Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Transition From A Summer Of Nordic Walking And Running With Poles To Cross Country Skiing


Three days in a row for cross country skiing! And the middle day was 11/12/13 - a very special day!
 
The Nordic Walking + the running hills with poles and the long treks up on the Sleeping Bear Dunes really paid off. Even after an hour and 1/2 of skiing yesterday I wanted to go longer. The sun was out and we had that awesome blue sky spring skiing thing happening in November.
 
Walking, running, hiking and trekking with poles is a great cross trainer for all sports. The key is using the Perfect Length Poles and the correct technique. At WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System we provide quality one-piece poles (no cheap/flimsy twist-locks or flip-locks allowed on our quality poles) and professional instruction for all ages and all fitness levels. The key is to offer options and 16 different lengths of poles.
 
Our poles are tough enough for world class athletes to pound and push. They are also dependable enough for those transitioning from crutches, canes and/or walkers. Don't get scammed by collapsible poles! Be sure to look for SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles. Both come with a Perfect Length Guarantee.
 
And as any ski coach knows - one-piece poles are always going to prove to be safer, lighter, stronger, more durable and much more dependable than cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles flooding the market from China - including those $200 collapsible ones. Quality one-piece Nordic Walking Poles the perfect solution for skiing, walking, running, hiking, trekking, snowshoeing, roller skiing and inline skating.
 
And a good ski coach knows how to wax the skis for these early season ski outings when the leaves and grass are still wet. SWIX CH10 ironed in, allowed to cool, scraped and then brushed out. If there is a No-Wax base under foot be sure to use some SWIX F8LE Red Liquid Glide on the no-wax area (no wax doesn't mean NO wax - SWIX F8LE liquid waxes really help the no-wax area from drying out, clumping up and wrecking your ski time when the leaves or grass are wet. SWIX F7LE and F6LE are for colder temps and are a must for those no-wax areas on colder days. This secret combo will allow for better glide and eliminate clumps of snow underfoot and/or snow/ice freeze up that wrecks a beautiful xc wicked fast.
 
My skis were in great shape and had great glide.
 
Back to running hills today - with poles of course. But happy for 3 days of xc skiing before the snow melted. Glad to that the Nordic Walking proved to be a successful cross trainer to get ready for ski season.
 
Think Snow!
 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Maple Syrup Time - Ideal Time of Year for Cross Country Skiing and Nordic Walking!

Cold nights and warm days are ideal for the tapping of maple trees for maple syrup. It is also an ideal time for spring skiing and/or Nordic Walking.

This has been a perfect spring for making maple syrup and the snow is still holding up and very skiable.

And for those deprived of snow - just get out and beef-up your walking campaign with walking poles. Walking with poles provide many of the awesome health benefits of cross country skiing. The walking poles also radically reduce the stress to the shins, the knees, the hips and back.

Originally skiers deprived of snow knew the secret benefits of walking, hiking, trekking, ski walking, hill-bounding, ........... with poles. And now the word is out. You can burn 20-40% more calories by walking with poles. That is 20-40% more calories than regular walking - walking without poles. The poles also radically improve balance and stability.

When deprived of snow and not cross country skiing I use my poles for hiking in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and during my lunch break I run with my poles up the hill here behind the office and then ski walk back down. I not only get a better workout, but my knees find the poles eliminate the stress and strain.

When looking for walking poles be sure to not get scammed by all the cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles flooding the market from China and costing anywhere from $20.00 per pair to $200.00 per pair. If the poles are equipped with twist-locks or flip-locks be sure to avoid them. Skiers only use one-piece poles and the same quality one-piece poles work best for hiking, walking, trekking, running, ski walking and hill-bounding with poles.

Skiers and other athletes would destroy cheap/flimsy collapsible poles. Plus they rattle, vibrate, gradually collapse or fail altogether unexpectedly. Seniors and anyone with a balance issue should NEVER use cheap/flimsy collapsible poles. Quality one-piece poles that are sized correctly will always prove to be safer, lighter, stronger, more durable and much more user-friendly.

Perfect length poles help us to automatically walk with a super straight back - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

According to Nick Mahood, SWIX USA Nordic Walking Director, "Pete Edwards, The American Nordic Walking System and SKIWALKING.COM's owner/founder/coach, has single handedly introduced thousands of Americans to Nordic Walking through his enthusiastic Nordic Walking clinics! I have no doubt that Edwards is the #1 retailer of Nordic Walking Poles in the USA! You can quote me on that!".

We are the #1 retailer of quality one-piece poles in North America. Unfortunately thousands of Americans in the USA and Canada are getting scammed everyday into purchasing cheap/flimsy collapsible poles from China. When those collapsible poles prove unfriendly they find us and our 100% positive satisfaction ratings.

Walking with poles is the best! Walking with one-piece poles that are sized correctly makes a good thing even better.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Walking Is Man's Best Medicine

Nordic Walking Can Help!
 
Hundreds of years BC, Hippocrates (a Greek physician), stated clearly that "walking is man's best medicine." Centuries later studies have proven that walking could help with many physical and mental challenges.

The benefits of walking?

Walking strengthens the lower back - helping to eliminate lower back pain. If the pain already exists walking with poles that are sized and used correctly can help to radically reduce that back pain.

Walking helps with weight loss. Pills and diets alone are not the answer. Walking with poles can help to burn more calories and help to reduce the stress to the shins, the knees and back.

Walking provides the weight bearing benefits many of us need. And again quality walking can help provide the weight bearing benefits, but at a reduced stress level compared to regular walking. The poles reduce the pounding and the stress when sized correctly and when used correctly.

For those with balance issues walking with a can or walker is not comfortable or biomechenically correct. When using the Perfect Length Poles the individual is tricked into walking taller - this improved posture makes walking so much more comfortable and the poles add an element of 4-Wheel Drive to the walking campaign while improving balance and stability.

Walking can help many reduce the medications they are currently taking. Walking with poles can effectively help to shed the pounds, improve balance/stability, improve posture and walking comfort, lower blood sugar levels, help with blood pressure, .........

The poles not only add the element of 4-wheel-drive and improve stability, but the poles help to engage more muscles than regular walking.

At WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System we receive happy customer emails and thank you cards in the mail everyday. Happy because their poles have helped them to find walking success. We are honest about the simple fact that our quality one-piece walking poles will prove to be safer, lighter, more durable and much more user-friendly than cheap/flimsy 2-piece or 3-piece collapsible poles flooding the market from China. We NEVER recommend collapsible 2-piece or 3-piece poles for individuals with balance issues. Our one-piece poles are custom fit to each individuals height so there are no cheap/flimsy twist-lock or flip-locks insecurely holding the pieces/sections of the the collapsible poles together. Collapsible poles tend to rattle, vibrate, gradually collapse/shorten while walking or unexpectedly fail altogether. We carry and recommend one-piece SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles.

Over 10 million Europeans are walking with poles in the cities (with the rubber Nordic Walking Tips/Asphalt Paws on), out in the country and up in the mountains using the metal tips.

Walking can add years to your lifespan and improve the quality of your life!

