By Kim Duke, NETA & AAFA Certified Trainer

Core Performance is so fortunate to have the amazing Monica Castillo Mengotti as one of their personal trainers and fitness instructors.  Monica brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our studio, as well as a contagious energy that will put a smile on anyone’s face that meets her.  Monica is a fully certified Pilates instructor who incorporates core strength and breathing into every aspect of her life. 

Recently, Monica discussed sharing another passion called Nordic Walking with members of our studio and community. 

She took me on a walk to demonstrate the differences and benefits of Nordic walking vs. conventional walking.  I immediately noticed my stride, pace and posture improved.  You cannot Nordic walk without engaging your core and I felt more energized than if I had taken my traditional fast paced walk. 

To understand Nordic Walking, I turned to the Internet.  According to Wikipedia “Nordic walking is a total body version of walking that can be enjoyed both by non-athletes as a health-promoting physical activity, and by athletes as a sport. The activity is performed with specially designed walking poles similar to ski poles. Nordic Walking’s concept was developed on the basis of off-season ski-training activity. Nordic walkers use more of their entire body (with greater intensity) and receive fitness building stimulation not present in normal walking.   

According to the findings of the research, conducted by the group scientists from various universities, both Nordic walking and conventional walking are beneficial for older adults. However, Nordic walking provides additional benefits in muscular strength compared to conventional walking, making it suitable for improving aerobic capacity and muscular strength as well as other components of functional fitness in a short period of time.”

What I immediately loved about this activity is its simplicity.  This exercise is for everyone and anyone who would like to improve their cardio vascular while strengthening their core muscles and posture. 

Also, very little equipment is required to participate in this activity.  If you own comfortable clothes, sneakers and a set of ski poles, you are all set. 

Monica would like to offer classes on Nordic Walking on Saturdays and Sundays during the month of September and October.  And since classes will be held outside, we know weather can be a deterrent to some participants, therefore, you can choose the days you would like to walk/hike.  Classes come in 4-packs and are $60 for four classes.  Most classes will run between 1-2 hours and will start on flat land and progress to hilly terrains. 

For more information pleases contact Monica at (716) 229-9871 or Kim at (716) 698-1198. 

To experience Monica’s Pilates classes, come to Core Performance on Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.  Monica would also like to offer a Pilates circuit class on Saturdays at 9 a.m.  Classes in studio are $10/class.