walking really works the arms, shoulders, and abs.

Pete Edwards is a former Ski School Director, Running Coach, Personal Trainer and the owner/founder/coach of The American Nordic Walking System and WWW.SKIWALKING.COM

Lynn Kanuka, Olympic bronze medalist runner and SportMedBC’s RunWalk Coach adds “Nordic Walking is now truly on the move within the Sun Run InTraining Leadership Community…I’ve known it was only a matter of time before it would be like an incredible steam engine that would gain momentum and never stop… for walkers and runners alike!

“Personally I had no idea how much I would enjoy this new sport.  On a day when I could choose to go for a run in the forest, it’s now to where I sometimes opt to go for a “walk with my sticks” instead!  I love the upper body workout and the increased range of motion in my stride and arm pattern. In fact I find it compliments my running and am glad to promote the activity to runners and walkers alike.”

For more information on Nordic Walking in BC, check out the articles, clinics and information on SportMedBC.com.

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