Please get out and walk more. Encourage your family and friends too.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Best Nordic Walking Poles For Nordic Running

Nordic Walking is a great cross-trainer for runners. So is Nordic Running - running with poles. The best poles for runners are also the best poles for used for Nordic Walking - durable and user-friendly one-piece poles that are sized correctly and equipped with real Nordic Walking Straps (not the cheap strapless poles or loop strap poles or velcro sling equipped poles). Real Nordic Walking Straps can be found on SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles.

Nordic Walking Poles are especially helpful for runners with shin-splints or runner's knee. The poles radically reduce the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. I have been coaching runners and skiers for over 30 years and poles have played an important role in our training for track and cross country running - not just dry-land training for my skiers when deprived of snow. Poles are an excellent recovery tool for runners. Running or walking with poles provides a great workout, plus the wear and tear, stress and impact are minimized.

And of course only one-piece poles can handle the added stress of running with poles, ski walking and hill bounding. Cheap/flimsy twist-lock and flip-lock 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles just can't handle it - they rattle, vibrate and automatically shorten themselves or fail altogether. Always look for quality one-piece poles that are sized correctly to your height. Don't get scammed by cheap/flimsy collapsible poles.
Perfect length poles help us to automatically walk and run with a super straight back - better walking and running posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

Quality one-piece Nordic Walking Poles in 16 different lengths can be found at WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Best Poles For Nordic Sports

 
While cross country skiing out on the Shore To Shore Horse Trail here in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park and the township of Empire, Michigan, I had time to contemplate all the advantages of one-piece poles for cross country skiing, downhill skiing, roller skiing, ski walking, hill bounding, running with poles, snowshoeing with poles, Nordic Walking, ....... The simple fact is that one-piece poles in all those situations are far superior to the alternative of cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece twist-lock or flip-lock collapsible poles currently flooding the market from China and falsely marketed.
 
And when it comes to walking poles seniors and anyone with balance issues should never be sold cheap/flimsy collapsible poles. Collapsible poles aren't ideal for everyday use either. One-piece poles that are sized correctly will always prove to be safer, lighter, more durable and much more user-friendly than cheap/flimsy collapsible poles.
 
 At SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System we have 16 different lengths of walking poles. These poles are ideal for use in the city (with the rubber tips/asphalt paws on), out in the country and up in the mountains. They are very versatile and user-friendly. Unlike collapsible poles, these quality one-piece poles are dependable and hassle-free.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Nordic Sports and REAL Nordic Poles - For Walking, Running, Roller Skiing, Roller Blading (In-Line Skating), Nordic Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing

Nordic Sports require poles. And one-piece poles that are sized correctly are the norm in the Nordic Countries in Europe. Over 10 million Europeans are walking with poles in the cities, out in the country and up in the mountains and they are using one-piece poles - for hiking, trekking, ski walking, hill bounding and Nordic Walking. And millions more are using one-piece poles for roller skiing, roller blading (in-line skating), Nordic snowshoeing and cross country skiing. And then there is the "Alpine" culture - downhill skiers are strictly using quality one-piece poles too.

Why aren't they using cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece poles? Because they rattle, vibrate, aren't durable, aren't user-friendly, gradually collapse or fail altogether when not expected. There isn't a single ski shop or ski rental business that promotes 2-piece or 3-piece collapsible poles. Why? Because they are cheap, flimsy and inferior products.

So why are cheap/flimsy collapsible walking poles from China flooding the market here in the USA and Canada? Why do thousands of big box, sporting goods and online stores promoting the wonderful benefits of collapsible poles from China?

The answer is ignorance and/or making a fast buck. Seniors and anyone with a balance issue should never use cheap/flimsy collapsible poles. For everyday use quality one-piece poles superior.

A friend of mine manages a successful running shoe store. They carry snowshoes and by accident they were shipped dozens of pairs of collapsible snowshoe poles. He hides them under a bench out of sight. He states that they run a 100% dissatisfaction rate. They are expense poles collapsible poles. They are made by a big name in snowshoeing. They are made in China. And they are cheap/flimsy and do not hold their settings if they can even be twisted and locked into position in the first place. One-piece poles would prove to be user-friendly and super durable - not cheap, flimsy and disposable.

Here at WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System we only recommend quality one-piece poles that are sized correctly for all Nordic and Alpine sports. We provide safe and effective Nordic Walking techniques that provide a variety of different exertion levels - there is an ideal level of intensity for everyone, every age and every fitness level. Our $69.95 basic Nordic Walking Poles from Norway are far superior to collapsible poles costing as much as $200.00 (from China).

When it comes to Nordic Walking a credible retailer would need to offer at least 16 different lengths. We offer 16 different lengths of quality EXEL Nordic Walking Poles from Finland and 16 different lengths of quality SWIX Nordic Walking Poles form Norway. All of these quality one-piece poles are equipped with metal tips for off-road use on grass, dirt, trails, the beach, the dunes, snow and ice. Removable rubber tips (asphalt paws) are included for use on pavement and other hard surfaces. All come equipped with real Nordic Walking Straps - quality fingerless glove type straps that are patented by the Salomon Ski Company. Free DVD and printed instructions included as well to ensure a successful walking campaign.

Alpine and Nordic means one-piece poles regardless of the hype put into promoting cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles from China.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Weekend - Nordic Walking, Roller Skiing and Cross Country Skiing

The Thanksgiving weekend started out with some really nice Indian Summer weather that was ideal for Nordic Walking (hiking with poles). As things started to cool down we did some roller skiing. And then today we were cross country skiing! Got snow.

It was a Nordic "triple crown" - Nordic Walking, roller skiing and cross country skiing (Nordic skiing). All of these fitness activities included specialized one-piece poles sized to our specific heights. Cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles wouldn't be able to hold up. One-piece poles that are sized correctly prove to be safer, lighter, stronger, much more durable and much more user-friendly than collapsible poles that tend to rattle, vibrate, gradually collapse or fail altogether. All these activities originated in Scandinavia and they only use one-piece poles for Nordic sports. Over 10 million Europeans are walking with poles in the cities (with the rubber tips/asphalt paws on), out in the country and up in the mountains.

We used SWIX poles for all three activities. While Nordic Walking we used the perfect length poles - elbow at about 90 degrees and forearm parallel to the ground when standing tall and strapped into our comfortable and patented fingerless glove type straps. Using the Perfect Length Poles helped us to automatically walk with a super straight back - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees,hips and back.

Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking. Nordic Walking includes all of the positives about walking with handweights, but none of the negitives.

Our roller ski poles are our longest poles. Our roller ski poles are equipped with special hardened carbide tips that are extra sharp and dig into the pavement to help provide some push-off. Our cross country poles are just slightly shorter.

All of our poles are a durable and user-friendly one-piece design. All of our poles are equipped with comfortable patented straps - patented by the Salomon Ski Company.

One-piece poles also prove to be safer and much more user-friendly for seniors and for anyone with a balance issue because they are so darn dependable. Seniors and those with balance issues should especially avoid cheap/flimsy collapsible poles. Don't get scammed by cheap/flimsy 2-piece or 3-piece twist-lock or flip-lock poles - most are made in China.

