Monday, June 30, 2008


While hosting clinics the other day for TOPS (TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY - Weight Loss Group) I was reminded again why real Nordic Walking Poles are so effective and FUN!

Right away we heard from numerous participants about the trouble they had with their twist-locking poles that they had purchased elsewhere – the vibration, the rattle, the twist-locks failing and such.

After my introduction about Nordic Walking and the many benefits of walking with poles the entire "TOPS" group was off and walking successfully with one-piece poles sized to each individual’s height. Immediately I was told that there were several spouses that would especially benefit from the poles too – typically knee, hip and/or back issues.

It was a hot day and the individual with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) found the poles a huge aid given the improved balance and confidence they provided despite the heat (heat is not a good thing for many folks with MS). Seniors and individuals with balance issues should avoid twist-locking adjustable length/telescoping/collapsible poles. One-piece poles custom fit to each individual’s height are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap twist-locking poles.

Before we start walking with the poles I always instruct the group to keep their chins up, poles slightly angled back and fingers relaxed (NO white knuckling of the poles). Real Nordic Walking Poles are equipped with special fingerless glove type straps – these special straps allow for effective push-off by accepting the pressure from the heel of the hand into the cradle of the strap – eliminating the need to ever uncomfortably squeeze the grips. These special straps even allow individual’s with carpal tunnel and/or arthritis in the hands/wrists to effectively use the poles – despite the fact that they can’t use traditional ski straps anymore.

Because of the heat, the individuals that squeezed their poles found they had sweaty hands. Those of us that took advantage of the straps didn’t have sweaty fingers. I always suggest that we guide the poles with either our little fingers or index fingers. A close examination of an elite cross-country ski racer shows the fingers fully extended and efficiently NOT gripping the poles. Also note that downhill skiers often complain about their expensive Gore-Tex/Thinsulate gloves – however, they are usually riding the chairlift squeezing their grips (white knuckling) and cutting off the circulation. Many of our customers complained of hand numbness while walking prior to purchasing our poles – our special straps and correct use (fingers relaxed) eliminated the numbness experience without poles.

Walking is obviously a simple and key component to a weight loss campaign. The use of perfect length poles and correct technique increases the success rate.

The goal of The American Nordic Walking System and WWW.SKIWALKING.COM is to help as many people as possible launch successful and safe walking campaigns. We specialize in sizing poles to each individual’s height and back it up with a Perfect Length Guarantee.

Perfect length poles help us to automatically walk with a super straight back - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

Please let me know if you have any questions at any time. Have a great day and have FUN Ski Walking!

Pete - owner/founder/coach The American Nordic Walking System and Nordic Walking Poles

Toll Free: 877-SKIWALKING or 877-754-9255

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