Does Nordic walking actually work? It depends on what are you thinking of but Nordic walking is a great exercise that burns calories and strengthens the muscles and bones. Nordic walking is one of the fastest growing and evolving recreational sports in the world. It is walking with specially shaped poles, an excellent aerobic exercise, which quickly and effectively improves body condition regardless of age and gender.
In addition, Nordic walking is one of the most accessible and safe physical activities, it is practicable throughout the year.
The Nordic Walking Phenomenon
The start of Nordic walking develops by racing cross-country skiers who used their long running poles for tough dry training outside the winter season. Nordic walking as a folks sport with shorter poles appeared in the end of the previous century in Finland.
With the establishment of the first international association INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) in 2000 that aimed at popularizing this new recreational sport, Nordic walking began its hike also outside the Finnish borders. The systematic and professional knowledge about it and the beneficial effects of Nordic walking led to the fact that more than 6 million people are regularly engaged in it all over the world.
Where can we practice?
Training surfaces for Nordic walking are all around us. We can walk on sidewalks or asphalt surfaces in an urban environment, and even better if we go in the nature. Search for field and forest paths, smaller hills or nearby hills.
You can walk with the poles in the mountains until the path becomes too rocky. The advantage of Nordic walking versus other forms of recreation is primarily working out on the fresh air and enjoying pleasures in nature. Experience the beauty of Nordic walking, starting today!
What do you need for Nordic walking?
You don’t need much to start with this excellent workout. All you need is:
- Ability to stand on your feet
- A good will
- Suitable walking and outdoor footwear for outdoor activities
- Special poles that can quickly turn out to be one of the most valuable and profitable investments
Who can start Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking is suitable for all age groups and all types of recreationists and is suitable for:
- All those who would like to actively spend their free time in nature
- People who try to lose weight, since in this type of aerobic activity more muscle groups are involved than in normal walking, which results in higher energy consumption
- Recreational players who would like to be active throughout the year in all weather conditions
- Older people who want to maintain vitality
- Athletes who want to improve aerobic endurance
We recommend longer less intensive walks for beginners. More experienced and better prepared recreational individuals can also try shorter and more intensive training.
Does Nordic Walking Actually Work?
The movement involves the entire body. The biggest benefit of Nordic walking is an intentional additional load on the upper part of the body, so that almost all muscles are active, even 90 percent!
In comparison with walking without poles it causes higher energy consumption, higher oxygen consumption and higher heart rate of 20 to 25 percent, thus strengthening the cardiovascular and respiratory system.
- reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes
- relieves loads on the knee joints, hip and spine
- increases the flexibility of the spine and shoulder ring
- Reduces or eliminates pain in the neck, shoulders and the back
- firms muscles of the legs and buttocks, abdominal and back muscles
- leads to a more upright posture, a more harmonious movement of the entire body, and improves the walking pattern
- provides us with more energy and vitality
What is a good Walking Pole for Nordic walking?
- It is light, firm and durable
- It has a high center of gravity and reduces vibrations well
- It is made of composite material – a combination of carbon and glass fibers (not aluminum)
- It has an ergonomically shaped handle; therefore no strong grip is required
- It has a specially shaped strap that allows free blood flow, adjusts to the size of the arm / palm
- It has a steel tip at an appropriate angle for walking on softer grounding
- It has a removable rubber attachment, also designed at an angle that allows walking along the asphalt without slipping
- With the label “approved by INWA” (recommended by INWA)
- The correct length of the poles: you should have 90-100 degrees in the elbow
Nordic walking up the Hill
When you walk up the hill you need to use your hands even more than otherwise. Swipe one hand as far forward as possible, and in the same time push the other back strongly.
Tilt the upper part of the body slightly forward and push yourself from the ground as much as you can.
Nordic walking down the Hill
When you walk down the hill make sure that you have bent knees all the time. Otherwise your knees can hurt.
Push the buttocks backward so that the center of gravity is as low as possible, and make small steps.
Nordic Walking as your Daily Workout
Did we encourage you for Nordic walking yet? We think we answered you on the question does Nordic walking actually work. It is a great aerobic workout that involves muscles from entire body. It is more efficient than normal walking and is appropriate for all age groups. If you have some health issues talk with your doctor first.
Go in the sports store and ask for Nordic poles. Find a salesman who will have the knowledge of Nordic walking and poles he is selling. Also consider our buying tips that we state earlier in the article for having a good Nordic walking experience.
This workout is wonderful and you can do it every time when you have some spare time. All you need is a good mood and good Nordic walking poles. Want more motivation? Download your favorite music on mp3 and start to explore the unseen!