Walking just got smarter

Nordic pole walking is gaining popularity for people of all ages and fitness levels, and can be done year-round.

Pole walking is gaining popularity for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Pole walking is gaining popularity for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Looking for a way to ease into a fitness routine and meet new people while participating in a fun, social, outdoor activity? Then nordic pole walking is just the answer. This low- impact exercise is gaining popularity for people of all ages and fitness levels, and can be done year-round.

Once a cross training program for the Finnish national nordic ski team, nordic poles were re-designed in the mid-90s by a team of sports medicine experts to incorporate specialized wrist straps to maximize the poles’ efficiency. Since then the sport of nordic pole walking has exploded in parts of Europe and is catching on in North America.

“What’s great about Nordic pole walking is that it works 90 per cent of the muscles in the body, and burns 46 per cent more calories over just walking,” said Catherine Egan, a certified Nordixx Canada pole walking instructor with Coastal Power Striders.

Research has shown that regular nordic pole walking has a positive effect on cholesterol, blood pressure and bone density. It’s also a perfect exercise to strengthen core muscles and increase a cardiovascular workout at the same time. It is the high volume of repeated muscle contractions and relaxation due to the wrist straps at the end of the arm swing, which strengthens core muscles and develops muscle endurance.

It offers a class Wednesdays from 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. and an introductory class Thursdays from 4 – 5 p.m. Meeting at the south end of the Courtenay Airpark.

There will also be noon hour classes at Simms Park.

Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Bring your own walking poles or poles are available for rent or purchase.

For more information visit www.CoastalPowerStriders.com, call 250-334-1086 or email cegan10@telus.net.

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