Monday, December 31, 2012
Looking for a Good Basic Nordic Walking Training Video?
Here's a useful "basics" training video. It features pole walking pioneer Marko Kantaneva. It demonstrates how to get started with the basic technique. Features include "slow motion" and an "animation" showing which muscles are working using the technique.
There is a really useful slow motion section showing the "grip to release phase" of the poling action and sections showing uphill and downhill technique too.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Sauvakävely by Marko Kantaneva – Translated From The Original 1997 Finnish Publication
Those in the Nordic Walking community who have an interest in the origins of this great activity will have encountered the word Sauvakävely. The term is Finnish and its literal translation is “Pole Walking”. It is now known worldwide as Nordic Walking.
Sauva = Pole: Kävely = Walking
This is an English translation of Marko Kantaneva’s much discussed but seldom seen original article – “Sauvakävely”. First published in 1997 and in Finnish only.
The original text does not use the term Nordic Walking as we had to wait until later before that name was created. However, to avoid confusion Marko has used the term Nordic walking throughout the translated text.
Translated by Marko Kantaneva and Edited by Malcolm Jarvis (Leeds, England)
What is Nordic Walking?
It’s a well known fact that cross country skiers have used ski poles for a long time as part of their summer conditioning because with poles it’s possible to do a good imitation of classic cross-country skiing technique whilst going uphill. With poles, skiers have completed long hikes on the fells and in the forests of Lapland; bounding and running uphill and doing very hard, special high intensity exercises in swamps  with a backpack filled with stones!
For ordinary people in search of general fitness and conditioning there is no need to do these types of very intensive sporting exercises in order to be able to achieve excellent results from training with poles. Actually, anyone can easily find a suitable and comfortable level of Nordic walking in order to have a highly effective, fun, but at the same time a very functional all-in-one outdoor exercise.
Walking with poles gives a really new type of opportunity to simultaneously achieve respiratory and cardio-vascular fitness and muscular strengthening all at the same time in just one outdoor exercise session! It’s also my experience that the secrets and benefits of Nordic walking become evident at once for those who have tried it and it’s also clear that there will be a huge boom in Nordic walking to come in the near future - in our country and worldwide - when the word gets out.
The idea that walking with poles as a serious outdoor exercise method (especially for the very first time) for some seems to be a big mental threshold to cross because the whole idea is so peculiar (almost ridiculous – and too easy). Me - walking with poles in the middle of summer? Its very hard to imagine oneself taking a pair of poles to go and walk in public on the roads, in parks, forests and sidewalks with a look on the face that says ”Hey it might look funny but it’s good for you”.
In reality its best to be prepared for comments like: ”Have you lost your skiis (or your mind)?” – ”I saw your skiis earlier today - they were going in that direction by themselves (hahaa)” – ”Hey, winter is gone already neighbour! (more laughter)”. However, the Nordic walker doesn’t need to worry because their barking dogs never bite. Instead, the proud pole walker can just go on with a smile and be consoled with the thought: ”My physical condition is getting better and better with every single step I take and push I make”.
It is clear that in Nordic walking the poles should be shorter in length than those used in classic cross country skiing technique. This is because there are no skiis or depth of snow under the walker´s feet (poles) during the walking action. Also with poles and using a normal walking action it is not possible to do as long a stride, or to slide, as is possible with skiis on a ski track.
From the point of view of a person who is in average physical condition the best way to obtain suitable poles for Nordic walking is to visit a sports shop or department store’s sports section. For Nordic walking use there is no sense in choosing the best available cross country ski racing poles. A suitable price level for ski poles for Nordic walking use is around 200 Finnish marks.
When walking in the summer time on forest paths it might be beneficial if the poles used have a similar spiketip like that used on alpine and trekking poles. Those have a crown type of spiketip and a smaller basket than is normally used on cross country ski poles. With this type of alpine or trekking pole spiketips and baskets it is possible to avoid the problem which happens with a cross country ski pole sharp spike tip. A cross country pole spike tip picks up leaves, twigs and other trash. When storing the poles at home, to protect the floors or to make walking with poles on asphalt a ”softer” experience, it would be a good idea to use a kind of rubber plug over the pole spiketips. When the asphalt part of the route ends the rubber plug is easy to take off to continue walking on forest paths just with spiketips.
Length Criteria of Nordic Walking Poles
Walker / height - Poles / length
- 150-160 cm = 115 cm
- 161-170 cm = 120 cm
- 171-180 cm = 125 cm
- 181-190 cm = 130 cm
- 191-200 cm = 135 cm
The pole lengths presented in the table ”Length Criteria of Nordic Walking Poles” above - are based on long term field testing and experience and have been found in practice to be generally well suited for people when comparing the pole length (cm) to their height (cm).
Ski poles are available for people shorter that 150 cm or taller than 2 meters. A person shorter than 150 cm should use a ski pole 5 – 10 cm shorter than the minimum length mentioned in the table. A person over 2 meters tall should use 5 – 10 cm longer ski poles than that mentioned as a maximum length in the pole length table. Of course, in the end everyone can decide for themselves the length of ski poles they like to use for Nordic walking.
When starting out pole walking it’s not necessary to immediately go and buy new and correctly sized cross country ski, trekking or alpine poles. To begin with, cross country ski poles already in the closet at home will be just fine.
What Kind of Training is Pole Walking
In Nordic walking the training effect is very comprehensive because all main the muscle groups are in use, just like in a cross country skiing action. To put it simply – the legs and hips will receive active partnership from the arms and upper body muscles as a result of the pole walking action. This important detail – adding the upper body muscles to support your walking action makes it a more comprehensive and effective total body workout.
The Nordic walking training effect is up to 40% more effective than walking without poles. In practice this is significant for people who are looking for an effective but easy going exercise form. There is no need to increase walking speed - but with a pair of poles in the hands you will get much more of a comprehensive exercise which will improve respiratory function, cardio vascular and muscle condition - all during one exercise.
Nordic Walking Technique
Nordic walking technique is very similar to classic cross country skiing technique. It’s easy to master the basic rhythm of Nordic walking after a short period because the rhythm and movement is very natural and follows a similar pattern to a walking or running rhythm.
It is important in pole walking that the arm movement should allow the grip of the pole to always move from back to front so that the fist leads the arm from behind to the front and from the front to the back with both arms acting alternately.
When pushing, each pole will find its natural angle. So when the front arm (right) is bent to about a 90 degrees angle and the pole tip is placed into the ground the tip is then level with the rear foot – and then the angle of pole to the ground is about 75 degrees.
The main thing is that you never throw the pole tips to the front which, from the point of view of arm/pole work, makes pole walking very tense and will lead to missing all of the power from the pole push. Practise has shown that there is no reason to pay too much attention to technique details because pole walking movements are very natural. Actually it’s the same as at age 6 months when you last crawled on all fours on the floor.
It’s a good hint to remember that arms and legs should move in a similar way and rhythm as they do in a normal fast walking action (long stride and arm work). There is only the need to add to the walking action the pole plant to the ground, the pull of the pole and at the end of the arm movement, the push of the pole. In these three phases it is also good to remember not to grip the pole too tightly and to release the palm of the hand just a little against the pole straps at the end of the each pole push to create a longer stride.
After a short time the movements of pole walking will come more fluid and relaxed. Practice has shown that after a short introduction people will find the natural and correct rhythm fairly quickly. You just don´t need to try and think too much – let it flow.
The basic form of Nordic walking training is a long lasting endurance type of walking - four feet walking. This type of exercise session should last from 30 minutes up to two hours depending on your level of physical conditition. The level and pace of pole walking exercise should be moderate, say at a heart rate of 120 to 150 beats per minute. If you are not able to measure heart rate with a heart rate monitor, it is possible to use instead the rule of NAS (Need to be Able to Speak) to make sure the correct individual exercise exertion level is reached but not exceeded.