Quality SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles can be found at WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nordic Walking Poles - Huge Benefits For Those With Diabetes and/or Neuropathy

Last week I hosted Nordic Walking Classes at Mercy Hospital in Cadillac, Michigan during their annual Diabetes Health Expo. It was exciting to get so much positive feedback from those who had never tried Nordic Walking. And as always, the doctors and physical therapists commented about their clients' successes with the Nordic Walking Poles. Individuals that already had our Swix and Exel Nordic Walking Poles shared their personal success stories including weight loss, the need for fewer medications, improved walking posture, increased walking endurance, radical improvements in stability, decrease in blood pressure, ability to walk on uneven ground again, .......

The cardiac rehab department at Mercy Hospital utilizes our one-piece Nordic Walking Poles too. The one-piece poles prove to be safer, lighter, stronger, much more durable and much more user-friendly than cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles that tend to rattle, vibrate, gradually collapse or completely fail altogether. I would NEVER recommend collapsible poles for anyone with balance or stability issues. I also don't recommend collapsible poles for everyday use. One-piece poles that are sized correctly are far superior to collapsible poles.

All of our quality one-piece poles are equipped with real Nordic Walking straps - comfortable fingerless glove type straps that allow the user to keep their fingers relaxed and never have to grip or squeeze the poles. All of our poles also come with the special rubber Nordic Walking tips/asphalt paws that are removable. Permanently attached to all of our poles are durable metal tips for off-road, grass, non-paved trails, the beach, sand dunes, snow and ice.

Unfortunately thousands of seniors from coast to coast are being sold collapsible poles that were made in China. Quality one-piece poles sized correctly would be so much safer, lighter, stronger and hassle free.

Perfect length poles help us to automatically walk with a super straight back - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

At WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System we are dedicated to the simple fact that one-piece poles that are sized correctly will always prove superior to cheap/flimsy collapsible poles.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nordic Walking Study - The Cooper Institute


Nordic Walking is huge in Europe and the benefits of walking with the perfect length poles and the correct technique are many. Over 10 million Europeans are walking with poles - in the cities (with the rubber tips/asphalt paws on), out in the country and up in the mountains.

Here in the USA Nordic Walking has yet to really catch on. Skiers know the huge benefits of training with poles when deprived of snow. Backpackers know that their poles often save their knees and back when hiking when poles. Seniors and anyone with a balance issue also know that walking poles radically improve balance and enable them to walk faster and farther. Skiers, backpackers, seniors and anyone with a balance issue will find that one-piece poles are superior to all the collapsible poles being heavily promoted in stores and online.

The study done by the The Cooper Institute shows that walking with poles really does help to provide a better workout too - burning more calories than regular walking. Nordic Walking provides all the wonderful health benefits of cross country skiing, but doesn't require skis or snow - just quality one-piece poles are ideal. Many of my happy customers have lost upwards of 100 pounds just by walking with their poles and changing their diet. Some have also found swimming to be an added benefit too.

Don't get scammed by all the 2-piece ad 3-piece collapsible poles flooding the market. Over 99% of the cheap/flimsy twist-lock and flip-lock poles in the big box stores and all over the internet are made in China and destined for the landfill. One-piece poles that are sized correctly will always prove to be safer, lighter, more durable and much more user-friendly than 2-piece and 3-piece poles with twist-lock and flip-lock systems.

One-piece SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles can be found at WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System - 16 different lengths ensure a perfect fit. One-piece poles are ideal for ALL Nordic Sports - Roller Skiing, Nordic Snowshoeing, Nordic Walking, Nordic Running, Hill Bounding, Roller Blading (In-line Skating), Classic Cross Country Skiing, Skate Cross Country Skiing, .....

When using the perfect length poles and the correct technique we are almost tricked into automatically walking with a super straight back (without having to think about it) - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Best Poles For All Nordic and Alpine Sports - Including Nordic Walking

Roller Skiing, Nordic Blading (roller blading), Nordic Snowshoeing, Down Hill Skiing (Alpine), Classic Technique Cross Country Skiing, Skate Technique Cross Country Skiing and Nordic Walking all have one important commonality. One-piece poles for success.

I've been coaching skiers for over 30 years and have always proposed one-piece poles that are sized correctly. I would never consider using 2-piece or 3-piece adjustable length/collapsible/telescoping poles for beginner skiers or for my racers. Cheap/flimsy collapsible poles just couldn't take the tough treatment. The same goes for all Nordic and Alpine Sports. One-piece poles that are sized correctly will always prove to be safer, lighter, stronger, much more durable and much more user-friendly than collapsible poles equipped with twist-locks or flip-locks that are destined to fail and end up in the dumpster.

We are doing a lot of roller skiing this fall and our one-piece poles are totally dependable. Collapsible poles couldn't take the punishment. So, when it comes to walking poles why would anyone trust cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles? I would never sell seniors or individuals collapsible poles. Collapsible poles are easy to sell, but their satisfaction ratings are horrible. Their life-span is short too. Many of my new customers report that prior to calling us for quality poles they first attempted to buy at big box stores and the floor models twist-locks were already broken - including the $140 Leki Poles at numerous locations. Hundreds of other customers report the same poor results from a variety of collapsible poles they purchased by mistake thinking they were quality poles. Our 100% positive satisfaction ratings wouldn't be doable if we promoted collapsible poles and the headaches that come with them.

Once we know tall a customer is we select the Perfect Length Poles for their height. The correct length poles radically improve balance and stability. They also help to radically reduce the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back.

 Nordic Walking’s winning combination of improved posture, a unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action and shock absorbing benefits are helping many individuals to walk comfortably again. Nordic Walking Poles are helping individuals with balance issues, knee issues or new knees, hip issues or new hips, back issues (including those with rods in their back), weight issues, multiple sclerosis (MS), parkinson's (PD), neuropathy, arthritis, bursitis, scoliosis, lumbar stenosis, fibromyalgia, post polio, osteoporosis, stroke recovery, cancer recovery and other limitations to walking. Nordic Walking poles are helping thousands of Americans get off the couch, successfully get outside, start walking safely and effectively launch much needed walking campaigns.

The best poles for all Nordic and Alpine Sports are one-piece poles - don't get scammed by all the marketing hype behind 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles. No matter how much lipstick you put on a pig it is still a pig.

When it comes to one-piece poles the sizing is critical. We offer 16 different lengths of SWIX Poles from Norway and EXEL Poles from Finland. Plus custom fit when necessary. We offer a Perfect Length Guarantee. Retailers with just 6 or 7 different pole lengths can't possibly get the sizing right even 50% of the time. And sizing is critical. It is also important to remember that collapsible poles especially don't work for tall guys. Collapsible poles are even extra flimsy when fully extended and when extended to their limit they are far to short for taller men - to short and even more flimsy.

At WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System we take sizing and quality very seriously. That is why we are running 100% positive with all the ratings services. Plus all of our quality one-piece poles are equipped with real Nordic Walking Straps, metal tips for off-road and removable rubber tips/asphalt paws for pavement and hard surfaces.

Have FUN and remember to get in as much Nordic Sports action as possible!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Olympic Ski Star Lindsey Vonn Promotes Nordic Walking


The 1st Americans to embrace Nordic Ski Walking have typically been skiers. When deprived of snow skiers often grab their poles for hikes, ski walking and hill bounding.

When celebrity athletes endorse a virtually unknown and misunderstood fitness activity like Nordic Walking only good things can result. Awareness and curiosity are good things. And an enthusiastic celebrity endorsement is fantastic. When more Americans realize the many wonderful health benefits of Nordic Walking this fitness activity will take off here like it already has in Europe. Nordic Walking Poles often empower individuals to start walking taller, faster, longer and remain much more happy.

