Put a spring in your step with Nordic walking
Nordic walking has long been one of Liz’s favourite forms exercise. This active workout gets you out in the fresh air, gleaning a wealth of wellbeing benefits from moving and being outside.
The health benefits of Nordic walking
The use of poles creates a gentle downward resistance as you walk, which gives your upper body the most fantastic workout. The poles also give you increased stability and propel the body forward. You’ll find you’re able to effortlessly move faster without feeling totally exhausted.
Nordic walking also significantly increases the amount of calories burned compared to a regular stomp across a field or park. This is because you’re using many more muscle groups. It’s more akin to jogging in many ways, but it won’t leave you as breathless. There also isn’t the strain on the knees and joints that can sometimes result from more vigorous exercise.
Nordic walking tones and strengthens the whole body, using over 90% of our skeletal muscles. Liz has found the exercise particularly helpful after suffering from back and neck problems. She finds it a wonderful way of opening out the upper chest area and easing any tension in the shoulders.
Like other forms of aerobic activity, regular Nordic walking offers a range of other health benefits. This includes lowering your risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes, stroke and some cancers. You’ll also enjoy the psychological benefits that ‘green exercise’ has to offer – the subject of many recent studies – including reduced stress levels and increased self-esteem.
How to get started
You can pick up a set of specially designed poles for about £30. These are not to be confused with trekking poles due to how you use the strap and the angle at which you plant your poles into the ground. You’ll also need a good pair of walking shoes.
I would also recommend anyone new to Nordic walking to start with a lesson from a qualified instructor. This will help you learn the specific techniques involved. Many instructors will be able to provide you with poles if you’re just interested in a taster lesson, so you can give it whirl before you commit to any extra expense. Read more information and find a local instructor either at Nordic Walking UK or British Nordic Walking.
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- Nordic walking strengthens the whole body, using over 90% of your skeletal muscles
- Using the poles creates a downward resistance as you walk, giving your upper body a fantastic workout
- Regular Nordic walking will help lower your risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes, stroke and some cancers