Benefits of a walking exercise are clearly seen.

Benefits of a walking exercise are clearly seen here.

A common misconception that many have is that a good walking exercise program really does not do much.  In other words, they feel that you must “hurt” that is, “no pain, no gain” in order to get any real benefit from exercising.  Not true!

So what is walking exercise and how can we get the most out of it?  Consider some of my earlier posts about walking and the many, many benefits that come…seemingly overnight.

The Nordic Walking Pole

Promoting the Nordic walking pole is one thing, but in order to see it’s quick results, we need to know how to use these tools.  In my previous blog, we covered some of the basics to start with.  We concluded with the thought that once we learn a bad “habit” in our routine, it can be a challenge to rid ourselves of it.

Let’s consider what these bad “habits” are while we are learning to use Nordic walking poles and how to avoid them.

Errors In Our Walking Technique

Walking all of our life, we may have in mind that we “already know how to walk” and don’t need to be shown how.  If that is your thinking, then stop reading now.  On the other hand, if you recognize that all of us can learn from someone else, then keep on reading.

Using Nordic poles can be an adventure, especially when we do so with friends who walk with us.  However, caution needs to be exercised whenever we start a new type of exercise program.  With Nordic walking poles, it takes about six to eight weeks to really learn-the-ropes.

Common mistakes that are made at first are overextending our steps, that is, taking too large of a step.  Doing too much at first can cause strains to joints, lower back and groin.  Often times once someone has hurt themselves, more than likely, they’ll not continue any type exercise program.

Though we do want a firm grip on the handle of our walking pole, we need to learn the technique of how and when…to totally release the handles.   Too much grip (I call it the Gorilla Grip) can strain our wrists, lower back, shoulders and elbows.

When walking, stand erect.  Keep your chin up.  Many have the habit of leaning forward, their head leading the way.  This is counterproductive to trying to build back muscles as we walk so good posture comes naturally when we are not in our exercise walking routine.

Naturally we want to bend our elbows as we walk.  In the beginning, during the slower learning walk, that is acceptable.  On the other hand, as we progress, we want to walk faster.   Bending our elbows too much can cause us to lose any potential benefits.  At this point (faster walks) we need to increase the length of our poles.

The adjustable type Nordic walking pole is one of the best.

Be sure that you have a natural arm swing as you walk, arms swinging in opposition to each leg.

Keep your upper body straight, chin up, (don’t look down but look to the horizon).  Often times the bad habit of slumped shoulders show up.  Keep shoulders up while allowing your upper torso to slightly rotate from side to side in a twisting motion.

Note also that if your poles are too long for you, then more than likely you’ll be over flexing or over extending your wrists during your walks.  Keep in mind that as you plant each pole tip, the swing of your arm should be from the shoulder, not the elbow.

If you note that after your walks you little finger is a bit overworked, you have what is called “painter’s grip” as if your pole were a paintbrush or perhaps a pencil.  Try to relax your hands while still gripping the pole.

Make sure your thumb is wrapped around your pole.  We are pole walking, not hitchhiking.

Proper grips

Proper grips

The release of the pole handle should occur when your hand reaches the hip area.  Often times new ones open their hands in the front of themselves with fingers extending outward.   Always be aware that your hands should hold firmly to the pole except at the release point…at your hip.

Walk slowly as you begin this program.  Many will overdo it by too large or open steps with too much walking speed.  Concentrate on your technique at first, then when you feel the fluid motion of each movement, without having to think about it, you have achieved your goal.

This will still take about six to eight weeks though.

Each step should be heel first.  Then roll your foot to your toe for a stepping point.

Injuries can occur when you rush.  The Tips of our poles should be firmly planted.  From that point, we can take our next step.

Now that we’ve mastered the Nordic walking exercise, how can we build strength, cardiovascular, and build power within ourselves?

Our goal is to be fit and enjoy ourselves while out of doors.

Written by:  Tom McDaniel Be sure to click SHARE button

Photos by: relievejointinflamation,masterfile

Walking as an exercise

Learn How To Walk For Exercise

Walking to be fit is one of the most enjoyable type of “exercises” that there is!  However, in order to get the most benefit from our walks, we really need to learn proper techniques to how to walk for exercise, not just for pleasure, though a pleasant walk at times, can be exhilarating too.

Long walks can do wonders for everyone.  On the other hand, perhaps you can not walk for long distances or just don’t have the time to do so.  What then?

