Discover how Nordic walking became the latest exercise trend, and how the benefits could aid you on your fitness journey.
Nordic walking is a lockdown friendly fitness trend with no sign of slowing down in popularity. It’s turning walking into a full body workout, simply by using poles in a specific way. The poles are employed with a technique similar to cross-country skiing, helping you to propel your body forward. If you’ve been missing the slopes, then this exercise could be for you.
What are the benefits of Nordic walking?
Nordic walking has many benefits. It’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels and can be done anywhere. From up and down mountains, to your local park, it’s an every occasion exercise.
By using poles, you’re able to reduce the impact on your joints, making it ideal for those who have joint pain or mobility issues. There are all the benefits of regular walking like stronger, toned legs and bottom as well as improving your cardiovascular system. It’s also a good upper body and core workout.
A study from the US found Nordic walking can burn 20% more calories than regular walking, because you’re using more muscle mass. You can also walk faster and further, but without feeling like you’re working harder. Sounds ideal to us!
How do you start Nordic walking?
This isn’t just walking with poles — there’s a bit more to it. You have to learn how to use the poles correctly, to ensure you don’t harm your wrist joints and gain propulsion.
- Start by walking slowly and don’t aim to walk long distances. Once you’ve mastered the technique, start at half an hour and then build up to walking more.
- Start by walking as you would naturally. Relax your shoulders and arms. Swing the poles from your shoulders, not your wrists or elbows.
- Be sure to hold onto the pole handles, but don’t hold too tightly. You’ll find straps on the poles, which you can use to relax your grip if you need to. Be sure to keep the poles angled back when you swing and walk, to ensure they’re pushing you forward, as part of the workout.
- Aim to lean just slightly forward with every step. When you take a step, try to land on the heel and roll through your foot, therefore pushing off on your toes.
- Keep your arms straight when you push back. This will help you work your back and stomach. Open your hand and release the pole after each strike forward, but keep the pole close to your body.
All that’s left is to buy a pair of poles. Prices start from around £15. Enjoy yourself!