Nordic walking is a full-body exercise that’s easy on the joints and suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
What is Nordic walking?
Nordic walking was originally a summer training regime for cross-country skiers. It’s based on using specially designed walking poles in a way that harnesses the power of the upper body to propel you forward as you walk. It is now a recognised way to turn a walk into whole-body exercise that can be done by anybody, anywhere.
Who is Nordic walking suitable for?
Nordic walking is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Classes range from gentle walks for people with health concerns, to workout walks, which are a great way to improve fitness, lose weight and tone the whole body.
What equipment do you need?
You’ll need a pair of Nordic walking poles, which are different to those used for trekking because of how the strap is used and the angle you plant them on the ground (we provide these if you don’t have any so don’t worry) walking shoes and appropriate clothing.
What difference do the poles make?
When properly used, the poles take the weight off the knees and lower body joints – this makes you feel lighter on your feet.
What’s the technique?
You move in a similar way to ordinary walking and swing your arms from your shoulder with your elbows straight – think of a soldier marching. To get the full benefits and avoid injury, it is recommended that you start with lessons to get the basic technique correct.
Is Nordic walking hard on your joints?
Nordic walking is no harder on the joints than walking. It’s an activity suitable for people with joint conditions or who may be carrying some extra body weight.
What are the health benefits of Nordic walking?
Regular Nordic walking can lower your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. Nordic walking can also be used as part of an exercise programme to help lose weight. You can get the most out of even a fairly short walk!
You use 90% of your skeletal muscles so your upper body gets toned as well as your legs and backside! You can burn up to 46% extra calories by using the poles – this can really help with weight loss It also takes the pressure off your joints and due to the neutral position of your neck and the natural rotation of the spine it is great for back and neck problems.
One of the biggest benefits though is that when you Nordic walk you can talk to others, making it a very sociable way to exercise in stunning outdoor scenery.
Regular Nordic walkers join groups so they can enjoy being active and safe outdoors together unlike being in a gym which can be quite isolating.