Why Nordic Walking?
Nordic Walking is walking with the addition of poles similar to ski poles. Considered to be among the fittest athletes in the world, cross country skiers have been using the technique of walking with poles since the 1930s as a means of training when there was a lack of snow. Nordic Walking focuses on good posture and correct walking technique which can be particularly beneficial for those with mobility issues. It is one of the fastest growing recreational fitness activities in the world.
Some of the benefits of Nordic Walking are:
- Full body workout.
- Uses 90% of skeletal muscles. That’s more muscles than used when running.
- Increased calorie expenditure of 20%-46%
- Helps to shape and tone.
- Lower perceived level of exertion.
- Reduced stress on the body
- It can help with managing health and mobility issues arising from long term medical conditions.
Additional benefits include:
- Significant increase in oxygen consumption by 20% compared to normal walking, with increased calorie expenditure and heart rate compared to normal walking. Perceived exertion did not change with Nordic walking and the increase in cardiovascular expenditure. (Church et al 2002, Kocur et al 2009, Schiffer et al 2009.)
- Walking distance and speed have also been shown to be increased with Nordic walking by up to 30%. (Oakley et al, 2008, Breyer et al, 2010 and Mannerkorpi et al 2010)
- Nordic walking was 106% more efficient than normal walking in improving gait speed among the elderly. (Figueiredo et al 2013)
- Nordic walking provided a larger improvement in upper body strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility in older adults compared to normal walking and band based resistance exercises. (Takeshima et al 2013)
- Nordic walking significantly improved walking distance in clients with intermittent claudication. (Spafford, C., Oakley, C., Beard, J.D. 2014)
- Nordic walking was superior to standard cardiac rehabilitation care in improving functional capacity and other important outcomes in patients with heart failure. (Keast et al 2013)
The other good bits:
- It is low cost. No expensive joining or membership fees.
- Apart from poles no specialist equipment is required.
- It’s outdoors in the fresh air.
- You can walk with a group, with a friend, or on your own.
- You can walk whenever it suits you. No opening times to juggle around.
- Almost without exception anyone can do it.
So hopefully you have been inspired to have a go. Please contact us for details about taster sessions, courses and walks.