As part of our new Friday Entrepreneurial Feature I would like to introduce Anna Ekstrandh from Outstride. Anna is a leading fitness professional in the world of nordic walking. I highly recommend you check out one of Anna’s classes in the Ottawa area. Read on to learn about the benefits of nordic walking and how using a simple piece of equipment such as poles can increase your workout efficiency.
Have you also noticed more and more people around the city walking with poles? Are you intrigued? So was I a few years ago. Everyone in my family, back home in Sweden, was training by walking with poles. I got my sister to take me for a short walk around the block and I was hooked right away. I came back to Ottawa, found an instructor course in Vermont and got certified. The rest is history!
If you are a walker that have found that you are not getting as much out of your walks anymore or a frustrated runner, with injuries coming and going, then Nordic Walking might just be for you.
By adding poles to your workout, you are all of a sudden using your entire body to propel yourself, while when running and walking, you are only using your legs. Add the poles to the equation and you will train your upper body muscles, work on core and posture, burn more calories and also remove sharp impact from your joints. This is truly a full body workout!
Ottawa is such a wonderful place for outdoor exercise. It is really invigorating to get out of the house, get in tune with the seasons, enjoy fresh air, build up your vitamin D stores, all while getting a good workout. And at the same time as Nordic Walking can be a great workout, it can also be very contemplative. The upper body movement creates a wonderful rhythm, which can be the foundation for a very meditative walk.
All you need to Nordic Walk is a good pair of shoes and a specific pair of poles. I strongly recommend a fixed length pole with a strap, which is what the original Nordic Walkers in Europe are using. In addition to that an introductory class with a certified instructor will get you going. Nordic Walking isn’t rocket science, but in order to gain all the amazing benefits I always recommend walking with an instructor.
Weekly classes and introductory workshops are available at many community centres around the city. You can find me at Dovercourt, Old Ottawa South, the Glebe (GNAG) and Pinecrest recreation centre. As a National Coach for a world wide association I also provide personal training and instructors courses. If you are looking for poles, I have extensive experience of fitting poles for different body types and needs. Outstride also carries a full line of poles in all sizes.
INWA National Coach
Outstride's Enthusiastic Nordic Walkers