Nordic walking poles from Glen Arbor, Michigan are helping Wounded Warriors move
Nordic Walking Poles are radically improving balance, stability, gait, walking posture and walking comfort of Wounded Warriors! Quality Nordic Walking Poles from WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System have been donated to Wounded Warrior Programs at Walter Reed, Fort Carson, Fort Lewis/Madigan/McChord and Vicenza, Italy.
Many of the soldiers attending Edwards’ Nordic Walking Classes at Fort Carson in Colorado came with canes and/or walkers. One of the soldiers had just been released from his wheel chair. All found much improved balance, stability, walking posture and walking comfort.
Members of the Warrior Transition Battalion and others got to test-drive the durable one-piece Nordic walking poles custom fit to his/her specific height at the Soldier Family Assistance Center at Fort Carson. WTB Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Bunch also tested the poles for himself. Participants in the Nordic Walking Clinics found that the poles radically improved balance, stability, walking posture, walking gait and walking comfort. Many of the Wounded Warriors commented on how they the poles really did helped to reduce the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back.
Soldiers assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion are recovering from all types of injuries and many experience balance problems from leg, back and traumatic brain injuries.
According to Susanne Harland, Fort Carson Station manager, American Red Cross, the Red Cross has a mission to help, as they can, with the recovery of these wounded warriors. She has been involved with helping wounded soldiers since the Vietnam War era.
“It’s my love, working with the wounded warriors,” she said. Harland said that she is always trying to find new and innovative ways to help the soldiers.
One way she has been able to help here is to bring in special programs and speakers. One such person was Pete Edwards, founder of WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System. She found out about Edwards through Wade Walrond, who is with the Walter Reed Station of the Red Cross in Washington – Edwards had donated much-appreciated Nordic Walking Poles to his Wounded Warrior Program too.
Edwards, a former marathon runner, had to give up running because of his knee and later realized that walking with the correct length poles eliminated his knee pain. Edwards now claims that he is comfortable not only Nordic Walking with his poles, but Nordic Running too – running with poles. Edwards, a running and skiing coach, is also certified as a Nordic walking instructor. Nordic walking is much like cross-country skiing (gentle on the weight bearing joints) and the poles are helping more than just athletes recover from their injuries.
According to Edwards, by using the perfect length poles (shorter than Nordic ski poles) for additional balance, the injured person has better control over his or her balance. Additionally, he said, the two poles are often better than using a cane or walker, because a cane can cause a person to favor one side or the other, and both have the user hunch over, which may increase problems in recovery and balance. He said that he not only has used them for injured athletes, but has worked with people who have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Nueropathy, arthritis, bursitis, scoliosis, lumbar stenosis, fibromyalgia, post polio, osteoporosis, stroke recovery, cancer recovery and other limitations to walking.
(Photo – Pete Edwards’ Son Keefer leading the troops and staff during one of the clinics.)
Edwards came to the Soldier Family Assistance Center in August to lead injured soldiers in the proper use of the Nordic Walking poles and to train therapists in using the poles as part of rehabilitation programs. His 12-year-old son, Keefer Edwards, assisted him. They both flew in from Michigan, volunteering their services. Within minutes of using the poles, all of the soldiers showed a marked improvement in their mobility.
One of the Wounded Warriors said “It’s really good, better than using the walker. I feel really good.”
Edwards donates one-piece Nordic Walking Poles to the Wounded Warriors Program. He offers 14 standard lengths, plus custom makes poles for individuals over 6′ 7″ at no extra cost. His special one-piece SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap twist-locking or flip-locking adjustable length/telescoping/collapsible poles. Skiers only use one-piece poles for skiing and they prove to be much more user friendly for Nordic Walking and Nordic Running than cheap collapsible poles that can fail/collapse unexpectedly, rattle and/or vibrate. Edwards warns to especially avoid the cheap twist-lock and flip-lock poles flooding the market from China.
According to Nick Mahood, SWIX USA Nordic Walking Director, “Pete Edwards, The American Nordic Walking System and SKIWALKING.COM’s owner/founder/coach, has single handedly introduced thousands of Americans to Nordic Walking through his enthusiastic Nordic Walking clinics! I have no doubt that Edwards is the #1 retailer of Nordic Walking Poles in the USA! You can quote me on that!”