Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Nordic Walking & Cross-Country Skiing Vacations

Following my posting about my last trip to Corfu and the possibility of a vacation walking the 140 mile long Corfu Trail, I have had numerous requests from people interested in less strenuous 'pole based' holidays (140 miles over 14 days, over variable terrain, including mountains is alot of Nordic Walking!).

I mentioned my 4 new major projects (posting below): Well - One involves 'vacations', including not only Nordic Walking vacations but also 'cross country skiing vacations too!

As you may know Nordic Walking and Cross Country Skiing are closely allied to one another; infact they make up two of the six Nordic Fitness Sports mentioned in another recent posting here at Nordic Walking News . Nordic Walking is now recognised as a great way of leading into cross-country skiing and many cross-country skiers now use Nordic Walking during the snow free months.

Note: The concept of Fitness Walking with poles / Nordic Walking came about via cross-country skiing.

So - I have teamed up with a fellow Nordic Walking instructor - Stuart Montgomery who is also a Director of Cross Country Ski Tour Operator - 'XCuk' and we are planning to offer a 'beginners' cross-country skiing holiday in Norway in February 2007 for readers of Nordic Walking News. Stuart is a great guy who has many years experience as a vacation tour operator.

Note: No previous cross-country skiing or 'snow' experience required to come along on this vacation!

For the first two days of the vacation you will be introduced to the snow via another Nordic Fitness Sport - 'Snow Shoeing'. So, whether you are 17 or 70 - If you ever fancied a holiday on the snow to include cross-country skiing and 'snow shoeing' - Why not join Nordic Walking News for 7 days of 'Winter Wonderland' in Norway Feb 4 – Feb 11 2007? We will even be able to arrange some extra days for you to take in Norway's capital city 'Oslo' if you wish!

Remember this holiday is for cross-country skiing beginners of any age and from any country in the world. If the idea of trying something new in the snow interests you in principle - drop me a line and as soon as I have full details including costs (this will be after my current vacation) , I will come back to you:

Note: We will be providing a training schedule for you to prepare well in advance, for your week in the snow.

I have wanted to try cross-country skiing for many years but the opportunity has never presented itself to me until now. If you have thought the same way why not join me in Norway in February 2007?

Remember the Nordic Fitness Sports of Nordic Walking, Cross-country skiing and Snow Shoeing are the perfect compliment to one another! So - Will I see you in Norway next February?

Note: I appreciate that for many readers of Nordic Walking News, across the other side of the world Norway is a distant destination - Well, why not make the trip really worthwhile and combine it with a visit to friends and or relatives in Europe? Or, if you have never been to Europe before why not make this your excuse to visit and while you are here take in one or two other destinations too eg Paris, France or London, England - The whole of Europe is your oyster!

To request full details (on my return from my current vacation) email: david.bh13@virgin.net.

Note: Details of a Nordic Walking News - 'Entry Level' Nordic Walking vacation will also be available soon - We are looking at a wonderful mainland European destination in May 2007(watch this space!)


David's on Vacation!

Just a quicky to let everyone know that in a few hours I will be flying out of the UK for two weeks vacation in the warmer sunnier climate of Greece... I am sooooo... looking forward to relaxing on the beaches in some glorious sunshine as well as getting in some NordicWalking of course!!!

I will be keeping an eye on my email as best I can (Greek internet system willing - I hope things are better this time - I can but hope!!!). I'm looking forward to practicing speaking and reading Greek - Yes - I've been taking lessons!! Anyway, if you don't hear too much from me for a couple of weeks you will know why...

Once I get back there's some 'serious' work to do - No less than 'four new major projects' to start / continue working on, all of which I hope will be of value to the worldwide Nordic Walking Community...There will also be an updated version of my book - 'Nordic Walking Step by Step' (edition 2) - Nearly ready to go with that as I speak(If you have already purchased a copy I will send you a freedownload of edition 2) .

I also hope to have news about the availability of the physical version. For those that have been waiting, I am sorry it's taking longer than expected, due simply to an ongoing senario of technical issues

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Nordic Walking & Nordic Fitness Sports

If you are reading this then clearly you have heard about the concept of Nordic Walking - But have you come across the concept of Nordic Fitness Sports?