The best terrain for Nordic walking training is a mixed type of ground but should not include very steep hills. However, the natural variation of terrain will make pole walking training both great fun and functional. On a flat part of the track you can increase your stride length assisted by longer pole pushes. Going uphill you will experience a new feeling of ”four wheel drive” - thanks to strong arm work - and on the downhill you can jog to relax and allow your muscles to recover from the hard exertion.
When beginning Nordic walking, especially if you know that your physical condition is not in the best possible shape, it’s better to select training paths in flat terrain, like asphalt roads or parks, than from very steep cross country paths. Step by step - together with improved physical condition, you can pick up steeper paths where to do your Nordic walking training sessions.
The moderate exercise level in pole walking is suitable for most ordinary people (not fitness crazy types). Simply, it is ideal for those who are in need of regular outdoor exercise which will fullfil the training needs of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems and muscles all at the same time in one session.
Additional Performance with Poles
If you are looking to improve your fitness and performance level, for example, towards long distance skiing events in the winter time, like the Wasaloppet or similar, then Nordic walking
special uphill exercises are the most suitable training for you. Remember, the following two exercise examples, uphill training and bounding with poles, are more suitable for those in
a higher level of fitness condition.
Uphill training with the poles will be ”against the clock”, for example, over 30 minutes. Then it does not matter how long the uphill section is. In uphill training all that is needed is to continuously keep on walking up the hill and then jogging or walking down in a relaxed manner. When walking upwards, the poles should be used very powerfully – using the poles (arms) like a second pair of legs. Instead of just walking fast you should be pulling and pushing yourself with the poles up the hill. Once you have reached the top you should turn back down again. On the way down walk or jog to allow recovery from the exertion the uphill ”four feet walking” has caused you.
The uphill training with the poles will improve performance ability, aerobic endurance and recovery metabolism. To be able to do uphill training exercises you should be at least in a fairly good shape – beginners should remember that the heart rate will rise very quickly in an uphill training session.
Bounding with the poles uphill should be done after a very careful warm up session - for example after 15 to 20 minutes of rapid pole walking. The uphill part should be quite short - lasting about only 20 to 60 seconds on each run. The steepness of the hill should allow easy jumping with the poles from the starting point to the top and also be easy to jog or walk down again afterwards. It is best if the path is clear so that there will not be any possible risk of hurting yourself when jogging back down from the top.
The uphill bounding with poles is supposed to be like in winter time with cross country skiis using ”herringbone jumps”. It’s also possible to go uphill by running with the poles if it’s too difficult to find the rhythm of leg and arm work coordination whilst bounding. Speed is not important, so aim mainly for careful arm, leg and footwork with each push and bound you make. When you are back at the starting point take a short easy pole walk for 2 or 3 minutes to cool down before you start bounding up again. Bounding with poles routines should last from 20 to 60 minutes in total depending on your physical condition. Bounding uphill with the poles improves anaerobic
condition and makes ”cross country skiing muscles” – arms, buttocks, legs, back and abdominals stronger.
Remember: Uphill exercises are suitable for persons who are already in good shape and are looking for a more competitive athletic fitness condition.
Muscle Recovery with Nordic Walking
It’s possible to relieve painful leg muscles, joints and bones after a hard training session or after a long working day with pole walking on a swamp  or soft forest ground. The exercise has to be at a very low tempo and should be easy. This type of exercise should last around a maximum of half an hour. On a swamp, quiet and calm pole walking is very comfortable because the muscles and bones will not get tired from those ’hits’ they normally take with every step and pole push. Quiet and calm pole walking on a swamp or soft forest ground is a perfect way for the whole body to recover from the hard physical and mental exertions of the day.
Hint: On a swamp area it is also possible to do an exercise similar to uphill training, but on a swamp or soft ground the joints, muscles and bones will not exhaust so completely because the ’hits’ the legs and arms take are much softer.
Everyone should at least once go and try this new way to improve respiratory fitness, cardio vascular and muscle conditition all in one comprehensive exercise. So, put your walking shoes on your feet, take your poles from the winter closet and go out to have a Nordic walk. Head off in the direction of park or forest paths swinging your poles and smiling in the spring sunshine and enjoy ’four feet walking’ ( tsup – tsup – tsup...).
Ref  above: You will note that Marko talks about pole walking in a “swamp”. In Finland a swamp includes areas of soggy, soft ground not dissimilar to a “wet meadow”.
Not only do Nordic Walkers and skiers use such terrain it is also the preferred surface for games of “Swamp Football (soccer)”. Interestingly this sport started in the UK, in the town of Bishop Auckland and it still played there on a regular basis. The first organised championships were held in Finland in 1998.
For More Information about Marko Kantaneva visit: www.markokantaneva.com
Sauvakävely (Pole Walking) - An Introduction To Marko Kantaneva's Original 1997 Article (by Malcolm Jarvis)
Those in the Nordic Walking community who have an interest in the origins of this great activity will have encountered the word Sauvakävely. The term is Finnish and its literal translation is Pole Walking:
Sauva = Pole: Kävely = Walking.
Marko had realised that walking with poles could be more than just a form of training for skiers but saw the potential for an exercise modality suitable for everyone.
In 1991-93 whilst he was teaching Phys Ed at a school in eastern Finland he began to ponder on how the activity might be developed.
Marko went on to study at the highly respected Sports Institute of Finland at Vierumäki where,amongst other things, he continued to develop his thinking about pole walking. So much so, he went on to include his ideas and analysis in his graduation thesis of 1996.
Shortly afterwards, the Institute was contacted by Tuomo Jantunen who, at the time, was the Director of the Finnish organisation Suomen Latu Ry, a national association which promotes outdoor activities. Mr Jantunen was also enthusiastic about the idea of using poles for fitness walking and it seems likely that he had heard about the work being done at Vierumäki. The outcome was that Mr Jantunen commissioned Marko to write an article describing his pole walking concept for publication in the Suomen Latu newsletter. In return for a six page manuscript, Suomen Latu agreed to offer Marko an educational scholarship of 1000 Finnish Marks (roughly $210 US) which was used to help fund his studies.
Marko entitled the article “Sauvakävely” and, using an approachable style, he fully described the technique he had developed and documented the benefits and parameters of the activity. It might be said that this manuscript was the touchstone for what was to become known worldwide as Nordic Walking.
Until recently this document was available in the Finnish language only. However, it has been translated into English by Marko with the assistance of Malcolm Jarvis (See next post).
For More Information about Marko Kantaneva visit: www.markokantaneva.com
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
January - February 2012 Update
Apologies for the lack of posts in recent times. I've been busy with other projects, primarily supporting and mentoring people who are re-training for a new career, selling products and / or services on the internet.
On the Nordic Walking front I have today closed my old Nordic Walking Contact / Mailing list. So if you would like to keep in contact me for Nordic Walking purposes and receive occasional emails from me, when I have something to report on the Nordic Walking front...
...Simply visit http://daviddowner.co.uk and pop your name and best email on the form that is (temporarily) on that page and click the submit button. You will see a thank you message on your screen at that point and you should shortly also receive a "Welcome" email.
Note: You can unsubscribe via the unsubscribe link that accompanies every email you will receive.
Don't forget we have a Nordic Walking Forum: Nordic Walking eCommunity was founded in January 2006 and has members all over the world. Register to use the forum and interact with other Nordic Walkers at: http://bit.ly/nordicwalkingforum
We have a Nordic Walking Facebook page which you can visit here: http://on.fb.me/nordicwalkingfacebook Once there please click the "Like" button.
