I’m going to be completely honest here and let you know that I am not, nor have I ever been, someone who exercises. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t truly know and believe in the benefits and it’s not that I haven’t tried. I have kick boxing videos, walking videos, WI Fit……you name it, I’ve bought it. When I moved from Ontario I was actually planning to have a ‘fitness focused garage sale’. I had a Nordic Track ski machine, a Gazelle, weights, a weight bench, previously mentioned videos, as well as, assorted yoga mats, balls, tubes and other exercise paraphernalia (all barely used). Not a pretty picture, but the reality of the role exercise played in my life. Now, having said all that and so that you know I’m not a total slug I do love skiing, walking, hiking and just being outdoors. In fact, I have realized after years of frustration with storing unused exercise equipment not to mention the staggering amount of money all this ‘stuff’ cost me (did I mention the many gym memberships?) I don’t like exercising inside.
So when I moved Vancouver I started walking regularly around my hilly neighbourhood and on the seawall. I love these walks, the air is so fresh, there is none of the humidity that there is in Ontario and I never tire of looking at the mountains and the ocean. The only problem was I didn’t think I was getting the exercise I needed. After a while the walks weren’t a challenge and I was finding I could go a long distance and not feel like I was expending any effort so I was looking for a way to increase my endurance and cardio when I heard of Nordic Pole Walking. I can’t remember how or where I heard about it, but like every other time I wanted to do some form of exercise I just went and bought some poles without knowing much about it. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Nordic Pole Walking it was invented in Finland so competitive cross country skiers could train when there isn’t snow. They found the training gave them an incredible competitive advantage.
The first time I tried walking with the poles I knew I was going to like it. I wasn’t sure what I was doing or the technique to use, but it was just something different. After walking with the poles for quite a few months my business partner, Patti and I decided that we would offer Nordic Walking classes as part of our holistic approach to health and wellness. It was a perfect fit. At first, I was a bit concerned about Patti’s opinion because she is someone who is quite fit and works out regularly so I was afraid she would think it was too easy. I think maybe she thought this too, but to her surprise she couldn’t believe how much of a full body work out Nordic Pole Walking is.
We enrolled in the instructor training though Urban Poling, purchased their poles and learned the proper technique. I had previously been using a completely different style of poles and I couldn’t believe how much easier it is to use the ergonomically designed Urban Pole compared to the ones I had been using. The instructor training was excellent and after getting the proper technique down we knew we had to get the word out about this awesome exercise. Given the right technique and proper poles Patti and I found we worked our arms, core and legs even more.
Now when I decided to keep up with Nordic Pole Walking it was only because I liked it, but since then I’ve learned about the many, many benefits this exercise can do for me or for anyone. I’ll list the benefits below, but probably the best thing about it is that anyone can do it and everyone (no matter what their fitness level) can benefit. Although you don’t see a lot of people using Nordic Poles yet it is definitely a growing trend and one that will continue to grow for many reasons and here are just a few:
- It creates a full-body cardiovascular exercise using your arms, back, core, and legs.
- It engages as much as 90% of the body’s muscles while improving posture, balance, and stability.
- It burns up to 46% more calories than regular walking.
- It makes walking more challenging without walking further or faster.
- It takes stress off your knee and hip joints.
- It’s ideal for all ages & fitness levels – and it is a fun and easy way to socialize.
- Improves energy and mood while reducing stress.
- It improves balance, stability and posture
Did I mention that I’ve been doing Nordic Pole Walking for over a year? Yes, Nordic Pole Walking is now officially my longest ‘running’ exercise routine.
Give it a try! But remember, to get the benefits you have to learn the technique! Visit Urban Poling at http://urbanpoling.com to learn more about their poles and technique and call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase some poles, have a lesson, join a class or just to inquire about why we love Nordic Pole Walking.