Glen Arbor’s Pete Edwards has helped raise two Junior Olympian daughters. He’s coached runners, skiers, state champions, and national champions over the last quarter-century.
So that’s why when Edwards gets behind a fitness kick like ski walking, we listen. Ski walking, or Nordic walking, originated in Finland in the 1930’s, and was officially launched as a sport in 1997. Now 750,000 Finns are Nordic ski walking each day.
If you can walk, you can easily master ski walking. Just put your hands through the comfortable staps and hold the poles at a slight angle behind you then push off lightly as you walk—just as if you were skiing, only this is done on pavement or trails. You become, essentially, a fuel-burning four-wheel-drive humanoid.
Say no more. I’m an avid NordicTrack fan, which is a great aerobic exerciser, but in early fall the idea of working out inside is less than tempting. I took a short Nordic ski walk with Edwards down my long, steep driveway, and was breaking a sweat on the way back up. I was sold, and bought another pair for my husband Joe. I like the idea that the poles’ rubber tips are removable for trails, and this new exercise will get me in shape to tackle those ski trails come November.
The lightweight poles are custom made in Lillehammer, Norway, and cost $69.95 a pair. For more info about Edwards' American Nordic Walking System and to order poles, visit skiwalking.com or call 877-SKIWALK (877-754-9255).
Nordic Ski Walking is the fastest-growing fitness activity in Europe. Here’s why: