Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I'm a 'Senior' in my Eighties is it safe for me to take up Nordic Walking?

I have received requests asking for more information that would be of specific interest to 'Senior' Nordic Walkers. 'Seniors' s an area that I happen to be very interested in. I spent 6 years specialising as a fitness trainer for seniors, so rest assured I will be making relevent postings in future.

Just for now I am reproducing an article that has previously appeared in Nordic Walking News:

Q. I'm a 'Senior' in my Eighties is it safe for me to take up Nordic Walking?

The simple answer to this question is that there is no upper or lower age limit for Nordic Walking. Last week I received an email from a gentleman of 87 who has recently started Nordic walking and I have heard of people who participate in their 90's.

If you can walk, then you can Nordic Walk! If you happen to have an illness or disability that affects your ability to walk, in all likelyhood Nordic Walking poles will be a godsend to you.

What I will say is that regardless of your age, if you are not used to taking regular exercise or if you have a pre-existing medical condition that may be adversely affected by taking exercise or you have an injury or are pregnant or you have any concerns with regards to your physical health and the suitability of exercise for you, then you should always seek the advice of your medical practitioner before participating.

The other bit of advice I always give whatever your age, is to get proper training from a qualified Nordic Walking Instructor.

Beginners frequently tell me that what I teach them they could have never worked out for themselves ! Even people who have previously tried to 'work it out for themselves' find that when they come to have a lesson, they are surprised by how much they learn and how much more benefit and enjoyment they are able to experience from their Nordic Walking.

To find an instructor check out www.nordicwalking.com and then follow the link to the website for the country where you live.

If you are in the UK go to www.nordicwalking.co.uk

If you are in the USA also check out www.anwa.com

Whether you have access to an instructor or not, I highly recommend the DVD / Video - Nordic Walking - The Ultimate Fitness Experience. This is a 40 minute long video produced by Bernd Zimmermann as is available from: www.nordicwalkingonline.com

If you make enquiries via any of these websites please mention my name (David Downer) and Nordic Walking News.

Note: Please help the guys at nordicwalkingonline track the source of their enquiries by entering my name and Nordic Walking News in the special instruction box on the order form if you make a purchase from their website.

It is a fact that Nordic Walking poles reduce the stress on joints such as knees, hips and ankles and they also give you a greater feeling of stability and security if you happen to suffer from balance problems. You will also find that walking uphill is so much more easier and the poles are great for improving posture.

For many 'Seniors' Nordic Walking poles can literally give them a new lease of life and in some cases even help them regain their independence. Have a good look around the internet at the many websites from around the world and you will find testimonials to back this up.

Nordic Walking Poles Radically Improve Balance & Stability – A Huge Aid For Those With Balance Issues Including MS or Parkinson’s

Over six million Europeans are Nordic Walking every day (all ages and all fitness levels). This amazing new fitness activity turbo charges the normal walking regimen. Not only does Nordic Walking burn up to 40% more calories than regular walking, it automatically improves walking posture and helps to reduce the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Utilizing the correct length poles encourages improved walking posture, while the poles and your arms absorb an impressive amount of the shock that would typically hit the shins, knees, hips and back.

Two years ago I launched SKIWALKING.COM and right away received hundreds of thank you emails and thank you cards from happy customers - including folks with bad/new knees, bad/new hips, back problems and balance issues. One lady called me during the fall of 2004 and asked if the poles would help improve her balance problems stemming from an inner ear issue. I told her I wasn’t sure, but I did share with her several impressive success stories from folks with knee, hip and/or back problems. By using the correct length poles she was able to navigate even the roughest terrain with balance and security provided by the poles. She has been successfully using my Swix VIP Nordic Walking Poles for over two years now.

