Here in Minnesota it’s very cold today. Actually as I write this at 9:30am it’s -3 degrees. Although I’m not a big fan of walking indoors I can appreciate that this kind of weather makes it very difficult or impossible for many to be outdoors. Taking your walk indoors is the perfect solution to keeping active during the cold and dark days of winter.
So where to go? We’re very lucky to have indoor malls with extra open hours that allow walking. No matter what time you head to your local shopping mall you’re bound to see people walking. And what’s better than just walking? Nordic Walking of course.
Look for a mall with a carpeted level. If you’re taking your poles indoors you need a floor surface that will let the pole hook up and not slip out from under you. In my local area Ridgedale Center, Mall of America and Southdale Center all have good “pole surfaces”. You can also check with your local community programs; Plymouth Creek Center, Delano and White Bear Lake have indoor walking tracks. Eagan Community Center, many of the YMCA’s and other fitness centers have indoor tracks.
When planning to walk indoors be sure to call ahead and confirm that they will allow you to walk with your poles. The tips are non marking so there should be no problems with damage to floors. Try to go during less busy times, be considerate of walkers and runners around you, and be ready for lots of questions about what you’re doing with poles.
If it’s going to be spring we must begin walking! Both Rhea and I are starting group walks next week. Check out Trailcalendar.com for updates on times and locations! Be sure to take off your snow baskets from your poles haha. Introductory Classes are now posted with links to registration. Sign up early because some will fill quickly!
For those of you wanting to do more with Nordic walking the upcoming instructor trainings are for you! Exerstride Method Nordic Walking on April 11 in beautiful Eagan, and Nordic Walk Now Instructor Training through Normandale CC on May 12. Details on our Education page!
It’s always more fun in a group! It’s the favorite question when we do classes – “Is there a group I can walk with in my area?” It’s really wonderful when it all comes together.
The 2011 Birkie Trail Run and Trek was last Saturday. It was the 4th year for the Trek and once again they’re more walkers on the trail than last year. The common denominator was a love for walking with poles. There was great variety in the poles ranging from Nordic walking to trekking to good old cross country ski poles for those Nordic aficionados. It’s a beautiful mix of styles and techniques but it all includes poles swinging in rhythm as people enjoy the half marathon on the world famous Birkie Trail.
I missed having Rhea beside me as we walked but there were lots of familiar faces from all of the Great Lakes states and plenty of newbies that I’m sure will be back next year. It’s the community of walkers that we all strive for in our neighborhoods, all come together to share the day.
If you don’t come for the walk, you should come for the food as the Brick House (Cable, WI) made the lunch again. It was delicious! Just the thought of that pulled pork sandwich with all the extras is enough to keep you going one step after another. And remember, you don’t have to do a 21K to be part of this event, there is a 5K walk/run for anyone who thinks that 3.5 hours plus on the trail is more than they can handle.
Thank you to everyone who came to walk. The 2012 Birkie Trail Run and Trek will be on Saturday September 29 next year. Mark that calendar now! You’ll have all summer to train for it and we’ll help!
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming more lives than AIDS, breast cancer and lung cancer combined. The Women on the Move program is coming to an end, 8 weeks of training and education to help women reduce their risk of heart disease. It’s an impressive program with over 100 women in the Wednesday evening program this year. Nordic Walking was one of the training choices and we’ve had so much fun introducing these women to the fun and fitness advantages of using poles. Healthy bodies, healthy hearts and new friends are the result of their 8 weeks of hard work.
It all gets celebrated on Saturday July 23 at Lake Nokomis at the Heart of Summer 5K Race. It is one of the most inspirational and unique events you’ll ever experience. It is a day of hope and accomplishment as we celebrate survivors, honor lives lost, and continue the mission to educate women about the role of health and fitness in the prevention of heart disease. We’d love to have you join us on the walk. Bring your poles or borrow a pair (free with ID) right at the start line. It promises to be a beautiful morning walk around the lake.
Just so you know, 100% of the proceeds from the event stay in the community.
This week there is Nordic Walking in every section of the Twin Cities. So no more excuses, come on out and try it!
Central: Tuesday June 14 6:30pm
Centennial Lakes in Edina, Nordic Walking Tuesdays with Hoigaard’s. Meet us at the pavilion below Chuckie Cheese. Free use of poles, free quick intro.