Shorter so-called “power walks” have been around for many years.  Surprisingly simple to do with many benefits.  Often times these power walks are done with light weights in either hand, swinging them as you walk.

The added weights will give you a better workout in addition to upper body muscle and strength.  However, there is an even better way to gain upper strength, shape, lose body fat especially in the mid section, get those shapely legs back,  develop  back muscles for good posture and much more.

Welcome To The Nordic Walking Poles

There is a great variety of poles to choose from.  So how do we choose?

Nordic Leki have pretty much dominated the market, and for good reason.  Usually they are a once in  a lifetime purchase, easy to work with, can be taken with you almost anywhere, and really give you that head-to-toe workout.

All done on a very low impact basis!

To quickly see the benefits of a walking exercise, we need to plan our walking routine.

What Things Do I Need To Know?

Nordic walking is a rather simple technique to learn.  However, just like anything new, it will take a little while to get used to the new motor motions of your body.  Once learned, it will stay with you and become automatic.

There is the  long arm technique.  This technique is teaching you how to stretch out your arms as you walk, much like extending your hand to shake with someone.  In our normal walking, the arms swing, but only slightly.  Nordic walking will allow us to use all of our upper body muscles.

The cupping and release of the pole is next.  As you move forward, your opposite arm will push you forward with the rubber “spring tip” at the end of each pole.  While your hand is at your hip, learn to release the end of each pole where you grip it.

In order to learn to release, we do need the correct type of hand straps so we do not completely lose the pole.

The long stride is also a part of the Nordic walk.  As you walk, you’ll note that you can take larger steps.  When you do, be sure that your heel touches first, then the rest of your foot will follow.

Depending on the type of terrain you are walking on, you may want to look into a comfortable walking shoe or boot.

As you develop this long stride, begin by walking through the motions slowly.  As you gain the needed skill and muscle memory, you can pick up the pace.  Keep in mind  that your pelvis will want to rotate more as you walk.  This is good.

The pelvic twist comes naturally as you extend each leg forward.  You’ll note that your shoulders also come into use.  All of this upper body movement is quickly,  giving your entire upper body a good workout,  burning fat as you walk.

Tips to the ground deliberately planted, will naturally make you grip your pole handle a bit tighter.  This is  a technique  that is mastered only after the above other techniques have fallen into place.

It may seem simple, but to learn the Nordic  walking technique the proper way,  takes on average, about 6 to 8 weeks.  During that learning time, remember to have fun!   Enjoy your walks!

Folks from all "walks" of life enjoy Nordic exercise

Folks from all “walks” of life enjoy Nordic exercises

What Things To Look For 

The above is just a quick overview of using  Nordic  walking poles to get the most beneficial exercise out of your walking routine.  However, there needs to be an awareness of some of the most common mistakes or errors that beginners make in their learning curve.

Once these mistakes are learned, they can be a challenge to rid ourselves of them.

What are they?  Let’s consider those next.

Written by:  Tom McDaniel SHARE this site

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What walking poles can do for you...

What walking poles can do for you…

We hear that statement often :  What walking poles can do for you…is simply amazing.  This rather simple tool can give you zest for life, an overall feeling of health, peace of mind along with being physically fit.  But how?

The Beginning Steps

If you’ve ever golfed or watched the game of golf, you’ll note that much of what is accomplished is through swing-technique.   That is, each stroke by every golfer is similar to each other…but slightly different too, because we are different.

The same can be said about using Nordic Walking Poles.  It is in the technique where we will get the most benefit.

The Break Down

The walking speed in which we begin our pole walking can determine how quickly we develop correct walking techniques.  Usually it’s best to walk slowly at first, being consciously  aware of how we are walking.

We’ll note  several things almost immediately.  Our walking stride will become longer, our back is straighter, chin is parallel to the walking surface, our arms are now being extending outwards as if shaking hands, our cardiovascular will improve almost overnight!

A slower, rhythmical type walking, almost graceful in appearance, can be accomplished within a short learning curve…if we learn the correct way right from the beginning.

Where Do We Begin? … At The Beginning of Course

Using Nordic walking poles is not like taking a stroll along the beach.  We are purposely walking a certain way to accomplish better health, lose weight, develop muscle, or have better breathing techniques.

Follow along as we progress through techniques that are necessary to master.