If you'd like to send me a "friend request" to join me on my private Facebook page (I'd be happy to accept your request), please visit http://facebook.com/daviddowneruk
My eBook Nordic Walking Step by Step is currently unavailable (problems with my website). However the physical version of my book can still be purchased via: http://cafepress.com/nordicwalking and is shipped to wherever you live in the world.
Note: There is also a range of designer Nordic Walking Clothing & Gifts available alongside my book too.
Ok - That's all for this update.
Happy Nordic Walking....
Friday, September 23, 2011
Euro Alps Nordic Walking Tour 2012
In June this year Maree & Patrick of Nordic Academy (Australia) took two groups of enthusiastic Nordic Walkers to Europe, for a Nordic Walking holiday in the Austrian Alps. Everyone had a fantastic time so they are going to do it all over again in 2012.
If you would like to join Maree & Patrick you have the option of two dates:
22nd June – 1st July 2012
6th July – 15th July 2012
Whether you are already a Nordic Walker or whether you're just about to start enjoying Nordic Walking, this tour might just be `the thing' for you.
For more info visit: http://bit.ly/euroalpstour
5km Nordic Walk for Children in Need
If you are within easy reach of London UK: On Sunday 2nd of October there is a 5km Nordic Walk at Hyde Park organised by the team from British Nordic Walking (INWA).
The 5km Nordic Walk for Children in Need is a fun challenge for everyone and all ages taking place in Hyde Park, London. All Nordic Walkers are welcome to come along and raise money for "Children in Need."
To register go here: http://bit.ly/hydeparknordicwalk
Just for the record and for members outside of the UK: Children in Need is a huge national fund raising event for (you've guessed it) - children in need. Although fundraising events take place all over the Britain, the really big night is a television extraveganzer on the BBC, where the whole evening is dedicated to one thing "Children in Need" and millions and millions of GB Pounds are pledged by phone by the great British public for the charity.
One of the amazing things is that despite the dire economy we have suffered in recent years and it's getting worse all the time, the British public still donate record sums of money each year!
Please promote this on your social media pages e.g. facebook / twitter etc.
WHAT: 5Km Nordic Walk for Children in Need
WHEN: Sunday 2nd October 2011
WHERE: Hyde Park, London, UK
TIME: 9am Start
DISTANCE: 5 Km
To register go here: http://bit.ly/hydeparknordicwalk
Author: Nordic Walking step by Step
Monday, July 25, 2011
Robin Hood Half Marathon Welcomes Nordic Walkers
Not everyone lining up at the start of the UK based Robin Hood half marathon this year will be planning to run the event on 11th September 2011.
Along with the thousands of runners who will be taking part in this year's iconic Nottingham race, a record number of Nordic Walkers will be planning to swing their poles around it too.
The Nordic Walkers will be travelling from far and wide to get to Nottingham to see if they can beat the current course record for a Nordic Walker of two hours 54 minutes –a time set last year by Bronya Glet, a GP practice manager from Boston, Lincolnshire. This year, her record may come under threat from local Nordic Walkers, as well as a team from south Wales who are coming to the city in a bid to get one over on their English cousins...
They will also be joined by two walkers from the south west, a couple of London-based Brazilians, and two Nordic Walkers who are coming all the way from New Zealand specially to take part.
The Robin Hood half marathon is one of the few big UK events that allows Nordic Walkers to compete alongside runners. Nottingham-based Catherine Hughes, director of British Nordic Walking, arranged back in 2006 for walkers to be able to take part.
She says: “Nordic Walkers start right at the back of the pack, then gradually overtake the tail-end runners. They are particularly fast going up the hills on the course where the slower runners walk."
The first Nordic Walker has so far always been a woman, so as well as the Welsh versus English battle, there is also a chance for a man to claim the title for the first time.
British Nordic Walking will be offering Nordic walkers a free technical t-shirt if they enter and notify them 4 weeks before the event.
To enter go to www.experianfestivalofrunning.co.uk
British Nordic Walking Ltd
Labels: Robin Hood half marathon
Monday, June 27, 2011
Promote Forthcoming Nordic Walks on the Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum
Are you organising or taking part in a forthcoming public Nordic Walking session / walk / event? If so (regardless of where in the world you live) feel free to post brief details on our sister forum at http://www.nordicwalkingecommunity.com
Our Yahoo Groups Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum (founded Jan. 2006), is where Nordic Walking enthusiasts across the world meet online, to communicate and have their Nordic Walking related questions answered.
Members range across the board from complete beginners to some of the "leading innovators and educators" in the world of Nordic Walking. Everyone is very welcome (whether you wish to actively participate or remain in the background)
Simply sign up for FREE access via the "New Member Sign Up" link in the top left corner of the home page at http://www.nordicwalkingecommunity.com
Note: Sorry but no posts are allowed if intended for commercial gain (unless under certain circumstances with my prior approval). However if you are involved commercially in Nordic Walking, then when you post in our forum you are welcome to include your website link in your signature, at the end of any post you make.
Author: Nordic Walking Step by Step
New INWA Nordic Walking Countries Wanted!
Re: INWA (International Nordic Walking Association)
I was recently contacted by Marti Soosaar. Marti is from Estonia and is responsible for finding new countries for INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) to expand into.
Marti is therefore interested in making new Nordic Walking contacts in non-INWA countries, with the view to establishing an INWA presence. If anyone can help, Marti can be contacted via:
Email: marti @ firmsport.ee
Author: Nordic Walking Step by Step
Sunday, May 22, 2011
World Nordic Walking Day - Update
Following a very pleasant lunch out with our family in celebration of my mum's 91st Birthday, I went for a quick blast with my poles along the sea front at Sandbanks, Poole (south coast UK) as my contribution to World Nordic Walking Day...
Enjoyed the wonderful sights of Poole Bay and in the far distance the Purbeck Hills and the famous landmark - "Old Harry Rocks".
Walked as far as the Haven Hotel at Haven Point (the entrance to Poole Harbour - World's second largest natural harbour, after Sydney Australia)...
Note: One of the Hotel's claims to fame (there's a plaque on the side gate) is that Guglielmo Marconi established a wireless transmitter at the Haven in 1899, and carried out some of his first wireless telegraphy experiments from the hotel.
Haven't used my Exerstrider Nordic Walking poles for a while now but today I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As someone who has usually opted for strapped poles, it feels a little strange to start with not having the straps but I soon got into my stride and enjoyed the experience. Great quality poles.
My walk lasted almost an hour. Not so many people on the beach front today - turned out slightly overcast and blustery. But it certainly blew out the cobwebs after quite a filling lunch.
Author: Nordic Walking Step By Step
** Check out our Yahoo Groups Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum "Here" and check out what other Nordic Walkers did to celebrate World Nordic Walking Day.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Ministry Of Silly Nordic Walks
Sorry Marko - Couldn't resist this one....
Original European Pole Walking pioneer Marko Kantaneva (originally from Finland, now residing in Estonia, demonstrating a very unusual Nordic Walking technique.
World Nordic Walking Day 2011
World Nordic Walking Day - What a shame this INWA organised event on Sunday (22nd May) isn't better promoted. I wonder what the big secret is? Same happened last year - we found out about it at the last minute...
Anyway - Look - It's World Nordic Walking Day on Sunday (22nd May)! Here is the official INWA website announcement:
If you are interested contact INWA in your country and find out where your nearest organised event is. Failing that why not just go out there with your poles on Sunday and have a Nordic Walk in recognition of World Nordic Walking Day (regardless of your Nordic Walking affiliations.... or not)
Also pop over to our Forum at www.nordicwalkingecommunity.com and let us know what you are going to do to celebrate World Nordic Walking Day and then report back after the event to let us know how you got on!
