Nordic walk­ing strides ahead

Cambridge Edition - - CONVERSATIONS - EMMA JAMES

Res­i­dents at a Cam­bridge re­tire­ment home were sent walk­ing re­cently, Nordic style.

Nordic walk­ing is an ex­er­cise that is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, par­tic­u­larly among those with arthri­tis.

In­struc­tor San­drine Smith gave women at the Ladies Long Lunch at Resthaven a demon­stra­tion.

Sim­ply de­fined, it is walk­ing with poles which gives the user a to­tal body work­out.

The poles pro­vide ex­tra sta­bil­ity and help re­duce stress in the knees and other joints.

Re­ports show it helps those with arthri­tis, back pain, car­diac syn­dromes, os­teo­poro­sis and more.

‘‘The sport started in Europe where peo­ple are used to the mo­tion of skiing,’’ said Smith.

She moved to New Zealand from Switzer­land in 2007 and de­cided to be­come an in­struc­tor.

She has been teach­ing in Hamil­ton for nine years now.

‘‘It’s very dif­fer­ent in New Zealand be­cause peo­ple are not used to skiing,’’ she said.

‘‘But there are many ben­e­fits of Nordic walk­ing, it gets your heart rate up as much as run­ning does but there isn’t the ex­tra im­pact of your feet hit­ting the ground.’’

The ex­er­cise also helps with pos­ture, she said, be­cause us­ing the poles opens a user’s so­lar plexus.

She said it was great for peo­ple with sore hips as well be­cause the poles help with bal­ance.

‘‘If you are walk­ing with a cane, that cane sup­ports you only on one side but walk­ing with a pole in each hand gives you sup­port on both sides, and helps pro­pel you for­ward.’’

She said long hours of sit­ting and other lifestyle changes have caused some mus­cles to be­come tight and weak.

Nor­mal walk­ing uses 70 per cent of mus­cle mass with full im­pact on the joints and feet.

Nordic walk­ing uses more than 90 per cent of mus­cle mass and works against re­sis­tance with each stride.

The Ladies Long Lunch is a gath­er­ing of Resthaven res­i­dents and other women in the com­mu­nity.

It is held once a month, and is a fundraiser for the Resthaven Foun­da­tion, with pro­ceeds go­ing to­wards its van. Ev­ery month it has a new guest speaker.

Over the next two-to-five years a num­ber of projects will be com­pleted, such as the vil­lage hub, sports fields, skate park and pub­lic pi­azza.

The Tama­here Com­mu­nity Com­mit­tee will head a new com­mu­nity plan and will con­sider a raft of ques­tions.

It could in­clude is­sues around road­ing, foot­paths, com­mu­nity events and youth fa­cil­i­ties, re­serves and des­ti­na­tion play­grounds.

Other is­sues may cover flood­ing, clear­ing pest weeds, im­proved in­ter­sec­tions, im­proved sig­nage and needs of busi­nesses.

The com­mit­tee is keen to hear res­i­dents’ views via work­shops.

Peo­ple can also email their thoughts and com­ments to: tama­here­com­mu­ni­ty­commit­tee16@gmail.com

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