What To Focus On

Your focus should be on your upper body position.  Nordic poles “force” us to walk more upright, which in turn will develop muscles that keep good posture in our everyday walk.

Getting used to poles, one could spend much time on where the ends of each pole is landing and get distracted from walking correctly.

Concentrate on the long swing of your arms, once you find the correct “spot” for you, the pole tips will automatically find the correct positioning.

Pole rubber tips will give you that little extra push forward as you develop your stride.  Keep your shoulders level, eyes forward, hands relaxed while cupping the walking pole grips.

Release The Grip

Often times new ones to Nordic walking poles, will keep a tight grip on the handle of each pole, as if it were going to slip away from them.  However, with the proper hand strapping, you can release the grip each time you take a step.

That is just one of the proper techniques needed…releasing the grip when it is in the hip location as you walk.

Swing Naturally As You Walk

To start with, a flat surface is ideal.  Be aware of the way you are standing.  Stand as if you are being measured for your height.  Straight and tall but not at attention.

Now for the “beach walk” stroll, you’ll need to be at ease and walk slowly.  Concentrating on you posture, arm stretch out, grip release and so on.

Learn to completely let go of your poles.

Allow them to drag along with you.  Concentrate on that opposite movement of arms and legs working rhythmically with each other.  This will begin to feel  automated when we get it right.

Remember to keep you chin up, looking forward, and keep your balance.  This is the beginning development of proper posture.  Lower back muscle gains and back health will come quickly.

Proper grips

Proper grips are needed for release control

Motor Memory

Up to this point, as we walk or run, our arm movements have been short forward and backward movements to compensate for our balance.

With Nordic walking poles, we will need to learn to extend our arms out in front of us, (shaking hands across a wide table) with very little swing to the back.  In fact, long time Nordic pole walkers do not have hardly any rearward  swing past their hip area.

The forward hand extension should be no higher than about the middle of you stomach of navel area.  Your stride is also something that would lengthen as you progress.

Rotation of hips, slight shoulder rotation, lengthening of stride and arm stretch will give you that synchronized smooth walking skill we are trying to accomplish.

Proper grip, stride length, and rotation of hips are needed.

Written by:  Tom McDaniel Share this site

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Is walking a good exercise?

Is walking a good exercise?  Everyone does it.

Normal walking is an everyday activity.  But is walking a good exercise that can benefit us?  Perhaps your job requires you to walk most of the work day.  Is that also beneficial? or do you need more?

Purposeful walks are certainly beneficial.  Walking on-the-job is also beneficial.  However, since in this article we are concerned with getting the proper type of exercise, we will not be looking into the work-day type of walking…though it too, can and is, beneficial.

Gym In A Bag…To Go!

Full body training is becoming more and more accepted throughout modern society.  We are becoming more and more aware of eating healthy, our heart condition, our bodies overall shape, and the way our clothes fit us.

How can we balance all our everyday hectic life so we can achieve our goals?  We do so by having our exercise equipment with us wherever we go.  Our “gym in a bag” is the very popular Nordic Walking Poles.

Now, don’t sell yourself short here and think:  “I don’t need poles to walk with.”  You may be surprised at the quickly gained benefits that come from the use of Nordic Walking poles.

Your New equipment

Your new equipment

Full Body Workout

Consider the results you are seeking.  Walking poles can help you get there sooner.  Being out in the open fresh air, seeing the changing scenery, enjoying others that come along with you, are just a few of the enjoyments that come with using poles.

Back strength, bone density, head to toe muscle development, along with cardio training will be automatic with pole walking.

Getting out of the sweat filled, stale air of most gyms is desirable for many.  The Nordic Walking poles can be taken with you in a bag, or carrying case.  It’s really your ‘gym on the go.’

How Does It Work?

Nordic Walking poles will combine your upper body movements and balance, rhythmically to generate physical strength along with the burning of calories.

Almost immediately, you’ll begin to notice the difference in yourself.

Shapely leg muscles

Shapely leg muscles  masterfile image

A healthier heart is one benefit.   Also, weight loss and a much improved posture along with those developing back muscles.  Leg muscles will also begin to take shape, especially the calf muscles.

Keep in mind though, that there is a right and wrong way to walk with Nordic Walking poles.

Equipment We Need

There is an old saying that says :  “We get what we pay for.”  That same is true when we choose a walking pole.  Proper walking poles can vary in cost.  Anywhere from about $60.00 to $200.00 or more.  Depending on what you are looking for.