OK - To get the ball rolling - I will do one of my regular Nordic Walks - along the sea front in my home town of Poole on the south coast of UK. It will probably be a 4 miler. Haven't got time to do more as we have a busy family day on Sunday - We are out and about celebrating my mother's 91st birthday.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
2nd International Nordic Walking Conference (Mallorca, Spain)
Here is a little more information regarding the 2nd International Nordic Walking Conference to be held in Mallorca, Spain on April 29, 30 and May 1st.
I now have a website address for the event: www.nordicwalkingoriginal.com/inicio.php?la=es Unfortunately it is in Spanish. Great if you speak the language, not so good if you don't. You may be able to do a Google translation to get more of an idea of what's happening. Apparently there will be people at the conference from a variety of countries, so this is not just a Spanish event.
Alternatively contact the event organiser: José Manuel Fernández email: email@example.com or contact José via facebook: José Manuel Fernández Molina.
I already mentioned (in the update below) that Tom Rutlin (founder of Exerstride Method Nordic Walking) will be traveling from the US to particiapate. Tom will be running an Exerstride Method Nordic Walking instructional workshop at the event.
Happy Nordic Walking...
Owner - Nordic Walking News Blog
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Nordic Walking News (Update)!
This Edition of Nordic Walking News (Update) is Sponsored by "Nordic Walking Step By
Written by David Downer this ever popular book has sold in over 60 countries and territories across the world. To find out more and to download the first 4 chapters for Free visit: www.nordicwalkingstepbystep.com Nordic Walking Steop By Step is available as a paper back or as downloadable eBook.
Happy Sixth Birthday!
It's six years ago this month (March 2005) that I launched my very first Nordic Walking publication. It was called Nordic Walking News and it was the forerunner to this Blog.
The original Nordic Walking News was a monthly web based newsletter.
A Recipe For Nordic Walkers
One of the popular features of the original Nordic Walking News was the recipe of the month (called Josette's Kitchen. It's been a long time but I thought I do another recipe. The difference today however, is that I now have the technology to offer up a video, which makes it a lot more fun.
So check out the video of me preparing and cooking a delicious Greek dish called "Skordalia" - Potato & Garlic Mash (accompanied by Pan-Fried Salmon & a Greek Salad).
I hope that Nordic Walkers everywhere (particularly on this forum) will give this dish a try... Enjoy!
Exerstride Nordic Walking Win UK Deal!
I was delighted to hear the news that Nordic Walking UK (NWUK) are to become the official UK stockist for Tom Rutlin's strapless Exerstrider Nordic Walking poles. Tom is soon to visiting the UK to deliver training in his Exerstride Nordic Walking technique to Nordic Walking UK instructors.
Nordic Walking Holiday in the Alps
Our friends Patrick & Maree from Nordic Academy in Australia have contacted me to let me know that they still have a couple of places available, on what I am sure is going to be another fantastic Nordic Walking holiday in Europe this coming June.
The 10 day holiday will include walks in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
For Details: http://tiny.cc/5m5ty
Kidney Research Walk On Sunday (Next) 20th March (UK)
UK based Nordic Walkers within traveling distance of Peterborough, may be interested in this charity Nordic Walking event in aid of Kidney Research which takes place next Sunday:
Date: Sunday 20th March 2011
Location: Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough
Thanks to Sue Burnett from the British Nordic Walking Federation Steering Group for this information.
UK & European Based Nordic Walking Challenges (Races)
Thanks to Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum Co-Moderator Ian Holloway for the following information.
The Lakeland Trail Events welcome Nordic Walkers as part of the "Challenge Races" and these are fantastic events with superb organisation and a great atmosphere. See www.lakelandtrails.org for details.
Jon Monks of Shepherds Walks, in the North of England, are offering two Marathons this year. The first is a Coastal Walk and the second is around the Kielder Reservoir. Neither are out and out races but you know what happens when a couple of competitors meet up! See: www.shepherdswalks.co.uk
If you really want to test your poles then have a look at the Lochalsh Dirty 30 website. Again, this is not billed as a race but walkers, runners and polersv really "go for it". See: www.lochalsh-trails.co.uk
Europe seems to have many International Races ranging from distance events, hill climbs and winter events. "Google" Martin Epp(s) to see him in action on the Austrian Championship Race and on hill climbs.
Note From The Editor: The Spanish Island of Mallorca is the venue April 29 & 30 and May (1st) for the 2nd International Nordic Walking Conference. If you are interested in finding out more contact José Manuel Fernández firstname.lastname@example.org or contact José via facebook:
José Manuel Fernández Molina. Tom Rutlin & Marko Kantaneva are scheduled to attend this event.
Nordic Walking eCommunity (Forum)
Have you visited our forum recently? If not (or you have yet to join), visit: www.nordicwalkingecommunity.com The eCommunity Forum was founded in January 2006 and has a membership of over 900 Nordic Walking enthusiasts.
Happy Nordic Walking
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Skordalia - Potato and Garlic Mash
It's six years ago this month (March 2005) that I launched my very first Nordic Walking publication. It was called Nordic Walking News and it was the forerunner to this Blog.
The original Nordic Walking News was a monthly web based newsletter. One of the popular features was the recipe of the month.
Well it's been a long time but I thought I do another recipe. The difference today however, is that I now have the technology to offer up a video, which makes it a lot more fun.
So here we go with a video of me preparing and cooking a delicious Greek dish called "Skordalia" - Potato & Garlic Mash (accompanied by Pan-Fried Salmon & a Greek Salad).
I hope that Nordic Walkers everywhere will like to give this dish a try... Enjoy!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Nordic Walking and sport
I pose two questions:
Question 1: Is Nordic Walking a sport?
Question 2: Is question one relevant?
My answer to the first is no! and my answer to the second is yes!
Nordic Walking expressed as a sport
Examination of a number of the Nordic Walking “establishment” websites reveals terminology such as “Nordic Walking belongs to a wider concept called Nordic Fitness Sports”(1) and “Nordic walking is primarily an endurance sport”(2). I have also encountered the terms “open-air leisure sport”, “wellness sport” and “health sport” during my research for this article. (my italics)
On the one hand, I suspect that organisations use the word sport in order to imbue the activity with a degree of charisma, a sense of allure and an association with athleticism. In much the same way, a sports car is seen as being more dynamic and attractive than a humble family hatchback (even though there is no gain in its function as a vehicle). I believe it is do with image, a matter of “spin”.
On the other hand, I suspect that the word sport is used as a convenient handle for virtually any activity that involves purposeful human movement. As such, it’s a collective noun which is used in a very laissez faire manner.
Whichever condition prevails, I believe that the use of the word, and the image it conjures, is detrimental to the further mass popularisation of Nordic Walking.
A categorical perspective
Without doubt, the concept of sport is hard to define and it is not my intention to stray far into that territory here. However, examination of some of the literature reveals a number of common characteristics of the enterprise known as sport: it is governed by rules, is practised formally and, most importantly, is competitive. Intrinsically, Nordic Walking does not fit any of these criteria.
Of course, Nordic Walking, as with any other form of human propulsion, can be practised in a “sporting context” and thus becomes sport owing to context and intent. A similar thing happens with running. Running, in itself, is not a sport. It can be said that there is a continuum, where at one end running is simply a means of human locomotion whilst at the other end, where running takes place competitively on an athletics track, it takes on the mantel of sport. (Interestingly, there are some sociologists who maintain that athletics is distinct from sport, but we shall not enter that labyrinth here!)
