Nordic walking provides 40 per cent more burned caloriesand increases the heart rate by 10 per cent over conventional walking. The special poles provide resistance that works the upper body along with the lower body. – Morinville News File Photo
By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Town trails will get a workout Tuesdays and Thursdays this spring as the community tries out two new walking programs: Silver Steps and a new take on the already popular Buns and Guns program. The first is aimed at seniors, the latter at anyone looking to get a little fitter on their lunch hour.
Nordic walking for seniors
Silver Steps will run Thursdays at 9:15 a.m. beginning in May and is aimed at the community’s seniors. The program uses Nordic walking poles, an exercise aid that increases cardio vascular movement by getting the arms moving along with the legs.
“The utilization of the poles does work all those major muscle groups in the shoulders and the arms,” explained fitness instructor Michelle Logan. “With walking, it increases the cardio. A lot of times you want to increase your cardio for a fat loss or weight loss goal. Walking always doesn’t get the heart going as much. Running, for a lot of people, is too high impact.”
Logan feels walking with the Nordic poles is the perfect combination for the program’s demographic of seniors because it adds a cardio vascular component in a low impact way. The poles also offer some balance on uneven ground.
The Town’s Community Guide identifies Silver Steps as being for adults 55 and older; however, Logan said she would accept those younger. “As an adult program, it’s more of a beginner program,” she said. “It’s low impact. I’d certainly not turn away anyone who is at that level that would like to join us.”
Buns and Guns Outdoors
Logan said Morinville’s popular Buns and Guns program, which runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, will step outside during the month of May. The program, called Outdoor Fit in its open-air iteration, will take place from 12:15 to 12:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning May 9.
“It’s basically to encourage people that are working in town or close to it to come just for a half hour,” Logan said. “We’re going to utilize the outdoor equipment and walking poles. We’re going to do a lot of walking, but also other kinds of portable equipment at the Morinville fish and Game Association trail.”
That equipment will include Dyna-Bands, an elastic resistance device, and Bender Balls, a large rubber ball used for core training. Additionally, the program will make use of the outdoor exercise equipment.
Although the program is not exactly low impact, Logan said she tries to keep the sweat levels to a minimum, given people need to return to finish the afternoon’s work. “Everybody works to their own level,” she said, adding the current Buns and Guns is a popular program, particularly among women. “It breaks up the day a bit. All of us sit far too much. Most people that come have a purpose. Whether it’s you gained a few pounds over the winter, you are going to start training for a race, or just getting back into the swing of things.”
Cost of the Outdoor Fit program is $30. Cost for the Silver Steps is $35. Both programs take place at the Morinville fish and Game Association trail. For more information call 780-939-7888.