Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Major Announcement!

I'm about to head to the airport at the start of my 2 week summer vacation...

While I'm away I will be making a "Major Announcement" to the world of Nordic Walking.

It's all a bit "hush hush" right now - I'd love to tell you all about it but I don't want to spoil the surprise!

Please keep an eye on this Blog and also on your email inboxes - Full details very soon...


Sunday, May 28, 2006


Bernd Zimmermann honored with "Lifetime Achievement Award"

Congratulations to ANWA (American Nordic Walking Association) Founder & President - Bernd Zimmermann for being awarded the 2006 "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Fitness Tribune magazine - the premier German language publication for fitness and wellness.

This prestigious award recognizes outstanding service to the development of and the philosophy behind the global Fitness Industry.
Bernd started his Fitness career as a Karate instructor in Munich, Germany in 1965. In the following years he was involved in Martial Arts and also Body Building in Europe and the US. Bernd also developed his own chain of Health Clubs across Austria & Germany.

Bernd moved to Los Angelas, USA in 1984, became a U.S. citizen and founded Interfit Corporation. In 1994 Bernd received the Austrian Government’s Award of Honor in Recognition of his outstanding and devoted efforts in the Promotion of Health and Fitness.

In 1998, whilst in Europe Bernd discovered Nordic Walking. In 2001 he started promoting Nordic Walking via his company in Los Angelas. In 2004 Bernd founded the American Nordic Walking Association (ANWA)

Friday, May 26, 2006


Charity Walk London UK - Nordic Walkers Welcome!

Richmond, London (UK) based instructor Charlotte Rehn has asked me to help her promote a charity walk in which Nordic Walkers are welcome to participate.

Charlotte and I trained together on the same INWA Instructor course - Happy to help Charlotte!

The event will be a 12km (approx 7 miles) walk around the Tamsin Trail of Richmond Park on Sunday 24th September 2006. So you have plenty of time to prepare and train!

The walk is to raise money for The Colorectal Foundation Fund - Research into Crohn's Disease, Colitis and Bowel Cancer.

For more information, to sign up and to get sponsorship forms please visit:


For training tips visit http://www.boweldisease.org.uk/ and look under 'events' to help you get started.

Note: Charlotte is organising a 2 hour Nordic Walk along London's River Thames on Sunday the 4th of June 2006. If you live in the London area or you will be visiting London that day, why not contact Charlotte and go along, you will be made very welcome?

Time: 9.30am – 11.30am
Place: The tow path - Kingston Bridge.
Contact Charlotte: http://www.gonordic.co.uk/

The photo shows a member of Charlotte's Nordic Walking group amongst the stunning blooms that are currently on show in Richmond Park, London, UK.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Testimonial - "18 months ago, I could barely walk half a mile...now I've completed my first ever half marathon at the age of 68yrs"

"A little over 18 months ago, I could barely walk half a mile due to a debilitating illness. Then I met David Downer and became one of his pupils and was taught the correct way to walk with Nordic Walking poles.

Since then I have gone from strength to strength. At 05.05am on Sunday May 21st 2006, I achieved what for me had seemed the impossible dream. At that precise time I completed my first ever half marathon (13.1 miles) at the age of 68yrs - the Playtex® Moonwalk® in London, England raising money for breast cancer.

I was not allowed to use my poles during the event, but I trained for the event by walking with them. Good luck to everyone who takes up Nordic Walking, I can certainly reccomend it."

Maggie Stubbs
Bournemouth, England.


Keeping fit may stave off Alzheimer's, say scientists

As we know - Nordic Walking is one of the greatests ways to stay fit and healthy - This article by IAN JOHNSTON SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT at NEWS.scotsman.com makes interesting reading - My thanks to Philadelphia, PA, USA - ANWA Nordic Walking instructor Jeanne Goldberg for alerting me to the article.

BALANCE problems and a weak handshake are early signs of dementia, according to a new study which suggests regular exercise is a good way to keep your brain healthy.

Researchers had expected the first signs of Alzheimer's disease to be mental. But after following nearly 2,300 elderly people for six years they found that those who were physically more able were up to three times less likely to develop the condition.

To read the rest of this artcle go to: http://news.scotsman.com/health.cfm?id=761652006

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Ladies 24 hour Nordic Walking Marathon

On 24th - 25th May, Meredith Pembroke from Australia will be attempting a non-stop 24hr Nordic Walk at the Finnish Sports Institute in Finland. The event is being organised by www.poleabout.com .

Michael Gates from PoleAbout Australia, who with his son Jay recently smashed the Nordic Walking endurance record with a 160km ultra-marathon in an amazing 36hrs, will be accompanying Meredith on the walk.

Good luck and best wishes to you Meredith!

Friday, May 19, 2006


Testimonial - My left knee is kind of shot...but it's fine with Nordic Walking

I started Nordic walking Fall 2005 with my wife's X-country ski poles. My wife got me new Nordic walking poles for Christmas, and I love doing it over the many miles of wooded trails near our home in Maine.

