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Nordic Walking Returns To The Northern Michigan College Classroom

Wed, Nov  4, 2009 - By Pete Edwards

Nordic WalkingNordic Walking Returns To The Northern Michigan College Classroom On Friday, Nov. 6th, 2009, Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) will host Lifelong Learning Campus Day offering a Nordic Walking Class during this exciting annual event. Lifelong Learning Campus Day is a mind-stretching daylong learning adventure. Participants will select three sessions from the 33 enticing options; each designed to explore fresh ideas and designed for age 50+. Presenters for the day include community experts as well as NMC Extended Education instructors.

The Nordic Walking Class is scheduled during the 2nd session from: 11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. The Nordic Walking Class will include an introduction to the history of Nordic Walking, a review of the many benefits of Nordic Walking, an opportunity to test drive real Nordic Walking Poles and instruction based on the American Nordic Walking System. Included will be an introduction to the three basic levels of Nordic Walking:

Level 1: Casually walking, trekking and hiking with the poles is healthy and good - burning around 20% more calories than regular walking! Remember to keep your chin up, fingers relaxed and poles slightly angled back. Each pole plants inline with the opposing foot's heel - alternating and never out in front unless going down a steep hill. When done correctly you will immediately notice your improved posture – walking taller and with a straighter back –naturally and not having to think about it.

Level 2: Requires the arms to fully stretch out and slightly down, keeping the poles slightly less angled back and almost perpendicular. This full arm extension will help to burn about 30% more calories than regular walking! You will find that your walking pace will speed up and your stride will naturally lengthen. Never fake a long stride – allow it to happen naturally. Keep your chin up and fingers relaxed! Shifting from Level 1 to Level 2 is like shifting gears in a car. Level 2 reinforces improved walking posture when done correctly. Again, the poles are NEVER planted in front of the lead heal unless your are descending a steep hill.

Level 3: Includes the full reach/full arm extension + a firm pole plant (don’t be gentle), constant pressure from the heel of the hand into the strap and a follow-through push when the hand lines up with the hips. Level 3 is big in Europe, but most Americans don't want to be bothered. Level three burns up to 40% more calories than regular walking. Level 3 requires maximum push and can most effectively be done with real Nordic Ski Walking Poles equipped with real Nordic Walking Straps (kind of like a fingerless glove). And remember the poles are NEVER planted in front of the lead heal unless your are descending a steep hill.

* Individuals With Balance Issues: For individuals with balance, stability and gait issues it is recommended to keep the poles straight up and down – perpendicular to the ground. Do NOT focus on the arm movement as much as on enjoying the added balance and stability provided by the poles. Remember to NOT squeeze the poles – take advantage of the comfortable patented straps and keep your finger relaxed (no white knuckling of the pole grips!). Nordic Ski Walking is no longer just for athletes and expert skiers – it is ideal for individuals using canes and walkers too - including those with balance issues, knee issues or new knees, hip issues or new hips, back issues (including those with rods in their back), weight issues, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s (PD), neuropathy, arthritis, bursitis, scoliosis, lumbar stenosis, fibromyalgia, post polio, osteoporosis, stroke recovery, cancer recovery and other limitations to walking. Edwards only recommends durable and user-friendly one-piece Nordic Walking Poles for seniors and individuals with balance issues and warns against the use of cheap twist-locking collapsible poles that can collapse unexpectedly, vibrate excessively, rattle and/or fail all together.

** If someone you know has difficulty walking due to weight issues, balance, stability or gait, ask them if they feel most comfortable walking while pushing a shopping cart. If the shopping cart is a good thing, then they are prime candidates for one-piece Nordic Walking Poles sized correctly to their height – a huge improvement over canes and walkers, and much more versatile then a shopping cart.

*** Always consult with your doctor prior to launching any new fitness campaigns and always start out in moderation.

Nordic Walking participants will have the opportunity to test drive real Nordic Walking Poles – sized specifically to each individual’s height. Edwards’ offers 14 different lengths of poles – more than any other company in North America. He also custom builds poles for individuals over 6’ 7" at no extra charge. Edwards is committed to the simple fact that quality one-piece poles are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap twist-locking adjustable length/telescoping/collapsible poles.

Presenter Pete Edwards has been coaching runners and skiers for over 25 years, and has introduced thousands of Americans to Nordic Walking. After hosting hundreds of Nordic Walking Clinics all across the USA he developed the American Nordic Walking System - providing safe and effective instruction. The American Nordic Walking System was specifically designed to provide a variety of intensity and exertion levels. There is an ideal level of intensity and exertion for any ages and any fitness level.

Edwards especially enjoys hosting free Nordic Walking clinics for MS, Parkinson’s and Diabetes support groups, plus Wounded Warrior Programs. Edwards and his family’s Nordic Walking Company also donate poles to Wounded Warrior programs.

For more information and to register please contact the NMC Life Academy: 231-995-1700 or go to:
For additional information about Nordic Walking go to: WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System or call 231-334-3080 (toll free: 877-SKIWALKING or 877-754-9255)