What Is Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking is the fastest growing fitness activity in the world and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Nordic Walking has been popular across Europe for decades and has been growing in popularity in the UK over the last 10 years. It was originally developed as a summer training activity for elite cross country skiers, but has since become a specific fitness activity in it’s own right.
Nordic walking is suitable for anyone, of any age and any fitness level. It is a sociable fitness option that can be done anywhere, and uses the whole body. Unlike trekking poles, Nordic walking poles are planted behind you to help propel you along. This activates the upper body and arms as you push through the pole. This makes you feel lighter on your feet and gives you the sensation it is easier to walk, even though you are actually working your whole body more.
It is a specific fitness technique and not just walking with poles, so to gain the maximum benefit from Nordic walking it is important to learn the technique from a qualified instructor. Through a structured programme they can help you master the basics and ensure you are able to competently Nordic Walk, and gain the most from the activity. You can then exercise effectively on your own, or join into group walks organised all over the UK.
A 'Learn to Nordic Walk' course is an ideal way to start for those interested. It is a structured teaching programme of four one hour sessions that will teach you and help you master the basics. You will learn which muscles you are working and how you can use Nordic walking to improve your fitness. Nordic Walking poles will be provided and no specialist sports clothing is required. All you need is some comfortable shoes with good grip to walk in, and enthusiasm to try something new!
Nordic Walking Has 4 Main Advantages
- You use 90% of your major muscles so your upper body gets toned as well as your legs and backside!
- You can burn 20-40% extra calories by using the poles - this can really help with weight loss.
- It helps to take the pressure off your knees and joints
- You can get the most out of even a fairly short walk!
- Can be done anywhere – no need for hills, country paths or even snow!
- It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels
- It is good for your posture
- No need to wear special exercise clothing
- It’s very sociable and fun – make new friends as you get fit
- It is easy to learn, whether you are used to exercise or not
- It combines exercise with the nature which has been proven to boost mood