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These poles were made for walking

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In the 1970s, we all heard about the average Swedish senior citizen being in better shape than the average 30-year-old Canadian.  That taut old man was a call to arms. ParticipACTION commercials and the Canada Fitness Test in gym classes spurred us to get into shape.

 
I’m not sure if we’ve made much progress.


According to www.canadafacts.org, Canadian adults watch more an average of 28.8 hours of television a week. A 2010 Ipsos Reid survey reveals that Canadians spend more than 18 hours a week online. How many people do you know with gym memberships who rarely use them after an opening month flourish? How often do we uncover a new set of startling national obesity statistics?


If you’d like to increase your fitness level, an energetic lady in Norwood may be able to help you.


Lori Hildebrandt is a certified Nordic walking instructor and she loves to get people moving.
On any given night in Norwood, she leads a pack of cross-country walkers as they stride through neighbourhood streets with what look cross country ski poles.


Lori notes that urban poling, as it’s also known, is all the rage in Europe and is just beginning to take a foothold in Canada. The sport is very popular in B.C., with its year-round warmer climate. More and more people in Winnipeg are discovering this novel form of walking.


If you’re looking to emerge from your winter cocoon and are still a bit distressed about our reluctant spring, Nordic walking is an easy and convenient way to lift your spirits. No drive to a gym or expensive equipment is necessary. You simply pop out your door, pick up your poles, and get moving.


Lori learned about Nordic walking about seven years ago when her mother, an avid runner, was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, and had to find an exercise that was kinder to the joints.


Lori beams about the sport’s fitness benefits.


"It gets your arms involved in a big way and gets your heart rate up. It’s a full-body activity."
Participant Teresa Maguet loves the workout, both in a group and on her own. She joined after she saw Hilldebrandt’s signs in Norwood.


"It improves my posture, works my arms, and tones my stomach and core area," Maguet says.
Lori, a certified Nordic-walking instructor, recommends a little instruction before beginning. She can teach you the proper technique for different surfaces and how to adjust the poles for maximum performance.


All ages can participate. Lori has introduced the sport to Frontenac School in Windsor Park, where she teaches and leads a club of young Nordic walkers in a popular spring time extracurricular activity.


To learn more about the depth and breadth of this unique activity, check out www.urbanpoling.com. The blog at the site offers many personal and insightful comments about what you’d be getting into.


If you want to start a Nordic-walking group, purchase good quality poles or connect with Lori for quality instruction, check out her website, www.nordicwalkingwinnipeg.weebly.com.

Adriano Magnifico is a community correspondent for St. Boniface. You can contact him at amagnif@mymts.net

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