Healthy Beginnings

Nordic Walking at the Sparks Marina

August 13th was a typical 90 degree day in town, but not hot enough to keep our class from meeting at the Marina for the one hour Nordic Walking introduction class given by Rick Deutsch, an American Nordic Walking Association certified instructor. This fitness activity is the rage in Europe and was profiled in the July Healthy Beginnings issue (Pg 36). Following a short intro explaining the history and benefits of Nordic Walking (how’s 20 to 40 percent more calories burned than just walking sound?), Rick led us around the park to get the feel of using our upper body in our walk. The key is pushing off with the poles when they are by your side. “Think of them as helping propel you forward,” Rick said. Our triceps were awakened, and that’s the key. It takes just a few minutes to master your “reciprocal gait”–arm and leg swing, but then we were off. The poles have rubber tips, to allow quiet sidewalk use, but we took them off to go on the grass. They really dug in and allowed us to feel them “bite” the earth. The activity is not one of intensity, but rather its consistency. Everyone had a good time and we plan to have another session in October.

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Julie ready to launch!