Nordic Walking is just one of 6 disciplines that make up the umbrella concept of Nordic Fitness Sports. The full 6 disciplines are:

Summer Disciplines:
Winter Disciplines:
Both INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) and INFO (International Nordic Fitness Organisation) have developed into umbrella organizations to promote these disciplines. In future weeks and months you will read more about these disciplines in the pages of Nordic Walking News.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Rubber Tips Slipping on Wet Asphalt & Leaves etc

Rubber feet slipping on wet asphalt & leaves etc is something that we probably all have to face from time to time. Here is what I do to counter this problem.

1) A firmer grip can help. For those who have read my book - 'Stop Milking the Cow'!

2) I reduce the range of my arm movement eg I don't take my arm as far back behind my hip as I would normally, as per when using the full Nordic Walking technique.

3) I plant my pole tips further forward

4) Where possible I avoid wet leaves.

Finally - Experiment and find out what works for you and see if you can come up with some different ideas. The above suggestions weren't given to me by anyone. I found I had a problem with my pole tips slipping on wet surfaces and leaves and I experimented to find out if I could find a way to overcome the problem.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Nordic Walking Step by Step Awarded '5 Stars' by Top Walking Website

The first Nordic Walking book to be written in the English language - Nordic Walking Step by Step... by David Downer has been awarded '5 Stars' in a book review on top rated walking website - walking.about.com

See what Wendy Bumgartner the walking guide has to say about the book in her independent review. While you are there do take a look around the website - You'll find lots of useful and interesting walking related information.

To see Wendy's 5 Star review of 'Nordic Walking Step by Step' visit:


Don't forget...

If you haven't done so already - Download your FREE 4 Chapter excerpt of 'Nordic Walking Step by Step' at:



NORDIC WALKING - Why Just Walk When You Can Nordic Walk... by David Downer

It looks like cross-country skiing but without the snow or skis. It’s regularly described as ‘Fitness Walking with poles’, a concept first developed back in 1985 by American pole walking pioneer, Tom Rutlin. It’s called ‘Nordic Walking’, a name created by Finnish ski pole manufacturer Exel Oyj in 1997, to coincide with the launch of their new line in Fitness Walking poles with specially designed wrist straps. Nordic Walking is now growing in popularity on the worldwide stage as the ‘new’ gentle ‘total body’ way to exercise, that puts your whole body to ‘use’ without ‘abuse’.

There are currently estimated to be over 5 million Nordic Walkers in Europe alone, including two million in Germany, one and a half million in Finland, eight hundred thousand in Austria, with countries including Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Holland and the United Kingdom contributing more than a million participants. Popularity is fast spreading to other parts of the world too. The last 12 months has seen an upsurge of interest in the US, where world famous sports apparel company ‘Reebok’ have recently formed a strategic alliance with pole manufacturers ‘Exel Oyj’ to promote the activity.

An impressive list of benefits is reported for Nordic Walking:

1) Research has shown (Cooper Institute, Dallas, Texas, 2000) that Nordic Walking can burn up to 46% more energy and therefore calories than walking without poles at the same speed; although interestingly your perceived level of effort tends not to increase.

2) Nordic Walking reduces the stress on joints such as the hip and the knee by up to 30%.

3) Nordic Walking activates approximately 90% of your body’s skeletal muscles versus 80% for cycling, 70% for running and 30% for swimming (figures based on average performance for a 12-stone person).

4) It’s regularly reported that Nordic Walking can reduce the pain experienced by back pain sufferers while walking with their poles, as well as reduce tension in the neck and shoulder region.

5) Walking uphill is a breeze because as a ‘quadruped’ the workload is spread, so you no longer have to rely on your legs to do all the work. Walking downhill is a lot easier too.

6) Nordic Walking is the perfect rehabilitation exercise following illness, surgery or injury, which is why many physiotherapists and other medical professionals are now recommending Nordic Walking to their patients.

7) For anyone unsteady on their feet eg due to balance instability, Nordic Walking poles can give added security and confidence

8) Nordic Walking is great ‘weight bearing’ exercise and therefore helps to keep your bones strong and healthy.

9) Participants often report improvements in their posture as the poles tend to stop you from slumping as you walk.

10) The use of the poles in ‘Nordic Running’, ‘Plyometrics’ (leaping and bounding exercises) and other ‘athletic style training techniques’ can offer the toughest of workouts to sports enthusiasts and competitive athletes.

