Nordic Walking can be done almost anywhere in town, in the village, on the streets and through the nature. It’ll get you fitter and put your body back to shape.
What is it?
Nordic Walking was born in the 1980’s in Finland and has several million fans today. In essence, it’s simply walking with canes. The canes are not merely ski poles or walking sticks but are have been especially designed for this sport. If you learn how to do it correctly, you can do a lot for your physical condition. What’s more, you lose weight, and your figure will improve. Nordic Walking engages nearly all of your muscle groups during movement. The main and unique advantage of this sport is that it doesn’t burden your joints like ordinary walking or jogging. Sounds attractive, doesn’t it?
The advantages of Nordic Walking
Upright walking with long poles engages the entire upper half of your body during the activity and strengthens up to 600 muscles, which is about 90% of the muscles in your entire body. Nordic Walking improves your condition, your motor coordination, reduces high blood pressure and relaxes tension your neck and shoulder muscles. What’s more, when done correctly you can burn between 1260 to 1680 calories per hour, making it a great way to lose calories. This sport is suitable for everyone who simply loves the feeling of movement. Even a beginner can manage Nordic Walking without problems.
What you need
Walking canes made of aluminum or carbon alloy with either a fixed or adjustable height. The canes should be about 68% of your height (multiply your height by 0.68). If you plan to take Nordic Walking seriously, you should invest in some special Nordic Walking shoes with springs in the heel – they absorb the shock of the heel hitting the ground. Dress sportingly according to the weather. Your clothing should be loose-fitting and not restrictive.
Be aware of this while you walk
Your knees should be slightly bent while walking. Don’t walk on your toes – your heel should hit the ground. If you have problems with your hips or knees, consult your doctor before beginning Nordic Walking. Remember that soft forest ground is much better for your joints than hard asphalt is.
- Use the first 10 minutes to warm up. A slow warm-up gets your blood and respiratory system going. Stretch your calves! The key to this training is a proper warm-up and stretch.
- Beginners should consider Nordic Walking to be enjoyment. The only way to devote yourself to this sport is if you enjoy it.
- Engage the upper part of your body: arms lead the movement, and the legs follow.
- Nordic Blading also exists – you use the same canes, but with roller blades (in-line) on your feet.
The key to success is the correct walking technique. Whether you’re walking or skating, place the sticks into the ground only vertically. This is the only way to correctly push off the snow.
- Keep both arms almost fully extended towards the front, and then extend them all the way to the back. This will keep the entire upper body working.
- If you breathe too shallow, you may start to feel a pain in your side. If this happens, relax and breathe deeply and slowly.
- The optimal training regime for Nordic Walking or Nordic Blading is 2-3 hours per week. This is how to make the most of it to improve your health and condition.
- It’s a sport like any other – stretch properly after training.
- If your muscles start to hurt, slow down your tempo. Take a hot bath after training.
- Dress properly before setting out.