Typically skiers know that one-piece poles are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece poles from China. These collapsible poles tend to rattle, vibrate and often collapse unexpectedly. While one-piece poles that are sized correctly prove to be safer, lighter and much more durable than collapsible poles equipped with twist-locks or flip-locks.

At WWW.SKIWALKING.COM we carry 16 different lengths of SWIX and EXEL one-piece Nordic Walking Poles. We also carry rubber replacement tips/asphalt paws for both SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Roller Skiing and Nordic Walking


I'm totally hooked on the Swenor Finstep Cap Classic Roller Skis. These super smooth roller skis even come with a slight Nordic camber. These roller skis are light years ahead of classis roller skis made of aluminum.


The Salomon  S-LAB SKIATHLON is my favorite roller ski and cross country ski boots. WOW. Best boots ever. Even with my weird feet they all skied great right out of the box.

My favorite Nordic Walking Poles are the original SWIX VIP's from Lillehammer, Norway and made exclusively for us here at WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System. All of our SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles are equipped with durable metal tips and removable rubber tips/paws that act as shock absorbers and silencers on pavement.

And when it comes to roller skiing my favorite poles are my SWIX CT1's - equipped with special SWIX "road" ferrules (metal tips) that hold a sharp point even when pounding down the pavement.

The similarities between roller skiing and Nordic Walking are many. The most important however is the simple fact that durable one-piece poles that are sized correctly prove to be lighter, stronger and much more dependable than cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles that tend to rattle, vibrate, gradually collapse or collapse unexpectedly. Skiers also use dependable one-piece poles while ski walking and hill bounding with poles - they would never considering heavy collapsible poles.

Skiers ski with one-piece poles because collapsible poles don't hold up and are a hassle. The same goes for hiking, trekking and Nordic Walking - one-piece poles will always prove to be superior to cheap/flimsy collapsible poles.

Friday, October 21, 2011

North America Nordic Opener – coming to Traverse City, Michigan, Saturday, Oct. 22nd

The 1st cross country ski race of the season in North America - A Michigan Cup Nordic Ski Race!

You don’t have to go to Australia to ski this time of year. The Vasa Ski Club and Brick Wheels invite you to welcome the upcoming ski season in style by skiing on Zamboni snow! That’s right – a ski trail will be created with snow from local ice rinks for first tracks in October! Also take advantage of hot deals on Nordic ski equipment at our inaugural cross country and telemark Ski Swap.

The local Vasa Ski Club (VSC) is partnering with Brick Wheels to host the Second Annual Nordic Fest on Saturday, October 22, 9 am–4 pm. The Fest includes on snow skiing, party with food, beverages and entertainment and a cross country Ski Swap including new and gently used equipment - skis, poles, bindings and boots. Brick Wheels will have new gear discounted too!

This Nordic Fest will take place at Brick Wheels. The event will be great fun, with something for everyone including the first ski race in North America for the 2011/2012 season. Racers will ski on an oval ski track constructed by the VSC.

Skiers from across the state will have a chance to participate in the first Michigan Cup Race of the season from 10am - Noon. $5 race fee will support VSC programs including the Junior Program and We Ski Program. The public is invited to ski for free on the snowy track from 12–7 pm. Enjoy the Vasa Ski Club Season Kick-off Party with food, beverages and music from 4–7 pm.

The weekend concludes on October 23 with a roller ski clinic led by the former Nordic coach of the University of Utah, Eli Brown at 11 am at Brick Wheels.

More details can be found below and at www.vasaskiclub.com  and www.brickwheels.com , plus on the NordicSkiRacer web site: http://www.nordicskiracer.com

For SWIX Race Wax Recommendations: WWW.SWIXRACING.US

* photo credit: Pete Edwards, WWW.SKIWALKING.COM LLC and the American Nordic Walking System

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WWW.SKIWALKING.COM LLC Relocates To Empire, Michigan



The American Nordic Walking System and SKIWALKING.COM are North America's leading Nordic Walking Company. World Headquarters has moved from Glen Arbor, Michigan to Empire, Michigan.

As the exclusive North American retailer for SWIX out of Norway and EXEL out of Finland, SKIWALKING.COM ships quality Nordic Walking Poles world-wide. No other USA or Canadian retailer offers 16 different lengths of quality one-piece Nordic Walking Poles. SKIWALKING.COM is also the exclusive North American source for SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking rubber tips/asphalt paws.

The American Nordic Walking System is the instructional branch of the company. Pete Edwards, the owner/founder, has hosted hundreds of Nordic Walking Classes and introduced thousands of Americans to Nordic Walking. His hands on experience, combined with over 25 years of coaching runners and skiers, has enabled him to clearly define a safe and effective Nordic Walking System that accommodates all ages and all fitness levels. The American Nordic Walking System is based on the best biomchanics of running and cross country skiing.

Unlike other Nordic Walking organizations the American Nordic Walking System does not recommend the use of cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles that tend to rattle, vibrate, gradually collapse and/or fail altogether. As a ski coach Edwards knows that collapsible poles are not durable enough to handle the tough use of skiers. One-piece poles prove to be safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap/flimsy collapsible poles. Edwards' SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles are tough enough to withstand the demands of skiing, but are ideal for hiking, trekking, ski walking and hill bounding - cheap twist-lock and flip-lock collapsible poles are not tough enough. Collapsible poles are just to cheap and flimsy for skiing and roller skiing. Seniors and individuals with balance should only use quality one-piece poles and avoid cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles.

The new home of the American Nordic Walking System and SKIWALKING.COM is located in the hills above the town of Empire. Empire is home to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore headquarters. All of Edwards' poles have gone through rigerous testing on the beaches and up on the sand dunes themselves.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nordic Walking and Roller Skiing In The Moonlight

Swenor Finstep Cap roller skis
It is deer season again and most of our favorite trails here in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are pretty much closed for a couple weeks - even our #1 trail up on Alligator Hill behind town.
Swenor Skate Elite roller skis
My personal Nordic Walking campaign has been cut back due to the fact that I'm testing ski gear - Salomon Cross Country Ski Boots and Swenor Roller Skis. I'm still teaching a bunch of Nordic Walking Classes, but I can never get enough of Nordic Walking. Every night this past week the moon light, even on cloudy evenings, made the visibility pretty decent for a short Nordic Walk and a longer roller ski.
I'm totally hooked on the Swenor Finstep Cap Classic Roller Skis. These super smooth roller skis even come with a slight Nordic camber. These roller skis are light years ahead of classis roller skis made of aluminum.


The Swenor Skate Elite Roller Skis come with a similar Nordic Camber and FASTER wheels to really get up to speed if you feel the need for speed. Total quality.

I've also been testing the following Salomon Cross Country Boots this past week:

Salomon S-LAB SKATE PRO, S-LAB SKIATHLON and S-LAB CLASSIC. WOW. Best boots ever. Even with my weird feet they all skied great right out of the box.

For poles I snagged a pair of SWIX CT1's - can't ever go wrong with a pair of CT1's.

Once we get snow I'm fired up to test the New Salomon S-LAB EQUIPE 10 SKATE SKIS and S-LAB EQUIPE 10 CLASSIC SKIS - they look great and should be fast, especially after all the SWIX base prep that I've done to them.

