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Posted April 6, 2008

Athletic shop owners encourage memorial walk participation

By Amy Olson
Wausau Daily Herald

The owners of a Rothschild business hope to bring visibility to their sport and raise money for a good cause at the same time.

Bonnie and Perry Dau, owners of the online aerobic sports shop Revel Sports, plan to offer Nordic walking lessons and demonstrations at Saturday's Arts Alive Kathleen Gaynor Ferris Memorial Run/Walk in Weston.

The Dau's plan to rent out about 30 pairs of poles for the race at $3 apiece, raising more money for the event, which will benefit Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.Nordic Walking in Weston with LEKI poles

Bonnie said she took up the sport after giving up running when she developed arthritis in her ankle.

"It's a lot kinder on the joints," Perry said, noting their business introduced them to the concept.

Nordic walkers can burn an estimated 30 percent to 40 percent more calories than by walking alone, Perry said.

Using poles can reduce fatigue in leg muscles, and though it can take a bit to get the hang of it to maximize their workouts, most people who've cross-country skied pick it up pretty quickly, Perry said.

Though the sport has been popular in Europe, it's only now gaining momentum in the United States.

"We're a little slow to pick it up in the Upper Midwest," Bonnie said. "Once people try it, they love it."

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