Wednesday, October 05, 2005


10 million Nordic Walkers by 2010... and that's just in Germany !

In the September issue of German fitness magazine 'Fitness for Fun', the following statistics are listed for the number of Nordic Walkers in Germany.

The statistics come from the German Nordic Walking Association:

2002 - 20,000
2003 - 300,000
2004 - 2 million
2010 - 10 million (estimated)

Wow... And that's just in Germany !

[[My thanks to Bernd Zimmermann at the American Nordic Walking Association (ANWA) for alerting me to these facts - Bernd has just returned home to Los Angelas, California after a visit to Germany]]

As a Nordic Walking Instructor sat at my desk in England that's music to my ears. Until recently, here in the UK promoting Nordic Walking has been rather like 'pushing a pea up a very steep hill' - Challenging ! But lately I have noticed positive change.

'Brits' who have been introduced to Nordic Walking whilst on holiday this summer in countries like Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Scandanavia are coming back to the UK wanting to take up Nordic walking.

For example - Yesterday a retired couple hired me for a private workshop - They had recently purchased Nordic Walking poles whilst on holiday in Switzerland - As serious hill walkers they had used 'hiking' poles for years but they were now very excited about Nordic Walking.

A group of people passed me on my local seafront recently as I stolled by using my poles - One person commented "That's Nordic Walking - in Finland everybody's doing it".

A friend of mine made a similar comment after a recent visit to Germany.

It's always exciting when you get a phone call out of the blue and someone is enquiring about Nordic Walking - But it's even more exciting when that person is in a position of influence, as has happened to me a couple of times recently.

The first call was from a representive of the Leisure Services Department of my Local Borough Council (Local Government Department). This resulted in me running a taster session for a group of council staff and the signs are positive that this will lead to further opportunities.

In fact it already has, as next week I will be attending a one-day Council run 'Walk Leaders' course - It's an initiative set up to promote 'walking for health' in the local community. Walk leaders organise led walks and members of the public come along to join in.

The second call was from a Physiotherapist at a large private Physiotherapy practice in my home town. As a result of this call next week I have a three way appointment with the Physio and one of his patience, who he believes will benefit from using Nordic Walking poles. We are already talking about an exciting joint project that would see me working with many more patients with similar needs.

Anyway I have rambled on a bit considering I intended this to be a quick posting about those amazing figures !

Photo - Oh, nearly forgot to mention - I took the photo at one of the recent Nordic Walking taster sessions I held in my local park.

I just got back from Switzerland and Germany and, yes, lots of people are walking with fitness poles or trekking poles. I was very impressed with the number of nordic walking designated trails now in Switzerland, and I walked a couple of them. Here in the USA, LEKI is working with events to add Nordic Walking as a category. I walked next to 3 nordic walkers in the Portland Marathon last weekend. And next weekend I am entering the Pumpkin Caper 5K as a Nordic Walker.
Hi I am a Certified Racewalker and when I moved to Portland 4 years ago it was my first time seeing Nordic
Walking. I volunteered for the Porland Marathon Nordic Walking Recovery Tent and also received my Certification Training that same Week. There were 34 people who entered with poles. At the time there were no rules.

After the marathon I trained continually with them and realized the benefits for core burning, and the post partom benefits for those who had suffered any back problems, knees, hips, or feet.

I tried to get many people of the community on board, including the medical community because of all the testimonies I was learning from friends whom I was able to share the poles. They got mobile with safety and support faster, therefore healed faster from their ailments, hip replacements, etc.

While participating in the Arthritis Walk in Portland I was 1 of 3 with poles. In 2008 I entered the Portland Marathon as a Nordic Walker. I placed in the Women's Masters.

I decided to take the poles on the road and I am now in Barbados, the Caribbean to try to help the people here with their core and overall health challenges. Linda Littleton
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