Archives for May 2011

Nordic Walking – A Whole Body Workout

nordic walkingThere are many different types of fitness walking.

You may be familiar with race walking and power walking, but then there’s also Nordic Walking. It may well be your new favorite fitness activity.

When I got my first Nordic walking poles from my mother years ago, the only fitness walking I did for a long time was Nordic walking. After trying Nordic walking, regular walking felt pointless.

What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic walking is known by a number of different names. It’s called pole walking, ski walking and Nordic ski walking.

It started when Finnish cross-country skiers were looking for a way to train during the summer months and took to trails with their cross country poles. In 1997, a Finn named Marko Kantaneva designed the first poles made specifically for Nordic walking.

The biggest difference between regular and Nordic walking is the use of arms and upper body. Instead of swinging your arms like you might do when you jog or walk quickly, in Nordic walking you swing your poles. Each step forward is met with the opposite arm and pole coming forward. The pole touches the ground and extends back behind you.

Gearing Up For Nordic Walking

There are two essential pieces of equipment for Nordic walking.

The first piece of equipment you’ll want to invest in is proper Nordic walking poles. [Read more…]

Weekly Workouts 20/2011

Last week I walked 10,133 steps on average. I wonder what will happen if, for some reason, I don’t reach my 10,000 step goal some week? I think I’m a bit addicted on my steps. It feels safe to be able to reach that number over and over again. But I guess I’ll live if that happens.

I think my Sunday steps were actually more than 7499, because my pedometer seemed to be acting oddly. ( It just needed a new battery.)

Breakdown of my weekly workouts below:

  1. 2 x 45-50 min Nordic walks
  2. 5 x 40 min walks
  3. 2 x 30 strength training (kettlebells plus other movements)

I’m not going to increase my step goal further than 10,000 steps. I’m going to put more focus on strength training from now on. Last week I added kettlebells to my strength training sessions and it worked well. It was fun and I sweated like a pig!

I had forgotten how intensive kettlebell training is. Even though I only did a few swings and snatches and squatted holding a kettlebell, I was totally blasted. I didn’t have any knee problems either, even though I always worry about them returning. A horrible thought!

Weather is lovely in Finland at the moment. Nothing beats a brisk Nordic walk in a green forest during early summer.

Cheers,

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Time to Rethink How You Choose Your Fitness Role Model?

This post was inspired by fitness blogger Marion Shaw. In her recent post, she compares Gwyneth Paltrow with Gertrud Ederle and asks which one is the better athlete.

Is it the slim and willowy Gwyneth Paltrow who poses for Shape magazine or the strong and robust Ederle who swam across the English Channel at age 19?

I think there is a serious shortage of the types of fitness role models available to us.

Women who are portrayed on fitness magazines like Shape are almost exclusively actresses, singers and other celebrities with a certain body type. They are always discussed in terms of their looks, weight and diet, but no attention is given to what they are able to do and whether they enjoy their bodies at all.

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I do admire the slim, muscular and long limbed actresses portrayed in fitness magazines, but never in a million years [Read more…]

Sitting, Walking And Losing Belly Fat

Dear reader, after you read this post I want you to stand up and take a few steps. I’ll soon explain why.

As a bonus, I’ll also reveal you what is the most dangerous physical activity besides sitting.

But let’s start.

It may or may not be news to you that sedentary living (the sitting lifestyle) is one reason our waistlines are expanding. But did you also know that simply standing up and walking may be a good way to lose belly fat?

Interested? I hope so.

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Scientists have spent decades studying the connection between exercise, metabolism and health. Recently, some scientists started studying the effect of physical inactivity has on us. It’s about time too, because during the last 50 years or so we have started spending more and more of our time sitting because of all the labor-saving technology.

And thanks to the latest wave of inactivity-inducing technology – computers and the Internet – many of us start our sitting career as children (I’m thinking especially about the children who play lots of computer games).

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But lets get back to the research on physical inactivity.

It has already revealed surprising things about the connection between inactivity, metabolism and health.

Because it’s easier to explain things using concrete examples, I’ll introduce you to Frank and Sue.

Frank and Sue spend their days [Read more…]

Satu’s Workouts 19/2011

Last week was just passable.

I didn’t do any strength training, but at least I was still able to keep my average step count over 10,000. See the graph below.

For some reason I was in bad mood, had way too much almonds (I’m an almond addict!) and drank Drano…oops, diet Pepsi, even though I had sworn that off.

On Saturday, I turned 43 and celebrated it by doing my laundry and having my hair cut! Oh, and my two nieces (3 & 5) called me and sang “Happy Birthday, Aunt Satu!” That was my best birthday gift.  🙂

My workouts

  1. 3 x 40 min walks
  2. 1 x 45 min Sansone’s 3-mile walk
  3. 1 x 70 min walk

Last week I mentioned I’m bored with my basic strength training routine. I hover between two alternatives: I could start following a bodyweight exercise course I bought over a year ago or I could start kettlebell training again. I even have a kettlebell dvd waiting for me – The Kettlebell Goddess Workout.

Do you have any experience of kettlebell training? What do you think about it?

Best Wishes,

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