When teaching Nordic Walking Classes and out doing my own personal ski walking i'm always using my SWIX VIP Nordic Walking Poles - custom made for me over in Norway. They are very similar to my Alu Star classic and skate poles come winter.

My roller skiing poles and Nordic Walking poles have a lot in common. Both are made by SWIX and both are a durable and super strong one-piece design. Cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece twist-lock and flip-lock collapsible poles. Skiers know and appreciate the fact that their one-piece poles are stronger, lighter and much more durable than cheap/flimsy collapsible poles.

When it comes to Nordic Sports it is always best to go with one-piece non-collapsible poles that are sized correctly. The best straps for Nordic Sports are the fingerless glove type straps patented by the Salomon Ski Company and found on all of my walking poles and cross country ski poles.

My personal pole length:

125cm SWIX Poles for Nordic Walking

150cm SWIX Poles for Classic Cross Country Skiing

160cm SWIX Poles for Skate Cross Country Skiing

One-piece poles will always prove to be superior.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cross Country Skiing on Saturday, Nov. 6th Followed By Nordic Walking Barefoot On The Sand Dunes Nov. 7th

The first official day of cross country skiing here in Michigan’s Leelanau County was on Saturday, November 6th. The best snow was of course on the local golf course – located high up in the hills and away from Lake Michigan.

It is hard to believe that 24 hours later we were Ski Walking (Nordic Walking) barefoot high up on the Sleeping Bear Dunes at Devils Hole. Barefoot and in tee shirts.


We use our favorite SWIX one-piece poles for both skiing and Nordic walking. Our SWIX classic poles are longer than our SWIX Nordic walking poles. Both are equipped with comfortable fingerless glove type straps - patented by the Salomon Ski Company. Armpit length poles are ideal for classic cross country skiing. The ideal length for Nordic Walking Poles is when standing tall, strapped into the comfortable fingerless glove type straps and the poles are perpendicular to the ground your elbow should be at about 90 degrees and forearm parallel to the ground.

One-piece poles are ideal for both cross country skiing and Nordic walking. I’ve been coaching skiers for over 25 years and it is a simple fact of physics that one-piece poles that are sized correctly are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece twist-lock and flip-lock collapsible poles that tend to rattle, vibrate, gradually collapse or collapse/fail altogether.

My oldest daughter is a professional wilderness guide and she reports that the number equipment failure in the wilderness is collapsible poles.

At http://www.skiwalking.com/ and the American Nordic Walking System we offer 16 different lengths of quality one-piece SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles. We offer all customers a Perfect Length Guarantee, 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and a LifeTime Breakage Guarantee.

Nordic Walking and Cross Country skiing are the best!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nordic Walking Success At 2010 Senior Empower Day

I had the opportunity to provide free Nordic walking classes and free Nordic walking pole demos during "Senior EmPower Day" in Lake City, Michigan last Friday. The 2010 "Senior EmPower Day" was held at Timber Wolf Lake Camp in Lake City, Michigan. The 600 acre wilderness setting was spectacular. Timber Wolf Lake Camp’s buildings look more like the lodges at Deer Valley Ski Resort than a camp. The conference facilities where ideal for indoor meetings and indoor Nordic Walking (rubber tips/asphalt paws on). The camp’s grounds were ideal for Nordic Walking outside.

The theme for this year's Senior EmPower Day was "The Power of Fun!" Attendees were reminded of the value of having "FUN" in their lives - the physical and emotional health benefits, the socialization opportunities and more. Senior Empower Day was hosted by the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan (AAANM). And Nordic Walking Poles helped to provide a fun fitness twist to the event. Instruction was based on the American Nordic Walking System.

Nordic walking with the correct length poles really does improve posture and helps to minimize stress to the weight bearing joints. Walking with the perfect length poles and correct technique also helps to burn more calories because the arms are more actively engaged and help to work more muscle groups than regular walking.

I am dedicated to the simple fact that one-piece poles that are sized correctly are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap/flimsy twist-lock and flip-lock 2-piece and 3-piece poles that tend to rattle, vibrate and/or collapse unexpectedly. I warn seniors and individuals with balance issues to avoid cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible walking poles. Our one-piece SWIX and EXEL Nordic walking poles have been consistently receiving 100% positive satisfaction ratings.

Nordic walking poles can help to turbo charge any walking campaign. And now Nordic walking is no longer just for skiers deprived of snow during the summer. Nordic Walking Poles are helping individuals with balance issues, knee issues or new knees, hip issues or new hips, back issues (including those with rods in their back), weight issues, multiple sclerosis (MS), parkinson's (PD), neuropathy, arthritis, bursitis, scoliosis, lumbar stenosis, fibromyalgia, post polio, osteoporosis, stroke recovery, cancer recovery and other limitations to walking. Our SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking poles are helping thousands of Americans get off the couch, successfully get outside, start walking safely and effectively launch much needed walking campaigns.

The American Nordic Walking System and WWW.SKIWALKING.COM is North America's leading retailer and supplier of Nordic walking poles and is North America's exclusive source for quality one-piece SWIX and EXEL Nordic walking poles. We are also the exclusive supplier of SWIX Nordic Walking and EXEL Nordic Walking rubber tips/asphalt paws. Company headquarters: Glen Arbor, Michigan. We also donate real Nordic Walking Poles to Wounded Warrior Programs at Walter Reed, Fort Lewis/Madigan/McChord, Fort Carson, Vicenza in Italy and Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany.

Nordic Walking is ideal for seniors and one-piece poles will help to ensure success because they are user-friendly, safer and stronger than collapsibles.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

SWIX Nordic Ski Poles Win Prestigious Red Dot Award: Product Design



The SWIX Triac cross country ski racing poles received the Red Dot Award for its innovative advances and technical improvements. Over 1,600 companies from 57 countries submitted entries. A total of 4,252 entries were presented to Red Dot’s internationally renowned expert jury. In the end only the very best from the field of the top-class participants were selected. The SWIX Triac cross country ski racing poles also had proven success in both the world cup and the Olympics. Especially notable are the fingerless glove type straps and the poles unique ability to accommodate a variety of basket sizes in order to adapt to varying snow conditions.

Link to the Red Dot website: http://en.red-dot.org/index.php?id=2878&tx_smtdbsearch_pi1%5Bswords%5D=swix

SWIX of Lillehammer, Norway makes the world’s best ski racing poles, the fastest ski wax and quality Nordic Walking Poles.

At SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System all of our Nordic Walking Poles are equipped with special fingerless glove type straps that prove to be comfortable and highly effective. All of our SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles are equipped with these real Nordic type straps – patented by the Salomon Ski Company.

Strapless poles, simple loop strap poles and velcro sling type straps are not as effective as real Nordic straps that allow the power to be transmitted into the cradle of the strap eliminating the need to squeeze the poles. These quality straps are ideal for all Nordic Sports – including Nordic Walking.

The award winning Triac Poles are a durable, lightweight one-piece design. Those active in Nordic Sports demand quality one-piece poles and avoid cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece twist-lock and flip-lock collapsible poles that are heavier and tend to rattle, vibrate, gradually collapse and/or collapse unexpectedly. One-piece poles prove to be lighter, safer and much more durable than cheap/flimsy collapsible poles.