If not a sport, then what……?
By way of a definition, I would contend that Nordic Walking is a form of active recreation – specifically, a form of exercise. It requires no further elaboration.
But, surely, it’s just a harmless word?
Above I suggested that the use of the word sport, with its associations of “high performance”, may hamper progress of the widespread adoption of Nordic Walking, especially in the quest to reach the least active. I draw many of my conclusions from guidance and data obtained from various reports published by the UK government agency, Sport England . (3) Whilst the statistics pertain only to England (not the whole of the UK) I think that it is reasonable to suggest that the trend illustrated applies to most industrialised nations.
As part of the “Active People Survey”(4) conducted in 2005/06 it was recorded that only 21 % of the adult population aged 16 and over (8.5 million) take part regularly in sport and active recreation. Of course, we would more than welcome this segment to take part in Nordic Walking, but from a purely national health perspective these people are already part of the solution and not part of the problem.
28.4% of adults (11.5 million) have built some exercise into their lives, but accept could do more.
However, most critically 50.6% of adults (20.6 million) do not regularly take part in any moderate intensity sport or active recreation. Sport England points out that many health care professionals take the view that the very word “sport” and all its associations may be a deterrent to many in this category.(5)
Furthermore, another feature of the UK (and probably most other developed nations) is its ageing population. It is estimated that by 2020 almost half of the UK population will be over 50 years old. Though chronologically older, attitudinally many older people “act young”. (Be mindful that Mick Jagger recently celebrated his 65th birthday!) The implications for participation in physical activity for this group are enormous. As part of its policy, Sport England expressly recommends avoiding using the word “sport” in connection with this particular segment.(6)
Whilst many Nordic Walking organisations claim that the activity is “for everyone”, they then proceed to put up barriers to those who would benefit most from taking part. Of course, whilst the removal of those barriers will not in itself open the flood gates to mass participation, I do believe it’s a necessary precondition.
At sport level
The INWA organises its teaching procedure around three “levels”, namely health, fitness and sport. (7) Furthermore, I have also seen an elaboration of this by a member association which incorporated the concept of “progression” between these levels. The implication that could be inferred here is that the individual moves from the “mere” health level, via “fitness” to eventually come to the excellence of “sport”. Whilst this may not be the intention behind this concept I suggest that many will interpret it as being so.
I take the view that the bedrock of Nordic Walking (in any of its guises) needs to be “functional fitness”. This can be defined as a common sense approach to exercise designed to foster and sustain lifelong wellness and to prolong physical independence.
Of course, everyone must begin by learning the basics of their chosen technique(s) simply to provide the tools of the trade. However, functional fitness does not need to be broken down into a hierarchy.
Needless to say, any individual who cultivates a high performance mindset and wishes to go beyond their “optimum” of functional fitness is free to do so. By the same token, any individual who wishes to use Nordic Walking as a means of training for a particular sport is also free to do so and is able to adopt some highly demanding procedures (Nordic Walking on hills, interval techniques, double poling, running with poles etc.). However, these developments are not part of some “essential continuum” but are simply adaptations or extensions of the core activity.
What about Volkssport?
Paradoxically, there is one particular instance where the usual associations inherent in sport are substantially absent, and that is Volkssport, or Peoples’ Sport. This concept, which has become popular in the US, embodies the concept of popular, non-competitive, but structured fitness activity. Thus far, the recognised disciplines include walking, swimming, cycling and Nordic skiing, all done in a friendly and enjoyable context. Nordic Walking could fit this practise, and indeed, many of the events held in Germany follow these lines.
Whilst I have urged dispensing with sporting allusions, Nordic Walking should not, however, be portrayed exclusively as a modality for the sedentary or the ageing population. This may only serve to defeat the “object of the exercise” by creating yet another barrier, only this time to those who are already fit.
As a form of accessible and inclusive recreational activity, Nordic Walking can be readily adapted to meet the needs of everyone, regardless of age, ability, social group, ethnicity or fitness level. In upholding as its core characteristic the concept of functional fitness, the enterprise can provide an enduring and sustainable exercise methodology.
(1) The INWA website at http://nfis.verkkopolku.com
(2) The website of the German Nordic Walking Union at http://nwunion.de
(3) Sport England is the central government agency in the UK responsible for advising, investment and the promotion of community sport to create an active nation.
(4) The “Active People Survey” was carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Sport England in 2005/06 and is claimed to be the largest such survey ever undertaken.
(5) From the Sport England report “Best Value through sport – The value of sport to the health of the nation”.
(6) From the Sport England publication “Understanding participation in Sport: What determines participation among recently retired people.
(7) The INWA website
Saturday, August 14, 2010
International Nordic Walking Social Club Event
Nordic Walking Social Club
The club was established last year by UK resident, John Adler. Please visit John’s site at:
Latest News – posted on August 14th 2010
Following the success of the Chatsworth event in May, the next event will take place on Sunday 10 October 2010. The location will be somewhere scenic in central England. Details will be confirmed shortly. Start time is likely to be around 11am finish around 5pm with a pub lunch stop along the way. The event is free and open to both experienced walkers and those completely new to this activity.
Monday, August 09, 2010
What's In a Name - A Personal View
Thus far we have encountered Nordic walking, Nordic pole walking, Ski walking, Exerstride® Method™ Nordic walking, Dryland ski walking, Pole walking, European Method Nordic walking, the American Nordic Walking System and Uncle Tom Cobbly Nordic walking! (I will also add my own favourite sobriquet, namely, Finnish Nordic Walking).
It must surely be the case that many potential participants will be confused about what is on offer?
[For the purposes of this discussion I will continue to use the term Nordic Walking (NW) meaning simply “fitness walking with specially designed poles” and which includes all current variants. I will use the term European Method Nordic Walking for the model which is espoused by the INWA (on a personal note I will add that I find the term is misleading, but it seems to have gained currency). I exclude “trekking” with poles here as I would assert that as such it is not “fitness walking” but “economical walking”.]
Can the Nordic walking world settle on some simple definitions in order to make life less of a muddle?
If we want to agree that the term “Nordic walking” has now assumed generic status (which some now do) then the INWA would have to be persuaded to share that conclusion. However, the INWA will possibly say that its own founders (Exel Oyj) originally invented the term as a tag for a new commodity, namely a form of fitness walking with poles.
INWA’s initial working definition was “fitness walking with specially designed poles” and this has entered into Nordic walking lore (notwithstanding recent amendments made by the INWA, seemingly to parry a number of alleged “misuses” of its definition). At this point, can I refer you to previous articles written by David Downer on this weblog which explains the origins of Nordic walking (30 Sept 05 and 19 Nov 07).
I feel sure that the INWA will contend that only its model is Nordic walking, simply because its founders invented the term, and it is therefore exclusive. The logic only goes one way, they might say. In other words, Nordic walking is Nordic walking and everything else is everything else. Of course, I feel sure it would probably accept that, say, Exerstriding is most certainly a legitimate pole walking modality (and even the first ) but might go on to say that it does not, of itself, make it Nordic walking, although it is like Nordic walking. As an aside, Exel Oyj should have perhaps registered the name back in 1997 along with that of their poles, “Nordic Walker®”.
It strikes me that the term “Nordic walking” is itself going to sustain an irreconcilable and dysfunctional state of affairs, with no obvious way out – an impasse. Why would the INWA, or its new “partners,” freely abandon its “guardianship of the ideal” when it no doubt sees it as its “right”.
What might our options be?