Regardless of which you choose, they will all give you that needed overall workout.  However, some are more efficient than others.  So how do you know which to purchase?

What about our feet?  We need to keep them in shape also.  Proper footwear is highly important.

The terrain we will be walking through makes a difference also.  So does the weather conditions and time of year.  These are things to consider when walking out of doors.

LightWeight And Ready-To-Go

Often times we think of walking poles as heavy, or awkward to use.  Not so with Nordic Walking poles.  For instance, Alpine type poles or cross country poles are designed for specific types of terrain.

Consider your terrain

Consider your terrain

Most cross country skiing poles are much too long for everyday walking, and the Alpine type pole is specially weighted at the bottom to help keep a person balanced as the pole is used for moving brush, and small bushes out of the way.

Nordic Walking poles are lightweight, yet extremely sturdy.  Adding these to your “arsenal” of exercise equipment will be a great investment.  Most are designed to fit your height, and walking experience.

Where To Walk

Ideally, a 3 or 4 foot wide path is perfect.  Paved, gravel, grassy, sand, or even a bit rougher terrain is perfect for getting started.  Since we are using the Nordic Poles to help propel us as we walk, we’ll note that most walkers will keep their poles to the sides and slightly behind their bodies.

Have you considered walking in water?  It’s a very low impact way to walk.

Once you begin your training, you’ll enjoy it’s almost immediate benefits.

Walking in Water

Walking in Water

Happy Walking!

Have you used Nordic Walking Poles?  Let us know your experiences below.

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Share this site

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Choose A Walking Route Planner

What Is  A Walking Route Planner           image by:sparkpeople

The question :  What is a walking route planner, can be defined differently by many authorities.  However, most folks that are wanting a route planner are just regular people that want to walk in safety, in beautiful surroundings, with friends, with their dog(s) or for a vigorous workout.  Some even accept the challenge of walking across the entire country!

Much depends on what you, as an individual, want as an end result.

On the other hand, planning an “attack” on our health is also another type or form of a plan, wanting to be in the very best condition physically that we can be.

Where Do We Start?

Overcoming bad habits can be a real challenge.  Have you read about or even heard about the 30-30-30 attack method of overcoming bad habits and replacing them with good habits?

In this instance, we want the good habit of a regular walking routine.

The 30-30-30 challenge works like this…For a period of 30 days, we will take the time EACH DAY to read or listen to an audio recording of something positive.  It will be for a period of 30 minutes EACH DAY.   If we miss a day, then we start the 30 days over again.  So it is beneficial for us when we start that we do not miss a single day.

Since we want to be fit physically, then we read or listen to something that is health related.  Perhaps how to create good meals, proper warm up techniques, benefits of proper exercise for our age, physical condition or rehabilitation.

(Reading or listening to things of this nature will train us for having the proper mental attitude for exercise.)

We have to be the judge of what we can and can not do.

But why 30 days?  It’s known that to make or break a bad habit and create a good habit, it takes 30 to 45 days of doing that same thing over and over again.  Our brain and body begins to form “muscle memories” for that activity.

In this case, we want to begin a walking routine route planner.  We begin with a place in our local area that meets all of the safety and physical requirements that we want.  Once that is satisfied, then we begin.

Will it be indoors or outdoors?  Know what you are after.

Often times this highly successful type of “attitude attack” is applied to many areas in life.  In this case, we want to  apply it to our getting into a good physically fit routine, thereby, creating a good habit.   Having the desire to be fit is one thing, actually following through with it is where many fail.

Beautiful Scenery Is Desired

If we choose a walking route that encompasses scenery that is not only enjoyable to see and be in, but also safe to travel, then why not take advantage of it?  Do not ever underestimate the motivating factor of a beautiful route.

It’s true about things that we enjoy, we usually repeat them, over and over.  That can be true also of our route that we have chosen.

Year round scenery changes

Year round scenery changes

Too, as the year changes, so do our surroundings.  We take note of these gradual changes and want to keep coming back.   Just being out of doors in itself, compliments us and has positive effects on our health and mental well being.

Parks, open spaces, woodland trails, along rivers or lakes, canals or even near or on the beach are areas for consideration.  In the city, well lit streets for winter walking, tree lined or flower patches for spring or summer walking.  Perhaps we’ll  choose to take advantage of so-called bike paths.  They are usually safe and well traveled.