And when it comes to Nordic Walking one-piece poles prove to be lighter, safer and much more durable than collapsible 2-piece and 3-piece poles.

Swix continues to lead the charge providing award winning ski poles, fast ski wax and quality Nordic walking poles.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nordic Walking Poles Welcome At The Port Oneida Barn To Barn Trail Run/Walk 5K

The Port Oneida barn to barn trail run/walk will be unique in that the National Park Service (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) hasn’t approved a running/walk event in nearly two decades. This special running and walking event is a fundraiser for Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear (PHSB).

The 5K (3.1 miles) course be a single loop trail course. The loop should prove to be one of the most scenic in the country. The course is pure cross country. Runners should not expect to break the 5K personal records due the challenges provided by the footing and hills. Runners and walkers will be treated to exceptional view of Sleeping Bear Bay while they traverse the top of the ridge along the Bay View Trail.

My daughter Cassidy Edwards, gold medallist at Junior Olympics in both cross country skiing and track, designed the trail course for serious runners, joggers and those who would enjoy a hike with beautiful vistas. She describes the run, which begins and ends at the Charles Olsen Farm, as a “unique tour of Sleeping Bear’s historic Port Oneida farmsteads.” The loop she has selected for the 5K will include several sections of the Bayview Trail and will take runners and walkers through the beautiful scenery of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – a National Park just 30 miles west of Traverse City.

My wife Lissa Edwards was one of the founders of Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear and was instrumental in helping to save many of the now protected and newly renovated farmsteads from being torn down during the 1990’s.

Runners, joggers and walkers will find the 5K course to be a special tour of the Port Oneida Rural Historic district which is “one of the most prized historic landscapes in the country”! The course meanders through the pastoral landscape of farmsteads from the late 1800s nestled among the hills, and along the shores of Lake Michigan. The start and finish points are at the Park's historic Olsen farmstead which Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear restored in 2004.

Both Nordic Walking and Nordic Running (running with poles) will be allowed. Free use of Nordic Walking Poles will be provided by  WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System.

Event Website: http://www.phsb.org/programs/?id=189

For information call 231-334-6103 or email phsb@leelanau.com

To reserve Nordic Walking Poles for the event please call SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System: 231-334-3080 or email: getfit@skiwalking.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nordic Walking Association Welcoming Diversity

Nordic Walking Associations have typically been nothing more than marketing tools for individuals and/or manufactures to sell their products - books and/or walking poles.

Up until recently the INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) had been giving a cold shoulder to pretty much anyone not aligned with EXEL Nordic Walking Poles. The INWA for years failed to recognize the efforts of Tom Rutlin and his dedication to promoting fitness pole walking here in the USA. The INWA was also unresponsive to my requests to join their organization because of my commitment to SWIX Nordic Walking Poles, SWIX ski racing poles and SWIX ski wax.

The INWA however is now on the right path. They have invited Tom Rutlin to be one of the keynote speakers at the INWA Annual Convention on September 23-26 in Otepaa, Estonia & Riga, Latvia.

Walking with poles may look goofy, but the benefits are huge. Walking with poles burns up to 40% more calories than regular walking. When using the perfect length poles and the correct technique the stress to the weight bear joints (ankles, knees, hips and back) is radically reduced - helping many with joint and/or back pain to walking much more comfortably and effectively. The poles also help to improve balance and stability.

Nordic Walking Poles can provide a winning combination of improved posture, a unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action and shock absorbing benefits - helping many individuals to walk taller, faster and more comfortably again. Nordic Walking Poles are helping individuals with balance issues, knee issues or new knees, hip issues or new hips, back issues (including those with rods in their back), weight issues, multiple sclerosis (MS), parkinson's (PD), neuropathy, arthritis, bursitis, scoliosis, lumbar stenosis, fibromyalgia, post polio, osteoporosis, stroke recovery, cancer recovery and other limitations to walking. Nordic Walking poles are helping thousands of Americans get off the couch, successfully get outside, start walking safely and effectively launch much needed walking campaigns.

When hosting Nordic Walking Classes and training new Nordic Walking Instructors I always provide durable and user-friendly one-piece Nordic Walking Poles. I am also a ski coach and will never feel comfortable promoting cheap/flimsy 2-piece or 3-piece twist-lock or flip-lock collapsible poles that often tend to rattle, vibrate and/or collapse unexpectedly. One-piece poles prove to be safer, lighter and much more dependable than collapsible poles.

I also prefer Nordic Walking Poles equipped with REAL Nordic Walking Straps - comfortable fingerless glove type straps patented by the Salomon Ski Company. These comfortable straps eliminate the need to grip and squeeze the poles. These same straps were used by all of the cross country skiers during the Winter Olympics. They have helped to revolutionize cross country skiing and they make Nordic Walking much more effective too. These special straps enable individuals to use poles again after they could no longer use strapless or other strap systems due to their arthritis and/or carpal tunnel. SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles utilize Salomon Patented Straps.

I just shipped out a couple dozen more pairs of our one-piece SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles to several Wounded Warrior Programs. We specialize in custom fitting our durable one-piece poles to their exact heights. So far we have donated hundreds of pairs of quality one-piece poles and the feedback from the soldiers, pt's, doctors and the Red Cross has been super positive. We have donated free poles and provided free shipping to Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed, Fort Lewis/Madigan/McChord, Fort Carson, Vicenza in Italy and Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany.

Individuals with balance, stability and/or gait issues benefit most from reliable one-piece poles - including seniors. Collapsible poles should never be recommended to individuals with balance issues.

The INWA originally only promoted one-piece poles too. In that aspect I agreed with them.

I won't be able to make the INWA Convention in Estonia and Latvia. I would enjoy being there as an advocate for one-piece Nordic Walking Poles.

INWA Website: http://inwa-nordicwalking.com/

INWA Convention Info: www.firmasport.ee/failid/INWA_convention_brochure_2010_LR_opt.pdf

SWIX Nordic Walking Poles: http://www.swixnordicwalking.us/

EXEL Nordic Walking Poles: http://www.exelnordicwalking.com/

American Nordic Walking System: http://www.skiwalking.com/ 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nordic Walking Certification Includes Unexpected 5km Gold Medal

Jim Bennett and Kathe Swanson decided to head north this summer, tour the Great Lakes in their RV and attempt to become certified Nordic Walking Instructors. When they arrived in beautiful Northern Michigan, home of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, they never envisioned that their Nordic Walking Certification Course would include bringing back a 5K "Gold Medal" to Orlando, Florida.

Kathe had personally seen the enthusiasm and high participation levels of Nordic Walking while visiting Europe. She and her partner Jim contacted SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System to see if they could partner with a North American company dedicated to quality Nordic Walking Poles and effective Nordic Walking Instruction.

They had researched a variety of Nordic Walking companies and manufactures. Many of the companies they contacted had amnesia when it came to where their 2-piece and 3-piece poles were made? Most likely they were all made in China.

After testing the one-piece EXEL Urban Skier Nordic Walking Poles sized specifically for each of their heights from SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System they knew they had found quality poles from a company dedicated to maintaining 100% positive satisfaction ratings. Quality one-piece Nordic Walking Poles are safer, lighter and stronger than cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece twist-lock and flip-lock collapsible poles. One-piece poles that are sized correctly don’t rattle, vibrate, collapse gradually or collapse unexpectedly. SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System offer 16 different standard lengths, while others may only offer three to six different lengths that can’t possibly provide the perfect length poles for most individuals.