Turbulent history notwithstanding, we need to move on. As a starter, can we consider that there are, in principle, two main variants of pole walking, i.e. the model as exemplified by the INWA (European Method NW), and Exerstriding? Can any other current styles be classified as being variants in their own right: - e.g. Ski walking or Fittrek, or are these hybrids or developments of one, or both, of the two main forms?
Firstly Exerstriding is a very specific form of pole walking, strongly underpinned by testing and experimentation and its presentation to the world has an almost “missionary” quality. It is winning many friends as it embodies a highly resolved ethos which is uncluttered, direct and honest. Of course, the name Exerstride® therefore needs to feature, unsullied, in any fresh definitions.
The creator of the European variant, Marko Kantaneva has reinvented his technique as “Nordic pole walking” in deference to its pre Exel manifestation, which he called sauvakävely (Finnish for pole walking). It is also verified by a large body of research and testing and a return to its “roots” gives it pristine condition.
Likewise, the owners of Ski walking and Fittrek would surely welcome inclusion in this scenario, along with any other variants currently on stage.
As a possible alternative, should we therefore consider “pole walking” as a generic term in place of “Nordic walking”? I know David Downer has alluded to this in the past. Would that fit everyone? This could lead us to:-
Exerstride® pole walking
Nordic pole walking.
Fittrek pole walking
Ski pole walking
Could INWA accommodate the term “Nordic pole walking”? At least it would “shake hands” with its creator with whom it collaborated very closely in the early days. It would still be upholding “le method” still much liked by many, albeit with a slight shift in title.
A glance at the current Exerstrider web site suggests a predominant use of the words Exerstride® and Exerstrider and only occasional use of “Exerstride® Method Nordic walking”. Am I being naïve to ask if Tom Rutlin could consider a shift away from “Nordic walking” as a term – provided it formed part of a wider, mutually agreed development?
Likewise, could not the owners of both Fittrek and Ski walking (and any other forms I have not mentioned) come to terms with adding pole walking into its title?
Poor old Nordic walking
Agreed, the foregoing would mean that the term Nordic walking is discontinued. We all have become used to it and there are scores of organisations world-wide who include the term in its service/organisational description. However, it now comes with a great deal of unwanted baggage and it strikes me that matters might become clearer if we finally dispense with it altogether. Of course, the word Nordic would still be around for those who hanker after that connection, in the current context of Marko Kantaneva’s Nordic pole walking.
Pie in the sky?
A second enormous question: - could such a rationalisation lead to the forming of a global co-ordinating body with national associations and which could accommodate everyone currently jockeying for position? Would not such co-operation benefit all (and in particular the grass roots – i.e. the people who buy the poles and the tuition). Tom Rutlin has already alluded to this but I think it would be essential to get rid of any dysfunction first, and then everyone could be included.
Can you see it? The Global Congress (or Coalition) of Pole Walkers (to adapt Tom Rutlin’s suggestion) followed by the UK Congress…., the Australian Congress…. etc. The GCPW would be established to serve the whole Nordic walking community (not just teachers), would have proper governance, an elected president (with a fixed term and an ambassadorial function), membership for all and perhaps a foundation for research and development. In our commercial world sponsorship could be included, as with many other “governing bodies” but would take conventional and transparent form and might differ nation to nation.
Lastly – if that’s not enough
Or, is there simply too much at stake? Are things now too entrenched? Has it all gone too far? Am I simply being too naive and fanciful? Quite possibly “yes” to all of these things, but I do feel that the Nordic walking house needs to be rebuilt square if it is to flourish.
This issue has exercised me now for some considerable time and any views would be more than welcome.
A personal view of: Malcolm Jarvis, Nordic Walker Leeds UK
Friday, July 23, 2010
Nordic Walking UK Join New World Nordic Walking Federation
Stop Press News - From Mike Rollason in the UK!
"Nordic Walking UK (NWUK) are proud to announce that we have now joined the World Nordic Walking Federation (WNWF) and will be providing our full support to help create a professional and credible federation representing all aspects of Nordic & Fitness walking, including those involved in delivering and participants.
We hope that our experience in the outdoor and fitness industry can make a
significant contribution to the already vast knowledge of the three founders of
Director - Nordic Walking UK
Note from David: WNWF was established recently by it founders Marko Kanteneva: Tom Rutlin & Mike Gates as an umbrella organisations to "serve" the interests of all Nordic Walking enthusiasts wherever they may live.
Three Nordic Walking Legends To Visit UK!
Hot off the press from Mike Rollason (Director)Nordic Walking UK) (www.nordicwalking.co.uk
"We're thrilled that in addition to Tom Rutlin's attendance, Marko Kantaneva & Mike Gates have now confirmed that they will be coming to the NWUK instructor conference on the 18th September & British Heart Foundation Walking event on the 19th September.
Everyone is welcome to attend the event on the 19th September in Milton Keynes
to meet these legends and participate in workshops, technique seminars or just
walk with them. Don't forget, this is also a charity event for the British Heart
Foundation and we would ask all attendees make a contribution at the event,
Look forward to meeting you all
This is absolutely HUGE news! What a coup for the UK to be hosting the first
ever meeting of the two biggest legends in our industry Tom Rutlin & Marko
Kantaneva and to get another legend in Mike (Walking Wizard) Gates too -
If you are really serious about Nordic Walking or you are just an ordinary
enthusiasts who likes to support the industry in the best way you can, this if
an opportunity not to be missed!
Wherever you are living in the UK, even if you are living in western Europe this
event is "just down the road" for you. Consider the commitment of these three
industry legends to be there...
- Mike Gates will be flying in from Australia
- Tom Rutlin will be flying in from USA
- Marko Kantaneva will be flying in from Estonia
Start making your travel and accommodation arrangements... and see you there!!
Friday, June 18, 2010
Nordic Walking Magazine
Many of you will have received an email from David telling you about the launch of the latest issue of Nordic Walking Magazine (NWMag). For those of you who might have missed that please have a look at the web address given below.
This issue includes articles by Tom Rutlin, Marko Kantaneva, Ian Holloway (one of our forum moderators) plus yours truly.
For those wanting to know more about the newly announced ‘World Nordic Walking Federation’ there are some details about membership categories.
The September issue is already in train and it will include a sizeable article (already complete) called “Specially Designed Walking Poles – A Primer”. Another fascinating article nearly “ready to go” is about Nordic Walking in a swimming pool – Aqua Nordic Walking. This has been written by one of our longstanding eCommunity forum members Andrea Childerhose, from Germany. Andrea’s article shows the current equipment used – and they are not poles!” We have a further article from Tom Rutlin who shows what can be achieved in a school setting when you have a highly motivated and open minded Phys Ed teacher – a lesson for us all!
So, get yourself a copy and make yourself comfortable.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The purpose of this posting is to announce the launch of a new international Nordic Walking organisation. The uniqueness and importance of this body lies in its mission to serve the “grass roots” community of Nordic Walkers and to act as a catalyst and promoter of this great life enhancing activity. At this juncture only the principles are announced and the details of the structure and membership categories will be progressively unveiled through a variety of online media.
For some considerable time three well known Nordic Walking innovator/educators have been working together to form a pan global Nordic Walking organisation to serve the interests of the whole Nordic Walking community. In some ways this organisation is to be the antithesis of existing industry based groups and its draft constitution is already well developed.
The three individuals concerned are Australian, Michael Gates, Fin, Marko Kantaneva and American, Tom Rutlin. These three individuals have also drawn upon the views of others who are engaged in the Nordic Walking world. However, these individuals see the ongoing development of this organisation being put in train by a larger collective; in other words, whilst they formed the initial idea, the organisation is not theirs.
