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Excel Nordic Walking Poles: These Poles Were Made for Walkin'

Although I've been a cross-country skier for years, I just discovered the sport of Nordic walking. I'm totally hooked!

Getting started was so easy. First, I used the pole selection instructions at Excel's informative and helpful web site (www.excelsports.net), to select the right pole for my training needs. I chose the Trainer, a sturdy but lightweight carbon composite pole with comfortable grip and adjustable wrist straps that allow me to have a light but secure grip.

Before my first trip out to the trails in Carkeek Park near my home, I watched the instructional CD that came with my poles. So helpful and well-made! Even though I've used trekking poles many times, nordic walking requires some slightly different techniques for placement and pole angle. The information was easy to absorb, and I was off and moving at the park in no time.

Nordic walking is still not very common up here in the Pacific Northwest and a few people people (especially kids) stopped to watch me. (A fitness guru friend in Berkeley says it's more established in the Bay Area.) But it feels great, I definitely work up a greater sweat than I did on my previous power walks, it helps cushion my knees from the weight of my steps, and using my Trainer poles works out my arms and abs, too. It feels similar to cross-country skiing in terms of muscle groups used and calories burned.

Poles can be used on any surface. I prefer walking on softer surfaces such as grass or dirt trails, but the poles also come with a rubber tip protector for use on concrete.

Bottom Line:  Power up your fitness walks or start a new trend in your neighborhood with Nordic Walking poles. I'm a convert; now walking without my poles just doesn't seem like enough of a workout for me.--J.I. (July 07)

Price: $99

BUY ONLINE : Excel Nordic Walker Trainer Pole

Manufacturer's Site: www.excelsports.net, www.nordicwalking.com

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When lifting weights, always remember to protect your back by activating your abdominal muscles before performing each exercise.

Source: The Little Strength Training Book