Need light rain gear?  How about a broad brimmed hat for the sun?

Regardless of where you choose to walk, be sure and take along with you, plenty of water and perhaps a type of energy snack for just-in-case.

Nordic pole walkers can go everywhere

Nordic pole walkers can go everywhere

Be Safe

As we walk, often times we are so “into it” that we forget about things that could possibly happen to us.  For instance.  Be sure that we avoid high crime areas.  Watch out for congested areas whether it be people, animals, or traffic.  Remember too, that there are others that take advantage of walking areas.

They may not be walking though.  Perhaps bicycle riders, skate boarders, roller-blades and many similar activities can be around us.  Just use common sense when making our choice of walking areas and times of day.

Some even choose to carry, not only water and a snack, but also a whistle to sound alarm if need be.  Others choose to carry an easy to reach can of hot pepper/mace type of personal protection.

If you anticipate animals, such as dogs, or even wildlife animals of any sort, bear spray is one of the absolute best types of defense.  It has a spray of some 20 to 30 feet and can also deter people that may do harm to us.

What Are We Desiring?

Overall fitness is something that all of us desire.  Some begin with the gym.  Others want to stay at home for a home-style workout.  And even more want to be with others that have similar goals and form a support group.  Whichever you choose, just do it on a regular basis using the 30-30-30 method to get started with.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blogs, you will note how beneficial walking is.  This can be especially true when using the Nordic walking poles (sticks as some call them) to get an overall body workout.

These workouts can be tremendously beneficial.  They can also be of great variety.  Intensity can be a factor also.   A slow casual walk, or perhaps a sightseeing type walk, to an intermediate type of walk or for those that really want to benefit quickly, a fast paced, heart pounding walk that works some 90% of our entire body muscles.

Entire Body Fitness Is Desired

Using the Nordic walking poles can be a challenge.  Getting our walking coordination to be in sync with using poles is not difficult.  We are really working with gravity and resistance in complementing our body muscles.  Nordic walking poles will help to redistribute our body weight and effort.  This is especially true with our lower body.

On the other hand, our core or upper body also gets into this workout.  It helps each of us to walk tall with a much improved posture.

A healthy heart and increased cardiorespiratory activities are highly desired.  This can be met by almost anyone at any fitness level.  As we apply the 30-30-30 routine in our lives, we will actually miss it when we are not able to get to our routine.

It’s quite addictive

If we choose to walk, then it should be on a daily basis.  If not, then a minimum amount of regular walking would be 3 or 4 times per week.  It should be 30 minutes each time.  But if we are unable to do that all at once, then quick bouts of 3 or 4 minutes throughout the day that add up to a total of 30 minutes per day would also be acceptable.

Year round enjoyment when using Nordic walking poles

Expect Year round enjoyment when using Nordic walking poles

Weight Loss Benefits Of A Route Planner

Have you decided where you will be walking?  Rough terrain?  City streets?  Through the neighborhood?  In a gym on a flat surface?

The terrain we choose to walk on can directly affect our loss of weight.  The more we exert ourselves, the more calories we will burn, even when at rest.

Using Nordic poles will burn more calories than traditional walking.  But keep in mind that until you reach the fat-burning-heart-rate,  we may not be seeing many changes in ourselves.

As soon as we reach that level, that is, the fat-burning-heart-rate, we will begin to see the fat seemingly “melting off” our body!

Walking with poles on our own walking route planner will take some finesse and skill. Don’t get discouraged when you begin.

Can you think of another place to walk?

Use your imagination 

Posture, Joints, Bone Density Add Up To Less Stress

As we walk with poles, we note that there is a slight rotation movement going on in our back.  This is beneficial.  Using upper and lower back muscles will automatically improve our posture.

With better posture, we begin to feel, act, and notice “better coordination” in all activities of life.  Plus, by having more cardiovascular activities, we have increased our endurance level.  Those activities that used to wear us out no longer do so.

Walking poles will help redistribute the effort that it takes to walk.  This is especially beneficial for those that are recovering from surgery, injury,  a birth defect or just getting started with a physical exercise routine.

By allowing the Nordic walking poles to take some of the strain, it allows our knees, back, and other joints to not be so stressed as we walk.

This is especially noted when we walk either up or down hills.

Bone density will increase.  Bone density is desired.

