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Alternative Winter Sports

Ski Walking takes off in Europe!

December 25, 2004 - By Pete Edwards


Glen Arbor, MI – Elite cross-country skiers have been benefiting from Ski Walking during the off season for years. Technical – Yes! However, this new fitness trend in Europe termed “Nordic Walking” has recently been simplified for the masses. And now 500,000 fitness conscious Finns are Ski Walking everyday – no snow, no skis required. The best news is that more Finns are actually cross-country skiing now thanks to the excitement and enthusiasm over Ski Walking.

Fact: Recreational Ski Walking burns up 40% more calories than walking without poles.

This past summer my running came to a screeching halt and my training for the month of July was restricted to walking. So I snagged a pair of the kids cross-country ski poles and started Ski Walking everyday. Soon my whole family joined me out on the trails. We had ages 6-76 out on the trails Ski Walking everyday. When I ran for the first time in August I was shocked to find that my aerobic base hadn't suffered - SKI WALKING really works!

As a coach up here in northern Michigan, I have always had my athletes walk a mile prior to any running workout. I always encouraged the athletes to “walk like a mall lady” and swing their arms. I had threatened for years that I would bring ski poles to practice to force them to work their arms more. This past summer I finally followed through. I rounded up a couple dozen pairs of downhill and cross- country poles and my cross-country running teams warmed up everyday with a one-mile Ski Walk. I never needed to remind them again to “pump those arms”. During the fall cross-country season, anytime one of the athletes had a ache, pain, pull or shin splint, they knew to grab a pair of Ski Walking Poles out of my van and put in a few miles. Ski Walking is a great cross trainer and hopefully runners from coast to coast will realize for themselves the benefits of this low impact, high-calorie burn, aerobic activity.

When my 1st order of Ski Walking Poles arrived from Norway early this fall, the literature hadn’t even been printed in English yet. The poles came with comfortable, patented straps and removable rubber tips for pavement and other hard surfaces. It was unanimous; ALL my athletes and family members wanted the new poles with the comfortable straps.

Just a few weeks ago my 1st custom order (designed and tested here in Glen Arbor and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) arrived from Lillihammer, complete with my own graphics. They look and perform great.

Mission statement: is dedicated to encouraging Americans to initiate their own personal fitness programs by providing a proven, low-impact, high calorie burn fitness activity that will result in the adoption of healthier lifestyles and increased use of and appreciation for our bike paths, hiking trails and parks.


  • 500,000 Finns are Ski Walking everyday – no skis, no snow required.
  • Ski Walking burns up to 40% more calories than walking without Ski Walking fitness poles.
  • Unlike walking, running and biking, Ski Walking works the arms, shoulders and abs.
  • Ski Walking provides ALL the low impact the benefits of walking, while reducing knee and joint strain, burning more calories, working the upper body, increasing oxygen consumption and providing a more effective aerobic workout.
  • Ski Walking produces up to a 46% increase in energy consumption (Cooper Institute, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sports 2002 publication).
  • Ski Walking has been used at the University of Wisconsin in the rehabilitation of patients after myocardial infarction (MI). In the MI study, the oxygen uptake increased on average 21% compared to walking without poles.

Cross-country skiing is my favorite sport and I sincerely hope that as Ski Walking takes off in this country, we will see a huge increase in cross-country skiing and snow shoeing participation levels—for the simple reason that ski walking makes the transition to those sports much more comfortable.

For more information please contact: 
Pete Edwards
Phone: 231-334-3080