Outdoor fitness routines that energize body and spirit – By Jody Robbins

The pandemic has divided us into those who took action and created new, healthy habits and those of us who, well, tried. Fortunately, mild spring weather offers more options for keeping up or starting an exercise routine outdoors. Here are some enticing outdoor options for physical and mental fitness, while still maintaining COVID protocols.

Nordic Walking
Folks walking around the city using what look to be ski poles are onto something. They’re participating in one of Canada’s hottest fitness trends — Nordic walking. Originally developed as a form of off-season cross-training for Finnish cross country ski athletes, the sport is an excellent outdoor workout. 

“It turbocharges a walk and turns it into a total body workout,” avows Mandy Johnson, owner of Active by Nature, a Canmore company that leads guided walking and hiking tours.

According to Johnson, regular walking utilizes the muscles from your belly button down. When Nordic walking, pressure is put on the walking poles, utilizing your triceps and activating your core.

While it’s certainly not hard, it’s wise to take a lesson to get the technique down. And you don’t want to use any old ski or hiking pole. Nordic poles are specialized, with a rubberized tip that has shock absorbency built into it. These poles cushion the blow when striking pavement, making it less jarring on the body.If you’re hiking or walking on dirt or grass, simply remove the Nordic pole’s boot tip. As for where to find them, you’ll have better luck picking up Nordic poles in a drugstore than a sporting goods store.You can read the full article here.

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