While hosting Nordic Walking at The Fitness Center in Traverse City, Michigan I was introduced to Michelle Honer. Michelle had signed up to participate in one of my Ski Walking Classes. When she walked up the handicap ramp prior to the class with her cane it was apparent that she had some balance issues and she informed her classmates that she had MS. Our 1st Ski Walk was only a few blocks down and back. Within several weeks we were covering about 2 miles in one hour.
For seven prior years Michelle had ridden an electric scooter in the Traverse City MS Walk. The last couple years Michelle has Ski Walked the 5K (3.1 miles). Local newspapers and TV stations have covered her remarkable story.

"My special Nordic Walking poles have allowed me to walk taller, faster, further and with much more stability than with my cane. Their one-piece design is so much better than my old adjustable poles that broke unexpectedly at an extremely inconvenient time,” says Michelle.

Michelle is now an official Ski Walking Ambassador for SKIWALKING.COM and proudly wears her Ski Walking Shirt made of organic cotton while assisting at many of my Nordic Walking Clinics.
Michelle’s success with the walking poles encouraged me to host free Nordic Walking Clinics at MS Support Group meetings.

I receive thank you letters and emails everyday from super happy customers. Here are a couple wonderful examples:

I just returned from a 14-day trip to London and Ireland. I was able to do almost everything using my ski poles or "walking sticks" as they call them in England and Ireland. I could not have considered this trip without my "walking sticks" and I am grateful for them. I hope all Parkinson's patients will be able make use of " walking sticks".

Again, thanks for making my once in a lifetime adventure a reality.

We've been Ski Walking everyday, I was truly amazed at watching Linda, if didn't know that she has MS and the related gate problems that most MS patients have, I would not have believed it! She walks "normal" what ever that is? Your poles are great!

My husband bought me your poles for my birthday last week. I LOVE them. I have MS and walk with a slight limp and my balance is off sometimes. I am now walking in the park at a brisk walk every day for about 1 1/2 miles. Thank you so much. They make a big difference in my walking. I told him they are the best birthday present he has ever bought me. Thanks again.
Sounds like magic, but it is just good physics. The key is using "perfect length" poles.
Perfect length poles help us to automatically walk with a super straight back - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

I recommend quality one-piece poles that won’t collapse unexpectedly. One-piece poles are safer, lighter and much more durable than adjustable/telescoping/collapsible poles. Adjustable/telescoping/collapsible poles should NEVER be recommended for anyone with a balance issue. Hundreds of backpackers have tumbled when their telescoping poles unexpectedly collapsed.

My SWIX Nordic Walking VIP Poles are made exclusively for SKIWALKING.COM and are the #1 selling walking poles in the USA. All of my customers receive a perfect length guarantee and a FREE Nordic Walking DVD.

According to Nick Mahood, SWIX USA Nordic Walking Director, "Pete Edwards, SKIWALKING.COM's owner/founder, has single handedly introduced thousands of Americans to Nordic Walking through his free clinics! I have no doubt that Edwards is the #1 retailer of Nordic Walking Poles in the USA! You can quote me on that!"

About the Author
Pete Edwards has been coaching runners and skiers of all ages and fitness levels for over 25 years. Edwards is a former ski school director, running coach, personal trainer and the owner/founder of SKIWALKING.COM, headquartered in Glen Arbor, Michigan. Edwards has coached State Champions (individuals + teams), All-Americans and National Champions. He has also introduced Nordic Walking to 1000’s of Americans through Nordic Walking clinics, radio interviews, newspaper interviews and TV interviews. He has skied in 50K marathons and run 26.2 miles marathons – winning several running marathons. His skiers have been hill bounding and ski walking with poles for years in the summer when deprived of snow. Hosting Nordic Walking clinics is extremely enjoyable for Edwards and he especially enjoys hosting Nordic Walking clinics for MS and Parkinson’s support groups.

For more information, pictures, info on how to get started and how to buy – please contact WWW.SKIWALKING.COM
email: getfit@skiwalking.com
toll free 877-SKIWALKING (877-754-9255)
I love my Leki Poles. As a mountain guide I used them for summers on end. It was great to take some pressure off my knees as well as have more balance points.
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