EXEL, based in Finland, is credited for producing the first carbon composite ski racing poles and dominated the medal count at the Olympics for years. Then EXEL launched the first true Nordic Walking Poles when they produced the EXEL Nordic Walker poles. EXEL's Nordic Walking poles differed from other walking poles in that they were based on a cross country pole design/Nordic design - lighter and stronger than 2-piece and 3-piece collapsibles. Prior to the introduction of the EXEL Nordic Walker Poles, walking poles were based more on heavier alpine/downhill designs - similar to trekking poles.

All of the SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles from WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System are equipped with highly effective and comfortable fingerless glove type straps – patented by the Salomon Ski Company. Other types of walking poles may come with no straps, a simple loop strap or cheap velcro slings. Quality cross country ski poles are now all equipped with the more effective fingerless glove type straps – eliminating the need to grip the poles and effectively transmit power into the cradle of the straps through the heel of the hand. SWIX cross country racing poles dominated at the Olympics this year and all were equipped with fingerless glove type straps.

Individuals can experience some, but definitely not all of the many wonderful benefits of Nordic Walking with nearly any type of poles as long as they are sized correctly – downhill poles, cross country poles, trekking poles, ...... Many of my customers said they had experimented with yardsticks, two canes (too short, but better than one cane) and misc. yard tools. One of my favorite fitness instructors provides simple strapless bamboo sticks to help get his classes moving while he uses REAL Nordic Walking Poles and further explains their many advantages.

When someone is interested in Nordic Walking they should not run out and buy a cheap/flimsy pair of twist-lock or flip-lock poles to see if they will like Nordic Walking. They would be better off testing some old ski poles, two walking sticks or any thing handy that can give them a quick feel for walking with poles. I have been told by hundreds of happy customers that they could tell immediately that walking with poles was a huge improvement over regular walking, or walking with a cane, or even a walker.

The perfect length one-piece Nordic Walking Poles can help us all to automatically walk with a super straight back - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

Part of Jim and Kathe’s Nordic Walking Certification process included not only a review of the American Nordic Walking System, but required participation in a 5km Race. Unfortunately Jim was under the weather and missed out on the Annual Sleeping Bear 5k, but Kathe rose to the occasion and won a gold medal in her age group!

The Nordic Walking certification courses offered by The American Nordic Walking System differ hugely from other certification courses. The cost is much less. The courses are based on my 25 plus years of coaching experience (runners and skiers), my hosting of hundreds of Nordic Walking Classes and my introduction of Nordic Walking to thousands of individuals.

When I became a certified Nordic Walking Instructor I knew the desired answers to many of the test’s questions were incorrect. My running and ski background had taught me that alignment and proper biomechanics are critical. I knew that there should be NO “leaning” while Nordic Walking (flats or uphills), NO fake elongated strides and NO siting back on the downhills. Many DVD’s and books about Nordic Walking include a lot of leaning, elongated strides and sitting back. Plus many DVD'’ and books provide poor sizing information – claiming that you can simply take one’s height and multiply by .68 or .7 and come up with the perfect length poles for an individual’s height. Being a ski coach I know that skis and poles from different companies are not measured the same and using .68 or .7 would be wrong. The goal is to get that elbow and 90 degrees and the forearm parallel to the ground when standing tall.
Congratulations to Kathe for winning her Gold Medal while Nordic Walking in the Sleeping Bear 5K - over 700 runners, walkers and Nordic Walkers participated! And as soon as she completes the written portion of her certification process she will become a Level 1 Certified Nordic Walking Instructor! Upon completion of additional requirements (including more hands on teaching and acquiring additional student testimonies) she will become Level 2 Certified. And next year she may be ready to tackle Level 3 Nordic Walking Certification.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What are the best Poles for Nordic Sports in hilly terrain?


Every day I am asked about the best walking poles for use in hilly terrain. And every day I say the same consistent thing: “cross country ski racers don’t change pole length at the bottom of the hill and again at the top”. There is a huge myth going round that you need shorter poles on the uphill and longer on the downhill.

One-piece poles prove to be safer, lighter and much more durable for all Nordic Sports – including cross country skiing, Nordic walking, Nordic running, Nordic blading (inline skatng), Nordic Snowshoing and roller skiing. Nordic sports enthusiasts would NEVER consider trading their lighter + stronger one-piece poles for heavier and questionable 2-piece or 3-piece poles.

My wife and I don’t change pole length each evening when we Nordic walk or Nordic run up the mile long trail behind town to the scenic look-out on Alligator Hill or when we continue on our favorite loop that returns back down to the trail head. We have also tested our SWIX and EXEL Nordic walking poles in the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, White Mountains, on the Application trail and in the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. One-piece poles that are sized correctly work great in the city, out in the country and up in the mountains.

Our daughter is a professional outdoor educator and Outward Bound instructor. The #1 equipment failures while in the wilderness are 2-piece and 3-piece twist-lock and flip-lock poles (typically the ones from China, but not always).

If twist-locks and flip-locks were so awesome ski shops and ski rental shops would have them for rental and demo.

Check out a sampling of the disappointing reviews at REI regarding collapsible poles – some costing nearly $200.00!

I broke 2 pair while hiking the PCT this summer. The grips on the handles came unglued on the first pair in the desert after 3 days. The second pair snapped in the cold High Sierras (I was barely leaning on them).
* Locking mechanism very difficult to get it to lock. Very annoying if you want to change length of poles frequently.
* Poles are delicate and not suitable for heavy duty use (and I only weigh 150#).
*Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend.

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I was very disappointed when my locking mechanism failed. When I originally purchased these on sale, there were several pairs that would not lock. I had to pick through a lot to find a pair that would work. I was hoping that it was a manufacturing flaw, and that the pair I found would work. I have used them about four times, and I can no longer lock them. I am unimpressed with how it locks.

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These are typical of comments that I hear every day from individuals that accidentally purchased twist-lock and flip-lock poles from other sources. It doesn’t matter if it is REI, Cabela’s, EMS, LLB or another big name store. I am told over and over again about collapsible poles and how they tend to rattle, vibrate and/or collapse unexpectedly.

Seniors and individuals with balance issues should especially avoid cheap flip-lock and twist-lock collapsible poles. Be sure to look for the Perfect Length Poles for your height. At SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System we offer 16 different lengths of REAL Nordic Walking Poles. Some companies only offer three sizes and others maybe six, but they can’t provide the Perfect Length Poles for most people.

Perfect length poles help us to automatically walk with a super straight back - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

Don’t get caught up in the marketing hype that suggests 2-piece and 3-piece poles are the best option for hilly terrain.

Nordic Sports are the best!



Sunday, June 27, 2010

Clowning Around With Nordic Walking Poles

Teaching Nordic Walking Classes around the USA has provided a wonderful opportunity for me to see more of this great country.

On my way out to upstate New York to teach more Nordic Walking classes earlier this month I was scheduled to host Nordic Walking Classes at the Senior Expo in Cadillac, Michigan.