I love cross-country skiing and I used to be a very competitive marathon and distance runner back in the mid 80's/early 90's (a 2:34 marathon was my best in 1984).

My left knee is kind of shot from all the running, but it is fine with Nordic walking, and I just find it to be a great all round form of exercise, and like cross country skiing, it's easy on the knees and joints.

The mountain bikers on the trails don't know what to make of me. They think I forgot my skis!

Brian McCrea
Pownal, Maine, USA

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Nordic Walking Technique - How to Walk with Poles

Check out what one of my favorite 'walking' websites - walking.about.com has to say about Nordic Walking by checking out:



Exel.net - Nordic Walking Pole Length Chart

If you are looking to purchase one-piece poles - To find out the best matching pole for you check Exel's website at:


.... and enter your height in centimeters into the online calculator.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Nordic Night Walking

My thanks to my fellow UK instructor Heathley Clarke for this article. Heathley's company http://www.nordic-fitness.co.uk/ specialises in providing instruction, coaching and guidance in all Nordic Fitness sports including: Nordic Walking, Nordic Blading, Nordic Skiing.... David (Editor).

This article introduces Nordic Night Walking, an extension to Nordic Walking.

Why put your poles away when it’s dark?

Nordic Walking is an all-year round health and fitness exercise, so you don’t have to put your Nordic Walking poles away just because the Sun goes down. Nordic Night Walking is an innovative new experience in continuing your workout when it gets dark.

Nordic Night Walking is exactly the same as walking during daylight hours, however, you do need some illumination to help you walk safely and without tripping-up! Using special headlamps or head torches, you can walk along country paths clearly, whilst experiencing a whole new sense of fulfilment.

Obviously, the brighter your headlamp, the better your vision will be – for yourself, and others to see you! Experienced Nordic Night Walkers use a low-weight headlamp, which runs on small-sized batteries, and with illumination stretching about 50 metres (variable, depending on lamp and battery strength). Petzl is a good manufacturer, offering headlamps to suit many budgets.

Is Nordic Night Walking different to daylight Nordic Walking? No, it’s just a totally different experience, and sense of freedom and control. If you have a good basic Nordic Walking technique, the only aspect which you would need to focus on is your direction and establishing firm foot plants during your cadence. The headlamp needs to be directed to the ground between 2-5 metres in front to allow forward anticipation of direction and foot-plants; if the headlamp is positioned too near to your feet you will not see your direction; and, too far ahead could result in tripping-over.

What is needed, however, is a sense of confidence to experience a totally new way of continuing your Nordic Walking workout after the Sun goes down. Nordic Night Walking in the Winter, when there’s snow on the ground, adds an even better dimension. Try it with a partner first, to build-up your confidence.

Heathley Clarke

Note: Personal safety and security is of paramount importance at all times. Please consider this before deciding to head out alone at night! There tends to be greater safety in numbers...David

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Reebok & Exel Announce Strategic Partnership !

Is Nordic Walking about to come of age in the US? ... Whilst it's far too early to call, it certainly has taken a big leap forward with the announcement that sports goods giant Reebok have partnered with leading pole manufacturer Exel.

"This is a perfect way to grow the business in North America," ..."This will actually help boost things in the right direction. I'm proud of Reebok stepping up to the plate."- said Chris Griffin, Exel's North American vice president of sales.

"This has the potential … if we start showing it as more of a training program and more of a fitness activity"... said Marcy Schwam, director of global walking for Reebok.

Even other pole manufacturers see this as a positive move for Nordic Walking..

The arrangement will offer the activity "more exposure and more legitimacy," said Lindy Spiezer, Leki marketing manager. She added... "We are all feeding off each other's success, infact, we're counting on it."

All we need now is for an International celebrity to shed the pounds and announce that Nordic Walking is the best thing since sliced bread and is totally responsible for their fabulous new looks and we really will be rocking and rolling! Talking of which, Madonna has her English Country mansion about 30 miles from my hometown in Southern England - Perhaps I should call by for tea and scones one afternoon :-) ?... David

For further information on the Reebok / Exel deal visit:



With thanks to Jeanne Goldberg, ANWA instructor in Philadelphia for this information. For information on Jeanne's classes email: nordicwalking4u@aol.com


Testimonial - I am not a walker by nature but I am now!

I only started Nordic Walking this week! I've been out twice! And I LOVED it! I've just turned 60 and the old knees and hips aren't all that they were - but using the poles seemed to make the whole business of walking, lighter and easier!

Although I live in the country I am not a walker by nature - but I am now!

Thanks for your encouragement to get out there and enjoy the Spring!

Anne Methold
Ripley (near Guildford), England

Testimonials wanted!

If you would like to post a testimonial please email it to david.bh13@virgin.net

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