Nordic Walking poles differ from skiing and hiking poles, in that they have specially designed wrist straps which you slip your hands into, in much the same way as if you were putting on gloves. Proper use of the straps is an integral part of the recommended technique. The poles are designed to be used on all surfaces and come with removable ‘asphalt’ rubber tips. The poles fall into several ‘type’ categories including, one-piece, two piece, semi-adjustable and telescopic. Pole shafts are usually made from carbon fiber, composite (a mix of fiberglass and resin, or fiberglass, resin and carbon fiber) or aluminum.

When Nordic Walking you ‘plant’ your poles alternately just behind each hip. In fact the poling action is very similar to that used by cross-county skiers (classic style). Eg: As you push off with your right pole your left leg is forward. Then as your left arm swings to the front, you step forward onto your right foot and you plant your left pole just behind your left hip and so on. In the full technique you open your hand to release the pole handle each time your arm swings behind your hip. As your arm swings forward again you catch the pole handle in preparation for the next ‘plant’ (don’t worry about dropping your poles, remember they have wrist straps).

To see a moving graphic of the correct technique visit: http://www.nordicportal.net/

The ability for Nordic Walking to boost fitness levels has been recognized by business and politicians. In Switzerland two health insurance companies offer financial bonuses to policy holders who attend Nordic Walking lessons. While in Germany the cost of attending a certified course for hospital outpatients is refunded by the government.

Like with any sport the best way to learn is via proper instruction. Nordic Walking instructors offer group or one-to-one personal tuition. INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) have instructors in 18 countries visit: http://www.nordicwalking.com/ and select ‘Your Country’. A search on the Internet will find additional instructors listings.

As the popularity of Nordic Walking continues to gather momentum across the world, don’t be surprised to hear a new ‘catchword’ phrase… “Why Just Walk When You Can Nordic Walk?”


Note: Please include the contents of this resource box if you wish to use / reproduce this article.

David Downer is the Editor of ‘Nordic Walking News’ - subscribe FREE at: http://www.nordicwalkingnewsonline.com/ and author of ‘Nordic Walking Step by Step’, the first book to be published on the subject in the English language. Download your complimentary 4 chapter excerpt at http://www.nordicwalkingstepbystep.com/

Word Count 899


Nordic Walking FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q) "I've been told not to grip the pole through the entire poling action; is this correct?"

A) "Yes, you want your hand to form a loose sheath around the pole handle so that the handle is free to slip through your hand when you push down into the strap and then again as your arm swings forward in The Recovery phase."

Note: If you are walking up or down a steep hill, or if there is a strong cross wind, you may need a firmer grip.

This is just one of 37 questions I have answered in the FAQs section of my new book, "Nordic Walking Step by Step" - To download your FREE four chapter excerpt visit:


Thursday, August 03, 2006


Re: Book - 'Nordic Walking Step by Step' - Testimonials

If you are considering purchasing my new book - 'Nordic Walking Step by Step' - Here is some feedback from people who have already bought it and read it...

Note: The physical version is due out soon - Watch this space!



“Congratulations on your book! It is so great to have a Nordic Walking resource written in English. You did a great job delivering simple, direct and concise information.”

Maree Farnsworth
Director & Training Manager - Pole Attraction
Nordic Walking Master Trainer



"I am very much impressed with your book and grateful to have it. As someone just considering actively pursuing Nordic Walking, the timing of your book and its content could not have been better. It is clearly written, well illustrated and has all the information I was seeking."

Bill VanGorder
President & CEO
Lung Association of Nova Scotia, Canada



“Thanks for such a great book; very easy to read, good to understand and very logical explanations. I just love reading it.”

Steffi Mueller
ANWA Level 2 Nordic Walking Instructor
Tauranga, New Zealand



"It's a fabulous read: clear, succinct and engaging. I read 'The 10 Steps', went outside with my new poles and was Nordic Walking perfectly within 20 minutes. I'm able to get my heart rate up to 130-140 BPM versus, 125-130 BPM when I used to run. It gives me a better all around workout, is less damaging for my legs, and specifically for my back. Again, the book is terrific!"

Howard Book, M.D.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada



“This is truly an inspiring compilation of mostly everything one should or could know about Nordic Walking.”

Blitz Murphy
Harrison, Idaho, USA.



"I write a lot of technical training manuals as part of my job, I would never have known you were a first time author. A very good read."

Don McNemar
Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


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