I thought the “theme” for the Senior Expo was supposed to be a pirate theme, but when I arrived it turned out to be a “circus theme”. Luckily I didn’t dress for the occasion.

However, I did get a chance to introduce Nordic Walking to several clowns – including Dynamite The Clown, the most famous clown in all of Northern Michigan. Despite the enormous shoes, all of the clowns benefited from our quality one-piece poles that are sized correctly to each individual’s and each clown’s height. The clowns also noticed that walking with poles turbo charged their typical walking program.

Perfect length poles help us to automatically walk with a super straight back - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

We all need weight bearing exercise, including clowns, and Nordic Walking could be just the ticket for millions of Americans looking to turbo charge their walking campaigns. Nordic Walking poles can also help those wanting to launch an effective Nordic Walking Program. Nordic Walking poles can also help those with balance, stability and gait issues - the poles radically reduce the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back PLUS the poles prove to be a HUGE balance aid.

Nordic Walking’s winning combination of improved posture, a unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action and shock absorbing benefits - helping many individuals to walk comfortably again. Nordic Walking Poles are helping individuals with balance issues, knee issues or new knees, hip issues or new hips, back issues (including those with rods in their back), weight issues, multiple sclerosis (MS), parkinson's (PD), neuropathy, arthritis, bursitis, scoliosis, lumbar stenosis, fibromyalgia, post polio, osteoporosis, stroke recovery, cancer recovery and other limitations to walking. Nordic Walking poles are helping thousands of Americans get off the couch, successfully get outside, start walking safely and effectively launch much needed walking campaigns.

When looking for REAL Nordic Walking Poles be sure to find correctly fitted one-piece Nordic Walking Poles. Don't get scammed by cheap flip-lock and twist-lock 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles from China. One-piece poles that are sized correctly prove to be safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap twist-lock and flip-lock poles that tend to rattle, vibrate, freeze up and/or collapse unexpectedly.


SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles are quality one-piece poles and are equipped with REAL Nordic Walking Straps - comfortable and patented by the Salomon Ski Company.

Walking with poles is the best!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Free Nordic Walking Classes Coming To Leelanau County's Senior Expo

NORDIC WALKING POLES = 4-WHEEL DRIVE

FREE Nordic walking classes and FREE Nordic walking pole demos will again be offered during the Annual Older American Expo in Suttons Bay, Michigan on Tuesday, June 15. The Expo will be held at the Suttons Bay High School from 10am – 2pm.

The Older Americans Expo will feature a variety of activities including Nordic walking, plus exhibits from businesses and organizations with products and services geared for seniors. Local agencies and Leelanau County Departments will also be on hand to answer your questions and provide health screenings. Local artisans and crafts people will also display their talents as well.

The free Nordic walking classes and pole demos will be provided by Glen Arbor's Pete Edwards – the owner, founder and coach of SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System. Edwards’ company is North America’s leading retailer and supplier of Nordic walking poles and the exclusive source for all sizes of one-piece SWIX and EXEL Nordic walking poles here in the USA. Edwards is also the exclusive supplier for SWIX and EXEL Nordic walking rubber tips/asphalt paws. Edwards ships his one-piece Nordic walking, sized specifically to each individual’s height, all over the world every day from his Glen Arbor, Michigan headquarters.

Pete Edwards has been coaching runners and skiers of all ages and fitness levels for over 25 years. Edwards is a former ski school director, running coach, personal trainer and the owner/founder of The American Nordic Walking System and SKIWALKING.COM Nordic Walking Poles, headquartered in Glen Arbor, Michigan. Edwards has coached State Champions (individuals + teams), All-Americans and National Champions. He has also introduced Nordic Walking to thousands of Americans through Nordic Walking clinics, radio interviews, newspaper interviews and TV interviews. His Nordic Walking Poles have been featured on ABC News and the New York Times. He has skied in 50K marathons and won 26.2 mile running marathons. His skiers have been hill bounding and ski walking with poles for years in the summer when deprived of snow. Hosting Nordic Walking clinics is extremely enjoyable for Edwards and he especially enjoys hosting Nordic Walking clinics for MS, Parkinson’s, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Diabetes support groups, plus Wounded Warrior Programs. Edwards also donates free Nordic Walking Poles to Wounded Warrior Programs at Walter Reed, Fort Carson, Fort Lewis/Madigan/McChord and Vicenza, Italy.

The Older American’s Expo is being hosted by the Leelanau County Commission on Aging. Their phone number is: 231-256-8121

For more information about SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles please go to http://www.skiwalking.com/ or call toll free: 877-SKIWALKING or 877-754-9255.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Nordic Walking Success At Mercy Hospital's Cardiac Rehab Department

REAL Nordic Walking Poles Radically Improve Balance Stability And Gait

While hosting Nordic Walking Classes at Mercy Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation Department and offering Nordic Walking Classes for the hospital staff during lunch I received the typical positive feedback from participants. The many benefits of walking with the perfect length poles and correct technique was recognized and appreciated by those in cardiac rehab, their spouses, the pt's, the doctors and other hospital staff members.

Mercy Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab Dept. has a nice selection of exercise equipment including real Nordic Walking Poles. The Cardiac Rehabilitation PT’s (physical therapists) utilize one-piece SWIX Nordic Walking Poles – safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap/flimsy two-piece and three-piece twist-lock and flip-lock poles that tend to rattle, vibrate and/or collapse unexpectedly.

When I arrived at Cardiac Rehab I found one gentleman Nordic Walking the halls outside Cardiac Rehab. His technique was awesome and there was a real bounce in his step. When I caught up to Mr. Raymer I learned that he had just turned 71 the day before. I learned that he had also recovered from a heavy equipment accident and was lucky to even be able to walk. He told me that his Nordic Walking Poles keep him going spring, summer and fall. And come winter he cross country skis too. The benefits of Nordic Walking and cross country skiing are huge and they are very similar. They are both highly effective aerobically and both are gentle on the shins, knees, hips and back.

Skiers know that one piece poles are much lighter and much more durable than 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles. Skiers don’t use cheap/flimsy twist-lock or flip-lock poles for obvious reasons. During my Nordic Walking classes numerous participants told me about the problems they had with their collapsible walking and snowshoe poles. My dependable SWIX and EXEL one-piece Nordic Walking Poles proved to be far superior to their cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece poles. Plus all of my SWIX and EXEL poles are equipped with real Nordic Walking Straps – comfortable fingerless glove type straps - patented by the Salomon Ski Company.

While Nordic Walking at Mercy Hospital we kept the rubber Nordic Walking tips/asphalt paws on. The rubber tips/asphalt paws are ideal on carpet, tile, indoor/outdoor tracks, pavement and of course asphalt. When the rubber tips are removed the metal tips are exposed and ideal for trails, grass, dirt, the beach, snow and ice.

Our SWIX and EXEL one-piece Nordic Walking Poles are being utilized at multiple cardiac rehabilitation locations across the country. PT’s and doctors recognize that our one-piece poles are user-friendly and won’t collapse unexpectedly like twist-lock and flip-lock poles can when they fail. SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System provides superior Nordic Walking Poles and has developed a variety of exertion and intensity levels, plus special instructions for individuals with balance issues. There is an ideal level of intensity and exertion appropriate for any age and any fitness level – from casual to maximum calorie burn.

Walking with poles is the best!