The more we use our body, bone will increase to make up for the effort we are putting it through.  Baseball pitchers and tennis players have been known to have somewhere as much as 4 times the bone density in the arm used most when compared to the arm used less frequently.

Since we want overall bone density, the use of walking poles meet that requirement, forcing  us to use all our bones and body muscles.

Don’t Get Stressed

Have you ever heard of “runner’s high?”

Anticipating the "walker's  high"

Anticipating the “walker’s high”

It is the point that all runners are trying to attain.  It is when your body releases endorphins which in turn, gives each runner a sense of being “high” along with an overall sense of well being.  It is a desirous thing.

Many who take up the Nordic walking routine, soon experience this.  They also experience less stress, not only to their joints, but in their mental outlook as well.

In addition to this is the ability for better pain management, along with endurance and greater muscle gain.

Since a much improved body efficiency in using oxygen as we get into a walking routine has been noted, we find that we become more aware of our surroundings.  Not only that, but we increasingly become aware of our finely tuned “engine” (a.k.a. our body) and it’s workings.

We take note of our heartbeat, our breathing, walking pace, how our feet touch the ground, we even “feel” the earth under our feet, the rhythm of our poles, our coordinated walking stride, and how our body is responding to this newly acquired skill along with how  our muscles are being strengthened with every stride.

With all of the above working together in harmony, we soon realize that our being stressed-out by everyday issues and/or problems seem to be not so overwhelming after all.  In fact, we even find that remedies for issues or problems, readily come to us as we walk.

Walking Route Planner

So you can see that a walking route planner can mean  all sorts of things to all sorts of different folks.   Did you see where you fit in?

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Why not consider using your newly developed walking skills with a set of Nordic walking poles?  After all, the purchase of these poles is pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.  They can be taken with you wherever you go.

But which pole should you purchase?  How can I know which is right for me?

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this site!

images by: examiner,koamtv,shutterstock,123rf,,keenfit,sparkpeople


Walking Poles

What Is The Benefits of Walking?


Starting now, you can quickly realize the benefits of walking.  Walking?  Why not jog, swim, go to the gym, or bicycle riding?  They all have their place, but surprisingly, walking will cover all those activities rolled into one!

Learning How To Walk

First of all, when we walk many will begin to view it as “serious business.”  On the other hand, we’ll try not to go with that attitude.  The benefits of walking will come to us whether we are serious about it or we are just enjoying the pleasant surroundings.

Coordination And Stability

Just like learning to walk as a young child, the proper use of Nordic Walking Poles also requires a measure of coordination along with a very short learning curve.  Stability and strength with growing endurance qualities, which will enhance our cardiovascular effort will in turn, allow us to be more agile and even increasing visual acuity.

To name a few of the tremendous benefits that come from regular use of walking poles would be :  strengthening  body muscles, tendons, ligaments, injury prevention, quick nerve system reaction to situations which include the agility and ability to learn other athletic skills and/or sports.

Put simply, by regular use of Nordic walking poles is really an investment to our future health, welfare, and overall sense of well being.

Women seem to dominate this activity…but guys, you get the benefits too!

The Little “Engine” That Said I Can!

The creation of the human body is unique in itself.  The brief illustration that follows will help us to get the sense of how Nordic Walking Poles will benefit us.

A small 1 horsepower gasoline engine can do 1 hp worth of work all day long.   Try to get it to do 1 1/2 hp or perhaps even 2 hp worth of work and what happens?  In short order, it will break down.

On the other hand, if demand 1 horsepower worth of work from our bodies, we get 1 hp worth of work.  If we begin to demand 1 1/2 or even 2 hp worth of work from our bodies, then, over time, our bodies will build the needed muscle, coordination, stamina, and quick reaction time that is needed in order to not only meet, but welcome the change in pace and give us the 1 1/2  to 2 hp energy that is needed.

Using Nordic walking poles puts that little “engine” through it’s paces, that is, our bodies.  Using available resources, such as oxygen and a proper diet, our bodies will begin to burn fat and build muscle.  In fact, the better condition we are in, our little “engine” will be burning fat even when we are at rest.

Cross Country And Skiing…Do We Need It?

Regardless of what level we choose to begin our regular walking routine, our bodies will respond accordingly.  Since aerobic training and conditioning is really at the heart of our newly acquired skills, it sets the stage for anaerobic activities later on.

