Nordic Walking in Southern California

I wanted to share an endurance exercise/activity with Shuwen for quite a while now, since I found and still find jogging so beneficial, as a whole. And we did try jogging together, but it wasn’t great for either one of us – due to our slight (ahem) size difference, our speed differed too much: she was essentially hauling ass while I at the same time didn’t really get “into the zone” because I went so slow. :-} Not exactly a great partner activity that way!

We had to find something else and luckily, I remembered Nordic Walking from back when I lived in Germany. Basically, it’s fast(er) walking with the aid of walking/trekking poles. The posture is much improved (very upright), the chest opens up, both back and knees are relieved from the full impact of walking fast, one is using way more muscles compared to normal walking – and thus, burns more calories too. So for a couple of weeks now, Shuwen and I go Nordic Walking together on our local trails – and we both like it a lot.

Nordic Walking is super popular in Germany – groups of people chatting while Nordic Walking are jokingly called “walkie talkies”. I swear I’ve never ever seen even a single person here in San Diego do it, and I don’t know why. Even the use of trekking poles still seems to be an exception, where it is more like the rule in Europe for at least 10 years now. Odd, isn’t it?

Considering how good the poles are for the knees and back (and considering how expensive health care is in the US, and how many people are overweight here…), those poles should be flying off the shelves! But no, a lot of people here still regard them as “something for old people”. Fools! 🙂

Depending on the time of day and weather (which solely means temperature here in Southern California) Shuwen and I walk between 3 and 6.5 miles. Some people look at us and grin slightly dismissive when we approach with our trekking poles going click-clack-click-clack on the trail – until we pass them. 🙂 Our pace is under 16 minutes per mile right now.

If your interest in Nordic Walking is piqued now, head on over to YouTube – there are plenty of videos online that give an introduction and explain the technique: Nordic Walking on YouTube.

I still keep up my regular running routine like I’ve done since July 2017 (I’ll have to write about that whole story at some point), but adding Nordic Walking into the mix, I can take the running a bit easier now, still get a good endurance exercise, and share that experience with my wife. It’s great! Maybe this post will inspire one or the other couple to try it together?

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