A name has already been chosen and formally registered; it is: The World Nordic Walking Federation, or WNWF. The term Federation has been purposefully chosen as it is envisaged that the entity would be made up of national bodies (which will have a degree of autonomy to reflect national and cultural interests) and a global board, or presidium, to co-ordinate, the whole.
A mission statement has been written, and is as follows:
WNWF Mission Statement
The mission of the World Nordic Walking Federation is to unite member individuals, organizations and industry partners in educational, research and promotional projects aimed at increasing participation in Nordic Walking and thus creating a critically needed positive impact on public health on every continent around the globe. Our central focus will be on educating, empowering and encouraging people of all ages, abilities and means to enjoy a more active life, and in doing so prevent the onset of many of the epidemic diseases of sedentary living through regular enjoyment of the body, mind and spirit- nurturing benefits of Nordic Walking.
Since service to the expanding Nordic Walking community is the mission of the WNWF, it is proposed that there be created a Board of Servers (as opposed to Board of Directors). While this board will by necessity help direct the early course of the Federation it is intended that a board consisting of those committed to serving the community would underscore the mission of the Federation on the premise that the power of the Federation is derived from serving the grass roots community. To this end, each Server will be expected to make a pledge to the community, as follows:
WNWF Member (Board of Servers) Pledge
As a member (of the Board of Servers ) of the World Nordic Walking Federation, I pledge to place the organization’s mission of service to the Nordic Walking community ahead of my personal and/or professional goals with a full understanding that a united effort fully committed to serving -- rather than exploiting -- the Nordic Walking community through the Federation’s stated mission is what is absolutely essential in order to bring about the maximum life-changing public health impact and participation in this fun, healthy, life-enriching physical activity on a global scale.
Work is currently ongoing to develop the mechanics of the organisation. A domain name has been allocated and a web site is under construction to serve as the focal point for information. At the same time, this weblog and the eCommunity Forum, will also provide updates on development and will also facilitate discussion.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Our publications would not be possible without the efforts of our "whole" team. So here we introduce the TEAM:
David is the owner of this Blog (& all our publications); Publisher of Nordic Walking Magazine; Co-moderator of Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum; Author of Nordic Walking Step by Step.
David has a background in sports and fitness training spanning over 30 years. His sports background includes coaching volleyball, gymnastic trampoling, orienteering and running.
As a fitness trainer his areas of expertise include group exercise; personal training; senior exercise programing; exercise training for people with a disability and outdoor fitness training.
In early 2005 David, who lives in Poole on the south coast of England, trained as an INWA Nordic Walking instructor and founded “Nordic Walking Dorset”. Shortly after, he published his first International online newsletter “Nordic Walking News”. “Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum” followed in 2006, as did his groundbreaking book “Nordic Walking Step by Step”, the first English language Nordic Walking book.
“Nordic Walking Magazine.com” is David’s biggest and most ambitious project to date. He is passionate about serving the worldwide Nordic Walking community and encouraging mutual co-operation between it’s leaders and educators.
Malcolm is the Editor and producer of Nordic Walking Magazine and co-moderator of Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum.
Malcolm’s former career as a lead architect with the City of York Council in England involved many challenges: group leadership, client care, design policy, resource planning and project management. Enjoyable though it was, he decided to retire early in 2005.
Malcolm learned his craft as a Nordic Walker, and then as an instructor at the Yorkshire Nordic Walking School in Ilkley. He discovered, however, that he preferred to research and write about Nordic Walking, rather than teaching it physically. Malcolm is a member of the ACSM Alliance of Health and Fitness Professionals but sees himself as part of the “grass roots” and aims to serve the interests of all Nordic Walkers.
Malcolm currently lives in Leeds, England, with his wife Cecily and spends much of his time researching, studying, writing, and… Nordic Walking.
Co-Moderators - Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum www.nordicwalkingecommunity.com
Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum Co-moderators:
Dafina lives and works in Skopje which is the capital of Macedonia and she has been a part of the forum since 2006, making her one of the earliest members. Dafina’s former career was as a university educated English translator and interpreter but after 25 years she decided upon a career change. She is now a wellness coach who has also discovered Nordic Walking and is trying to persuade her fellow Macedonians to share her enthusiasm.
Iain is also a long term forum member and was the very first person to take up the moderator role. Iain is based in Dundee, Scotland, and from here he operates as a Nordic Walking instructor, running his own business “Nordic Walking Tayside”. Ian’s first introduction to Nordic Sports in general was with the Royal Marine Arctic Commando where he learned to Nordic Ski and represented his troop at biathlon events.
Norm’s first career was as a Solicitor and Barrister in South Australia but he now spends his time as a personal/group fitness trainer, older adults trainer, physical rehab provider and Nordic Polewalking coach. His commitment to health and fitness issues is demonstrated by him having embarked on a further degree (BApplSC) in Human Movement and Health Studies at the University of South Australia, which he expects to complete next year.
Ian is a Nordic Walking enthusiast whose personal mission is to encourage people to take up this great activity by writing about his experiences. Ian is a regular contributor to Nordic Walking News Weekly and lives with his family in the North East of England, close to the Scottish border. He began Nordic Walking many years ago as a means of training for Nordic Skiing and is our most recent moderator, having joined in December 2009.
Marek has worked as a radio broadcaster and for the last ten years has been editor of the worldwide news website at Voice of America. Living in Virginia, US, Marek is also owner and editor of the highly respected weblog, Nordic Walking US and has been a contributor and member of the forum since its earliest days. He took on the mantel of joint forum moderator in September 2008.
Visit Marek’s website here. www.nordicwalkingus.com
Ed lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has been a long standing supporter and member of the forum. Ed is a well known and highly respected figure in the world of Nordic Walking and is a certified Exerstrider® instructor and also a Leki trained instructor. A former Nordic Ski racer, runner and Triathlete Ed eventually had to undergo knee surgery. Fortunately he found Nordic Walking which has enabled him to get back to good condition.
Dear Nordic Walking Enthusiasts...
Here with a brief update of things.
You may be aware of our recent changes and the decision to focus our attention on:
1) Our new publication "Nordic Walking Magazine" [www.nordicwalkingmagazine.com]
2) Our long standing Forum "Nordic Walking eCommunity being our main communication hub [www.nordicwalkingecommunity.com].
As a result we no longer publish our weekly Newsletter "Nordic Walking News Weekly". The last edition was published at the end of April. Back issues can still be read at: [www.nordicwalkingmagazine.com/newsletter]
Also updates on this Blog will be infrequent.
Edition 1 of Nordic Walking Magazine can be read FREE at: www.nordicwalkingmagazine.com/magazine. Edition 2 will be published June or July. This will also be a FREE edition. Commencing Edition 3 (September 2010), the magazine will become bi-monthly and there will be a cover charge of $2 per issue.
If you haven't checked out our popular eCommunity Forum (or you haven't done so recently) we recommend that you do - There has been a lot of activity on there recently.
Please note: All general Nordic Walking related questions should be posted there, where one of our moderators or members will answer them.
Author: Nordic Walking Step by Step
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Dear Fellow Nordic Walking Enthusiast...
With the launch of our new periodical publication Nordic Walking Magazine [www.nordicwalkingmagazine.com] updates on this blog will be infrequent...
Other than via the magazine which will become a bi-monthly publication from September 2010 our main communication hub will be our long standing and popular Yahoo Groups Forum at www.nordicwalkingecommunity.com
If you have general Nordic Walking related questions, please post them on the eCommunity forum where one of our moderators or members will answer them.
