Nordic Walking provides upper-body workout while enjoying trails

June 13, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Many people enjoy walking to keep fit, however, walking only exercises the lower part of your body.

Nordic Walking is a style of exercise developed in Scandinavia that uses walking poles while out on trails. It was developed by Nordic skiers who use poles on the snow and wanted to continue training during the summer months.

Shelburne resident, Barry Bartlett learned about this exercise technique after he retired and decided to give it a try. He enjoyed it so much that he became certified in the sport and now acts as a coach and leads various sessions around Shelburne and Orangeville.

His group is called Active Nordic Walk.

In Orangeville, sessions take place at the walking track at the Alder Street Arena in the winter. Monora Park and Island Lake Conservation Area are used during the summer.

In Shelburne, the group takes advantage of Fiddle Park and trails that run around KTH Manufacturing.

“The technique was invented in Norway and Sweden with the Nordic skiing team,” Barry explained. “They wanted to continue training in the summer for the Winter Olympics. When you go out walking, you’re only exercising the lower half of your body. When you use the poles you are doing a full-body workout. You’re now exercising your shoulders, back, arms, and improving your posture. It’s good for losing weight and it’s good for your cardiovascular system.”

When walking with the technique, you can do any distance you want.

Barry generally organizes his walks to be 5 km and completed in around one hour. He will go out ahead of time and map out a route.

“I retired and was looking for something to do,” Barry explained of how he got his start in Nordic walking. “I had a bike I could ride, and picked up photography, but I was still looking for something to get me out of the house. There was a program going on at the Senior’s Centre in Brampton. I was living there at the time, so I joined it and liked it. After moving to Shelburne, I decided to get people out and walking here.”

Joining the Active Nordic Walk group provides encouragement to keep moving, and Barry coaches everyone along the way.

The cost to join is $10 per session.

You can learn more about the Active Nordic Walk group by calling Barry at 416-540-1269.

You can also check out the Shelburne Rec Guide Spring 2024 Edition for more information. 

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