© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Bill VanGorder led a group through a Nordic Pole Walking training session yesterday in the parking lot at the Cumberland County Municipality building. People following his lead included, (from left) Colleen Dowe and Sue Boiduk from the Cumberland Health Authority, and county employee, Emily Burke.
AMHERST - Bill VanGorder is 70-years-old, but you wouldn't know it.
"I'm in better shape than I was when I was 40," said VanGorder.
He was in Amherst yesterday at the invitation of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Catherine Droesbeck.
"We're part of the Cumberland County Healthy Workplace Network, whereby workplaces come together to share health promotion information for their workplaces and have more healthy options for their employees," said Droesbeck. "The group was meeting today and Bill was our special guest."
Droesbeck used to be a runner up until six years ago.
"I thought I'd try the Nordic walking for cross training and I found I was getting better benefits from it that I was from the running because of the upper body workout," said VanGorder. "It's better than normal walking because you use 45 per cent more muscles.
"When you walk you're only using the muscles below the waist, when you Nordic walk your using all those upper body muscles - arms, chest and core - so you really are getting twice the benefit for the same amount of walking."
VanGorder said that a Nordic walker usually puts about 15 pounds of pressure on the ground with the poles.
"I have a pedometer and take about 5,000 steps when I go for a walk, that means each arm is doing 2,500 reps," said VanGorder. "That's a lot of reps. That's what you want, high reps and low weight."
Another benefit of Nordic walking is walking with a partner.
VanGorder, who lives in Halifax, walks up to four hours at a time with his 53-year-old wife.
"When we walk together we have some of our best discussions because you're never run out of breath," he said. "My whole energy level is better because of the Nordic walking."
Nova Scotia Walk Day is May 8, and Droesbeck hopes both groups and individuals get out and walk.
More information about Nova Scotia Walk Day can be found at http://walkaboutns.ca/.
For more information about Nordic Pole Walking, VanGorder can be reached at http://nordicwalkingnovascotia.ca/contact.htm, or call him at 902-497-8073.