By Rhea Kontos, Certified Nordic Walking Instructor
I have running to thank for introducing me to Nordic Walking (NW). Several years ago I decided to revisit running after a sore knee had convinced me to give it up. I fell in serious like
with it again, even though my knee continued to talk to me. I joined a local training group called “Women on the Move“, and started an 8-week training course that helped me run “The Heart of Summer” race successfully.
Not long after, I read about the benefits of Nordic Walking. I learned that NW was originally an off season training technique for elite cross-country skiers. The article said I could burn up to 40% more calories than just walking, take up to 30% of the impact off ankles, knees and low back, improve my posture, build upper body strength and cardio endurance. I went right out and got some NW poles (not to be confused with Trekking poles!).
Within a short time I was hooked. The knee pain subsided, my upper-body posture and strength dramatically improved and I noticed a big cardio endurance boost. Today I still run an occasional event, sometimes with my NW poles, sometimes not. But I always train with them, often doing run/walk intervals. After all NW not only engages 90% of your muscles, it’s also fun…what’s not to like?!
Check out this 2 minute video showing basic NW technique and variations for training. Then check out all the classes offered here on this website. And finally, note that Women on the Move is incorporating NW into their Summer Training program at Lake Nokomis. It’s really catching on!