Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nordic stepping, hiking, bounce about . . .

I refuse to call what I did today Nordic Walking.

Mark and I made plans to hook up today to do a classic ski, however, conditions weren't the best with all the warm temperatures and melted snow (which turned the track set to ice). So instead, to take advantage of the beauty day we had today, we decided to hike Wolf trail in the park. It was too beaten down to justify using snowshoes. Sections were so wide and hard in spots you could drive a car on it without fear of sinking in.

Mark on top of Wolf.

I bought these to use on icy trails while walking Jacks, so I don't fall down and go 'boom'. They came in real handy today scrambling up some icy, hard packed sections of the trail. And yes, I used my snowshoe poles to help with the hiking - there was no attempt at trying to be trendy!

This new 'sport', Nordic Walking, is popping up everywhere as the new thing to do. All around Ottawa little old ladies and men walk about with ski poles. There are groups who get together and do it together. Places over lessons on how to do it and you can even take a course on how to become an instructor. Can you believe that?!? A lesson or a course on how to walk with xc ski poles in your hands!?!! Nutty. With the way the Olympic games are going, this might end up being a demonstration sport someday soon, right along side of underwater basket weaving and rug hooking.

However, if it gets people outside exercising, it can't be all that bad. To each his/her own.

1 comment:

fritZman said...

There's something about the convienience, cost, and most importantly whole body (including core) workout that's appealing about Nordic walking. The problem is that it's just too low impact.

If you want to try something to do with shoes and poles that will crush you in 1 minute, try 'Bounding'.

You need longer poles than Nordic walking, something that's about 1/2 way between classic and skating.

XC dryland usually does this up gentle slopes but I prefer flat land because I can last longer.

After a good warm-up (I like to do double pole jogging) you start taking large but slow bounding strides. The key is that you use a lot of the pole opposite to your pushing leg like a crutch to assist in your push (mostly up). Think of it as exaggerated XC skiing. Use the other pole to help with cushioning the landing and then the subsequent push-off. Repeat for as long as you can. ;-)

Your upper body will beg for mercy in seconds and you'll be out of breath in less than 1 minute.

It's been getting me by with the wonky weather we've been having lately.