Anaerobic type of training could be considered the “quarter mile race” of our conditioning.  Since anaerobic training is quite intense, it is usually done in short bursts of energy.  For instance, activities such as we see in aerobic classes in many gyms throughout the country or a long distance runner suddenly has a burst of speed and energy as he/she sees the finish line.

Since this training is for the advanced, we need not worry about it at this time.  Regardless what our fitness level may be, we can use our Nordic walking poles to meet any challenges that may come our way.  Our goal is to progressively build needed endurance, muscle, fat burning capabilities even while at rest, along with increased cardiovascular capacity.

The Top 8 Benefits Of Nordic Walking Poles

1.  Agility and performance in almost every sport will be increased.

2.  Being used to moving, our natural abilities requiring speed will increase.

3.  Like a fine-tuned engine running at peak performance, our total recovery time will be dramatically lessened, making recovery time brief.

4.  Coordinated walking skills will increase along with our natural dynamic balance  especially when maneuvering  over uneven surfaces we walk on.

5.   Nerves and response time will become much more acute.

6.  Since fitness is our goal regardless of our present physical fitness, it will naturally be a  “side benefit” of our regular Nordic pole walking routine.

7.  Getting our “wind” or cardiovascular  endurance will quickly be increased.

8.  Strengthened heart activities will allow our heart muscle to work less,  allowing our heart to perform the same activities as before our walking routine…but with much less effort.

Graceful Women…Muscular Men

Graceful women
Graceful Fit Women


Graceful women
Graceful Fit Women













Ladies, if you interviewed a number of other women that have been Nordic walkers for a while, you will find that each of them have noticed that within themselves, their own style of walking has become more graceful.

Using Nordic walking poles has given them greater grace and ease of walking even without the use of poles in their everyday activities.  Since coordination, building both upper and lower body muscle, along with fat burning capacities, these women’s bodies will naturally walk straighter.

As we walk, our arms and legs will quite naturally, fall into it’s natural rhythm of the opposite of our leg stride.  Better coordination, graceful movements will also include much fewer body injuries, quicker response time, excellent precision of movements, and ease of learning new skills in almost any sport.

Men, on the other hand, will gain all of the above benefits as women do, including much greater muscle mass.  Seeing that men already have more muscle mass than women, muscle will develop rather quickly.

Having a more athletic shape or build, will give every man a greater presence in practically any given situation or setting.  Even improving his mental awareness because his body is using oxygen more efficiently.

With greater capacity of endurance because of his now, highly trained and conditioned cardiovascular capabilities, those distance type activities beckons to him (or her), to want to join in.

Muscular fit men
Muscular Fit Men

A Excellent Way Of Life

Nordic pole walking is indeed, a way of life.  Knowing that as much as we put into our personal training and routine, WE are the one that gets 100% of the benefits.

Nordic walking requires our entire body to be involved.  Good balance, agility, quick response times, less fatigue, less injuries, along with grace and muscle development for both men and women, are what we are desiring.

Have you started your training yet?

Wondering which of the many Nordic poles to chose from?  

How to overcome the “get started” problem?

All of the above questions have been addressed.  Why not take a few minutes and see how?

Leave me a comment if you like the above and share with friends!

Written by :  Tom McDaniel

Images by: shutterstock,,sparkpeople,

What is Stress? Not here!

What is good for stress?  Join us in the “Chill Out Zone”

What is stress?  How can we identify areas that make us stressed and what can we do about it?  A very old saying goes like this :  knowledge is power.

When we have knowledge of something or a situation, knowing how to handle it before it erupts can make the difference in our having a happy life or a stress filled life.  Many in today’s fast paced society, want and need relief.  But how?

All of the above questions are being asked by everyday people.  Doctors are questioned, lawyers, parents, even children are asking other children for advice about stress.  It’s true, we live in a stressful world.

Identifying What Stress Is

So, what is stress?  Is it always a bad thing?  Or is it the way we handle things or situations that get us stressed out?  Let’s take a look.

Stress is not unique to one group of people or any particular place on earth.  It is everywhere we turn.  The term ‘stress’ has at times been defined as :  something that is either a physical, emotional or even a chemical imbalance that can cause  body or mental tensions.

But is it always a bad thing?  No, not really.  In fact, stress can sharpen our thinking if we are trying to concentrate.  We may have a project that needs to  be done in an exact fashion.  A certain amount of stress can be beneficial.