Western: Thursday June 16 1pm and 6:30pm
Arboretum Outdoors with Hoigaard’s Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Free admission (just say nordic walking at the gate) free use of poles with ID, free quick intro
Eastern: Saturday June 18 10am-12noon
Outdoors! Extra with Minnesota State Parks Gateway Trail, Hadley parking lot. Free Nordic Walk, free parking, free use of poles with ID and free quick intro
Southern: Saturday June 18, 9:10am
Nordic Walk This Way Free Nordic Walk at Ritter Farm Park in Lakeville Free use of poles with ID, free parking, option of yoga before walking.
Northern: Tuesday June 21 6pm registration, 7pm Nordic Walk.
Nordic Walk for Wolves Benefit fun 5K walk for the International Wolf Center. Register online or register that nite. $25 donation for adults
See you out there! We’ll be the ones with the poles!
The sun came out today and I have hopes of putting away my wool sweaters, I’m not doing it yet tho. But it does give me hope that we might have a beautiful day for our first annual Nordic Walking Open House on Monday, May 9 from 2-7:30pm. In case of rain, event held indoors with enough space to show you how to Nordic Walk.
One of the goals of Great Lakes Nordic Walkers is to bring together the curious and the experienced walkers to share the fun and fitness of Nordic Walking. When Rhea suggested we do an Open House at Wood Lake Nature Center I had never even heard of this beautiful gem of a park. Now it’s one of my favorite places to suggest to anyone looking for a new walk or just the opportunity to sit quiet and enjoy the natural surroundings.
We have a great line up of clinics, Tom Rutlin of Exerstrider is joining us to present Nordic Walking for Stability and Balance as well as a special introduction to the unique technique of his Exerstrider poles. Other clinics will be “What’s the Buzz” conversations about Nordic Walking and what it’s all about, Nordic Walking for Girl Scouts Fitness Walking Badge, Nordic Walking for Runners and Active Body Active Brain. The complete schedule is available here.
All afternoon there will be Nordic Walking Instructors available with poles to introduce you to the joys of walking with poles. Whenever you come I can guarantee you a lesson! Doesn’t get much better than that.
The afternoon will finish with a group walk at 6:30pm. As always poles will be available (with ID) for the walk and all levels of energy and expertise are invited. Bring your poles, bring a friend, come meet new friends on the trail.
This event will kick off a great summer of Nordic Walking. See you there!
Three Rivers Parks has been and continues to offer their Green Fit outdoor program at French Regional Park in Plymouth and they are introducing it at Cleary Lake Regional Park in Prior Lake this Spring. The program has officially begun, but you can still join in. $60 for a 3 month program (March-May) that meets 3 times a week (Mon, Wed, Thurs) from 5:30-6:30pm You’ll be doing a lot of different outdoor activities, such as Nordic Walking, yoga, paddling, climbing wall and more. A pdf schedule for each of the parks is provided on their site. The Star Tribune published a nice article on 3/16/11, “A Workout in the Park“. You’ll see photos of snowshoers, however with this Spring melt that equipment is probably headed for storage. The whole point of this Green Fit club is to introduce you to all the great outdoor exercise activities you can do to at your local parks and to participate with other like minded individuals.
There’s good news! Shelley Gunn, newly certified Nordic Walking Instructor, is starting a Nordic Walking group at the Emma B Howe YMCA in Brooklyn Park, also known as the Northtown YMCA. Join her on August 14,21 and 28 at 10:30 am for this free group walk. Shelley has a few extra sets of poles so if you’ve never tried it she would be very happy to help you get started. Questions? give her a call at 612.382.1995. Shelley is hoping for a great turn out and will schedule walks into September and October if there is enough interest.
Are you tired of walking alone with your poles? Do you dream of having a Nordic Walking Buddy to share the miles on the trails? Look no further! The Nordic Walking Expo next weekend is your chance to meet other pole walkers from your neighborhood.
The group walk at 10am, a short walk and talk around Hyland Lake, is your chance to link up. There’s nothing like the opportunity to walk together as a group to bring Nordic Walkers into the woods. So bring your poles, bring your family and friends, borrow poles from us, but come to Nordic Walk and meet other’s who like to walk “like they forgot their skis!”
This invitation from the Nordic Walking Queen is good for all who come! Come Play Outdoors with us on June 12!!!!