Owner: Nordic Walking News Blog / Nordic Walking Magazine / Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum. Author: Nordic Walking Step by Step
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Nordic Walking News Weekly - Issue 23
Issue 23 of Nordic Walking News Weekly is available for you to read at your leisure. Please visit:
This week's edition includes:
- Socks I have Loved
- Healthy Lifestyle in the US
- More on Proprioception
- Misleading measure
- Positive Florida
- In the Buff
Have you read Edition 1 (it's FREE) of the world's first ever English Language magazine, dedicated to Nordic Walking enthusiasts? It's called Nordic Walking Magazine and is available as a PDF file to read on your computer screen or (for a real magazine experience), to print out and then read.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Nordic Walking Magazine is Launched!
At last and long overdue, Nordic Walking enthusiasts across the world now have their own "special interest" magazine (Edition 1 published: 28 Jan '10) - aptly titled "Nordic Walking Magazine".
Nordic Walking Magazine is the brain child of Nordic Walking online publisher David Downer. David, who lives in the town of Poole on the South Coast of England and who is also an INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) trained instructor, has been publishing popular Nordic Walking material online since early 2005.
David says: "For a long time I have found it frustrating, that English speaking Nordic Walkers have been deprived of having their own special interest magazine. So; it seemed a natural extension to what I have been doing online for the past 5 years, to fill a much needed gap."
David's publications to date have included "Nordic Walking News Blog"; "Nordic Walking eCommunity Forum"; "Nordic Walking Step by Step" (the first Nordic Walking book in the English language); "Nordic Walking News Weekly" (a weekly news report) and now "Nordic Walking Magazine".
Both Nordic Walking Magazine and Nordic Walking News Weekly is edited and produced by Malcolm Jarvis. Malcolm is a former lead architect with the City of York Council in the north of England, who took early retirement in early 2005. After training as an instructor at the Yorkshire Nordic Walking School in Ilkley, England, Malcolm discovered, however, that he preferred to research and write about Nordic Walking, rather than teaching it physically.
Note: The first couple of editions of Nordic Walking Magazine will be published (loosely) quarterly. However; from September 2010 it will be publish bi-monthly.
A feature of the magazine is it's virtual "advisory panel", including many of the top Nordic Walking leaders and educators from across the world. Names that will be familiar to Nordic Walking officionardos include, industry pioneers Tom Rutlin & Marko Kanteneva; Malin Svensson; Suzanne Nottingham; Bernd Zimmermann; Gary Johnson; Mike Rollason; Martin Christie; Karen Ingram; Catherine Hughes; Mike Gates; Patrick Burtscher & Maree Farnsworth.
Taking full advantage of technology, Nordic Walking Magazine is published as a PDF download.
Comments on the Magazine include:
"Well done - What a great magazine very informative well laid out and easy to navigate. Great being able to download read at leisure and file away for future referance."
I raise my glass to you (nice Merlot); this is wonderful…finally, a home for wayward Nordic Walkers! I’ve had my share of being involved in website design and you’ve made the navigation through the magazine very easy.
"Gentlemen; I am extremely grateful to you for the sites shown here.
This is a professional job."
Friday, January 22, 2010
Nordic Walking - David Downer Launches Nordic Walking Magazine
All special interest subjects have their own english language magazine, except it seems Nordic Walking, that is until now. A new publication Nordic Walking Magazine launches next Thursday 28th January 2010.
Published by David Downer (photo right) and edited by Malcolm Jarvis (photo left), Nordic Walking Magazine fills a gaping hole in the English speaking Nordic Walking scene and there is great enthusiasm for it from across the Nordic Walking world.
David Downer is taking full advantage of internet technology by publishing both Nordic Walking Magazine as a PDF File. This means that subscribers will enjoy instant access as soon as each edition is published. You simply click the PDF File and the issue will open for you to either read on your computer screen, or if you prefer you can print a copy first before reading.
The first 2 Editions will be FREE. Commencing Edition 3 there will be a cover charge of $2 per edition. Nordic Walking Magazine will be available to purchase on a per issue basis.
Edition 1 is available now here: www.nordicwalkingmagazine.com/magazine
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Nordic Walking Pole Review
This review first appeared on Thursday 26th November 2009 in our sister publication: www.nordicwalkingnewsweekly.com
The following is a review of “Nordic Composite Stream” NW poles which has been prepared by a friend and colleague in the US, Marek Zalewski. Following an invitation from David Downer (Publisher), the US distributor, the Western Pole Company, has kindly sent Marek a complementary pair of ‘Stream’ poles requesting a test and review.
As a preamble to Marek’s excellent review (he walked for 100km to test them!) I include a few details about the product.
This particular model of pole is called “Stream” and they are manufactured in Finland by a company called Nordic Composite. They are distributed in the US by the Western Pole Company, Tampa Bay, FL. They can be seen at:
They comprise a carbon fibre composite one piece hollow shaft with a heat treated carbide steel tip. The handle comprises a two component construction with an adjustable wrist strap and Velcro fastening. The replaceable asphalt paw is made of a durable rubber. There are six standard pole lengths ranging from 42ins to 52ins in 2inch increments.
Marek’s Review - Photo credit: www.nordiccomposite.com
My first impression of the ‘Streams’ was that they looked pretty much like any other Nordic Walking poles that I have used so far, except for the straps.
Having from the beginning of my Nordic Walking “career”, which spans well over five years, always used some variant of the Salomon patent strap, which is a one-piece affair, with a single Velcro strip; the Stream’s strap arrangement certainly did look different.
It actually took several tries to figure out how they were meant to be used. Having experimented with several variants, all of which actually worked to a degree I finally went back to my first hunch, which was confirmed by Tapp Rinne from the US suppliers “Western Pole Company”. The straps are marked “right” and “left”, the fixed part of the strap goes on top of the hand and the separate, loose strap attaches underneath by Velcro, to the fixed one.
Just like in the case of classic – type ski poles, some adjustments of the length of the strap needs to be done initially, securing the straps within the grip with a plastic wedge.
Unlike the Salomon patent design, used by both Swix and LEKI with some modification, the Streams’ straps actually consist of two, separate parts and as I mentioned above, they hark back to the old, proven, ski pole-type attachment to the grip.
Having logged thousands of kilometers with the one-piece straps, these at first seemed confusing and a bit of a throw back. There also wasn’t any provision for the now well-established trigger release, to which many of us have become accustomed over the years and which allow quick and easy removal of the strap from the grip of the pole, for taking a drink, wiping one’s face, or answering a cell phone.
However, after figuring out the strap arrangement, my first impression was that it seemed to distribute the force a bit more evenly than the Salomon patent straps. There also seemed to be a bit less pressure at the base of the thumb and more on the edge of the hand, which offers ideal weight distribution.
After more than 100 kilometers of walking with the Streams, I can safely say that they work as well as any other poles that I have used. The lack of the trigger release turned out to be only a minor inconvenience. All it takes to free one’s hand is removing a single Velcro attachment on a strap and they easily slip off.
Some might object to having a strap between the web of the hand. From my experience, discomfort in this area can be minimized simply by proper strap adjustment, or if needed, by wearing a pair of light gloves.
Many traditionalists, who have been cross-country skiing for a while might like this arrangement, as the strap and wedge attachment system is practically identical to the classic ski pole set-up, with the important addition of a strap, which also works well for Nordic Walking.
The poles are made in Finland and are very light weight (approximately 6 ½ oz). The replacement straps and the asphalt boots are less expensive to replace than in most other brands. The two-component, rubber-lined grips are very comfortable to use.
The pros are definitely the lower cost and the almost infinitely adjustable straps. A more even force distribution seems to be possible through the uniquely designed straps, potentially helping those with thumb and / or wrist problems.
The possible downsides might include some initial confusion, as to how to adjust and use the straps and the lack of the trigger strap release.
Nordic Composite “Streams” are available from:
Review by: Marek Zalewski