However, most people do not view stress like that.  Stress is viewed as a negative outcome, which in most cases, is true.  Perhaps planning a vacation to another part of the country can be a real stress reliever.

Reflection Lake (mirror lake...unofficial name)

Reflection Lake (mirror lake…unofficial name)    Mount Rainier just outside of  Seattle Washington

The problem of stress occurs when it becomes overwhelming and is very poorly managed.  That is the time that all these negative effects begin to show up.  Many of these show up because of the jobs we work.  Parents become stressed because of their children. This is especially true if you are a single parent with children.  The single parent is trying to fill two roles.

Children And Stress

Even more challenging is when our children are going through puberty.  They are stressed out which in turn, makes us as parents, even more stressed.  Then with the ever present danger of our children in violent schools, giving them feelings of uncertainty, anxious care, terrorists attacks, or some type of disaster.  All brings on stress.

Job Stress

How about being stressed on the job?  If your job causes you stress, by your “suffering in silence” is not the way to handle job related stressful situations.  Many who are experts in the field of stress, recommend talking to the boss.


Because if the boss or employer does not know about the stress, how can they help?  Keep in mind though, that there is a proper time and place to bring this subject up.  When you are supposed to be working, is NOT the proper time.

Cooperation  can also help.  Work with your employer, not against them

How About Communication

Work together by communication

Work together by communication

Communication with employers, children, school teachers and so on, can be a real stress-reliever.  Talk to each other.  That is especially true within the home.  As a family unit, when we talk with each other it releases much bound up stress.  But be open when you as a parent, hear something from your child that you do not like.

Don’t jump on them and begin to scold.  That is only going to close the door to communication…maybe even permanently !

Work with your children.  Learn what they truly enjoy.  Share your time with them.  They will always appreciate it.  Do things together.  Cook a meal.  Have an ongoing project that all can be involved with.  Jigsaw puzzles, build a  popsicle stick building, bridge, or racetrack.  Anything that can be done together.  Perhaps a card game of sorts.

Stress is not something that is going to go away.

It is a fact of life, but how we handle it can make a huge difference in our happiness.  Keep in mind that there is always an end to these situations.  They do not go on forever.

So what are some things that we can do to reduce everyday stress?  Try reading something that would be both entertaining and interesting.

There are some very basic things that we MUST do in order to reduce stress.  They may seem simple or to some people, rather silly, but to be successful when dealing with stress, these basic concepts need to considered.

Getting Rid Of Stress

First, we need to be sure that we get much needed rest.  We should be eating healthy, not junk food.  Maintain our weight, do not overeat.

It has been said that for every few pounds we are over weight, our body produces 1000 more miles of capillaries in order to pump blood through all of the extra fat we are carrying.  That in turn, puts more pressure on our hearts, which will create another whole world of problems.

Regular exercise, walking, weight lifting, bicycling, jogging and so on, is greatly beneficial also.

Have something on your mind that is bothering you?  Talk to a close friend and get it “off your chest.”

Be with your family doing family things together.

Be aware of your own personal limits both physically and emotionally.  Know how to say “no” if it will help with less stress in your life.

Have a positive goal that you are reaching for.  Without goals in life, we will go no where and do nothing.  Do not expect to be a perfectionist though, have realistic and reachable goals.  Once reached, set yourself another.

Get your life organized.

Now, the most important part of reducing stress is :  have a ‘day off ‘ set aside just for YOU.  Everyone needs some ‘alone’ time to just “chill out” from the cares of the day.   Even if this “day off ” is only a few minutes in the early mornings or evenings, do it on a regular basis.

None of us can  live a totally stress-free life, however, we can begin to take control of many stressful situations.  So it is “How We Handle Stress”  that can either make or break us.

Financial Stress

So many problems arise when there is not enough money to pay for bills.  On the other hand, many put themselves into unneeded debt.  Then wonder how to pay the creditor.

It just seems that the J.O.B. (acronym for Just Over Broke) we have is not bringing in enough money to take care of even some of the most basic needs.  What do we do?

Many have found that having their own business is one such way to make ends meet.  Even a home based part-time business that can generate income would be a welcome relief.

Many have been successful with an online type business.  But how and where do we ever get started in something like that?  Wouldn’t it be nice if someone would help us along the way?

Learn how to have a stress relieving income and being taught how to do it.

Debt Free

Debt Free…At Last !

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Share this site