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Have you heard of Nordic walking (urban poling)? It’s a sport that has been known and loved in Europe for decades and has recently made its way into Canada becoming a fast favourite for many.
Described as cross-country skiing without the skis, urban poling offers muscle toning, posture benefits, and is a calorie burner. Another fantastic benefit is that the poles relieve weight from your lower joints such as knees and hips, and transfers it to your upper body which allows you to walk further or quicker than normal. It can also potentially help people walk without pain.
On Thursday, September 14, Jason Wampler, a kinesiologist with the McLeod River Primary Care Network, oversaw an afternoon of urban poling at Rotary Park from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. He provided tips to those in attendance and made sure that everyone taking part knew how to utilize the poles and how to step in sequence with each push.
“This is another activity that we do in the community that we want to promote for healthy living and encourage a community-based approach to get out and exercise with the parks that are available here,” explained Jason. “We want to build and continuously have people come support the program and get out to exercise and enjoy one another.”
Each Thursday afternoon from now until June, you are invited to meet at the pavilion at Rotary Park starting at 1:30 p.m. After a brief introduction, you will be supplied with poles should you need them, and from there you will make your way around the pond as a group.
Though the event is called Urban Poling, Jason says that this year, they would like to encourage everyone to come out even if they don’t want to use the poles. “We understand that the poles might be a part that you don’t want to try and it doesn’t need to be a program focused only on Nordic walking; it can also be a walking program for those who want to just come out and walk.”
For information on other events put on by the McLeod River Primary Care Network, visit www. mrpcn.ca. To speak with Jason Wampler about urban poling, call 780-778-5540 ext. 241.