By Brandi Barnett
Walk SmartApril 2007
By Teresa Wilson
What began as an off-season training technique among cross-country skiers has become the hottest trend in walking for fitness.Nordic walking takes power and pleasure walking to new heights by providing a total body workout that reduces stress to your knees and enables you to burn 40 percent more calories than walking empty-handed.
With the aid of LeKi walking poles, which resemble poles for snow skiing, the body becomes properly balanced while in motion. The walking poles assist the body in creating perfect posture that efficiently works the major muscle groups in the upper and lower body without added strain. When walking with the poles, your stride naturally becomes longer, but you don’t have to walk faster or farther to reap the benefits.
Courtney Mcelvain, a LeKi trained instructor, said the poles enhance the natural swing of the arms and rotation of the torso while walking, thus adding support through fluid bodymovement that promotes good posture and back health.
Mcelvain said people of all ages, fitness levels and body types can enjoy Nordic walking for optimal health and overall fitness, including those who are in rehab or physical therapy.
“it’s not just for the physically fit. it’s for people on the couch too,” she said. Nearly 800,000 people in Europe are Nordic walkers and the trend has found its way to Redding. In the United States alone there are only 200 certified trainers and two of them live right here in the North State. Mcelvain and Don Jacobs, a former marathon trainer, both teach Nordic walking classes in Redding.
Mcelvain said theNorth State offers the ideal playground for Nordic walking.With our many walking and hiking trails there are numerous outdoor locations where Nordic walkers can enjoy the sport and the splendor of the North State simultaneously.
“The beauty of all our natural terrain is a perfect fit for Nordic walking. Redding is designed for this sport,” said McElvain.
LeKi walking poles are made of a “high modular” aluminum designed for superior strength and ease-of-use. The poles are adjustable for height and terrain featuring the easy Lock System and come with removable rubber tips that house Carbide flex tips which can be used on rough terrain.The adjustable and releasable trigger straps offer exceptional wrist support and added convenience.all poles come with a lifetime guarantee.
LeKi walking poles can be purchased from Sports LTD in Redding and range in price from about $99 to $199. Mcelvain teaches a Nordic walking “crash course” through Sports LTD for walkers who wish to learn first-hand what Nordic walking is all about. For more information about classes or Nordic walking in Redding, visit www.tortys.com.