Walking the walk…Nordic pole style in Castlemaine

Castlemaine’s Johanna Winchcomb admits she loves few things better than a bracing Nordic pole walk.
“Nordic pole walking is actually fitness walking,” says Johanna, one of an increasing number of locals taking up this international outdoorsy activity originally developed in Finland to keep skiers fit in the off season.
“You exercise 45 percent more of your body when you’re using poles as opposed to straight walking,” enthuses Johanna.
The Castlemaine local is one of an enthusiastic team of local Nordic Pole walkers who’ve completed training in recent weeks, enabling them to lead a new series of free Nordic Pole walking sessions aimed at getting local seniors active and improving health outcomes.
Offered through the Castlemaine Community House, the new 16-week series of free pole walking for seniors sessions start today – Tuesday January 28 – and run right through to May.
Castlemaine Community House’s Kez Jennings says the series has funding from Muscoskeletal Victoria and is being offered in conjunction with Maldon Hospital – with sessions also offered in Maldon as well as in Castlemaine at the botanical gardens.
Castlemaine District Community Health is also involved and Kez says it’s hoped that once local seniors reach the end of the 16-week pole walking program they’ll continue to keep active by joining CHIRP’s ongoing walking program.
Meantime, the eight trained pole walking session leaders, like Johanna can hardly wait to hit the trails.
“Its fantastic,” she says, pointing out that Nordic pole walking is great for providing stability for those with limited mobility, enabling them to get up, out, and moving with confidence.
At the other end of the spectrum, it also offers a superb full body workout for those who are already fit and active, she says.
“It’s not only great for people with limited mobility. It’s really good for fitness and as you get fitter you can introduce more isotonic exercise.
“It’s great for the upper body, really tones up the upper arms.”
“Two of our trained leaders are back from walking in the mountains of Austria and another has walked the Camino Trail.”

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