Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nordic Walking and Pilates Are Proving To Be A Winning Combination

Nordic Walking and Pilates are proving to be a wining combination for thousands of Americans. Over 11 million Americans are practicing Pilates regularly. Over 7 million Europeans are Nordic Walking in Europe – in the cities, in the country and up in the mountains.

Nordic Walking and Pilates together provide the safe and healthy benefits of weight-bearing exercise, aerobic benefits of walking and cross country skiing, strength building, proper alignment, improved posture and increased flexibility.

My wife credits her excellent 50+ fitness level to Pilates, Nordic Walking and Cross Country Skiing. She loves taking Pilates twice a week. If there is snow we ski. No snow - we are Nordic Walking (Ski Walking) with poles.

While hosting Nordic Walking Clinics at "Studio On Main" Pilates and Dance Studio in Frankfort, Michigan last weekend, Pilates Instructor and studio owner, Anna Mallien was impressed with the participation turnout. Anna was also amazed at the many benefits of walking with poles and the over whelming sentiment among participants that one-piece poles are safer and much more user friendly than twist-locking adjustable length poles. Many clinic participants brought their twist-locking snowshoe, hiking and Nordic Walking poles to the Pilates studio. 100% of the individuals complained about their twist-lock systems. 100% LOVED the one-piece poles sized to each participant’s height and equipped with real Nordic Walking straps – supplied by The American Nordic Walking System and WWW.SKIWALKING.COM

Anna’s studio includes a smaller, private room equipped with a Pilates "reformer" – a unique and effective piece of equipment used by certified Pilates instructors to help build strength, find proper alignment, improve posture and increase flexibility and range of motion. The studio also has an impressive larger room for dance classes and other healthy activities – ideal for a Nordic Walking Clinic on a cold and stormy winter day. Real Nordic Walking poles are equipped with removable rubber tips for pavement and other hard surfaces. The rubber tips didn’t leave marks on the cool hardwood floor. For the adventurous, the rubber tips can be removed to expose the durable carbide metal tips that are ideal for trails, the beach, snow and ice.

Instructor Jen Cutler of "Pure Pilates" in Traverse City, Michigan, says that it's best to combine Pilates with a good aerobic regimen. And Nordic Walking Poles can help to turbo charge any walking campaign. Nordic Walking burns up to 40% more calories than regular walking. Nordic Walking Poles can also help to radically reduce the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Balance and stability are also improved when using the correct length poles and proper Nordic Walking technique.

Pilates works the core, builds strength, develops proper alignment and posture, and increase flexibility. Walking with the correct length poles and proper technique provides a quality weight bearing aerobic workout and automatically makes individuals walk with a straighter back – biomechanically a good thing.

The American Nordic Walking System and WWW.SKIWALKING.COM have developed three basic levels of Nordic Walking. There is a doable option to ensure success for ALL ages and ALL fitness levels:

Level 1 can be successfully performed by individuals with balance issues, knee issues or new knees, hip issues or new hips, back issues (including those with rods in their back), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s (PD), neuropathy, arthritis, bursitis, scoliosis, post polio, osteoporosis and other limitations to walking. Level 1 burns up to 20% more calories than regular walking and is involves hiking correctly with poles.

Level 2 includes a full arm extension. This added arm motion not only reinforces improved posture, it helps to burn up to 30% more calories than regular walking. When changing from Level 1 to Level 2 it is almost like shifting gears on a car as both tempo and stride length naturally increase – resulting in a faster walking pace.

Level 3 involves a hard pole plant and pressure from the heel of the hand submitted into the Nordic Walking Pole Straps (kind of a fingerless glove). Level 3 is true Nordic Walking and burns up to 40% more calories than regular walking.

Regardless of the Level performed it is important to use the correct length poles, keep the fingers relaxed (never grip the poles) and keep your chin up. The poles are always angled slightly behind you and the poles and legs work opposite – the left leg with the right poles/right leg with the left pole.

One-piece poles for skiing and Nordic Walking are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap twist-locking adjustable length/telescoping/collapsible poles. Seniors and individuals with balance issues should especially avoid cheap twist-locking poles.

For more info about the winning combination of Pilates and Nordic Walking check out: http://community.mynorth.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2345865%3ABlogPost%3A9682

For more info about quality one-piece Nordic Walking go to: http://www.skiwalking.com/

No comments: