What Is Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking, (also called Pole Walking), is a safe, easy, moderate intensity aerobic sport walking technique with poles, which derives from Cross-Country skiing, with specially designed poles similar to ski poles which have been designed to use as much muscle as possible and it uses during regular fitness walking which involves exerting force on the poles with each stride benefiting your whole body movement and building a physical fitness stimulation unlike normal walking, as gentle as normal walking and as effective as skiing or jogging, benefiting 90% of all your core body muscles all the way from your head to your toes : from your upper chest, lats, shoulders, triceps, biceps, abdominal, spinal to your other body muscles. Nordic Walking has a number of additional health benefits over normal walking. It enables you to consume up to 45% more energy than a normal walk It boosts your general physical fitness and it improves your body shape, posture, balance, coordination and stamina. It enhances your mood and it is also effective for weight loss, joints, low back (lumbar) and heart conditions.
It is also a very effective way to exercise without the extra stress on your muscle and joints and it can be practiced in any location in the city, parks, on the beach, hills and mountains.Doctors say that Nordic walking can lower your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and stroke, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, Lung Disease, Alzheimer, Osteoporosis, Arthritis, Obesity and back Joints (lumbar) pain and joint replacements.
Walking in nature refreshes and energizes the body and mind and soul and keeps them in harmony and balance and helps alleviate stress and mood swings in a more efficient way than the normal walking.
Why Nordic Walking is the perfect Total Body Workout?
Benefits of Nordic Walking
Physical Fitness exercises with poles add strength and flexibility to the whole body
- It activates 90% of the body’s muscles
- It’s a safe and healthy physical activity for your heart: with an additional 20-46% oxygen consumption
- It develops strength and stability, it’s light for your joints and it enhances flexibility, stability, posture, balance and coordination
- It burns up to 46 % more calories than regular walking.
- It harmonizes your mind & body and it has greater effects on balancing your mood and stress levels than regular walking
- It is a perfect full body workout where almost every muscle is in motion.
- It Strengthens and tones the shoulders upper arms, and back muscles and it relieves your muscle tension around the neck and shoulders at the same time
- It boost the metabolism and stamina with an increased blood circulation and it is easily sustained within one’s optimal pulse range
- When Walking with poles up and down hill, your knee joints are prone to less stress
- It is effective for training for endurance sports activities
- It strengthens the abdominal muscles, decreases strain on the back and lower back (lumbar) problems
- It can be practiced as a very effective rehabilitation therapy training routine for cardio-vascular patients and those suffering from low back (lumbar) and leg pain.
Health Benefits of Nordic Walking
According to a research study by The Cooper Institute in Texas which compared physiological responses of Nordic Walking to regular walking, the calorie expenditure and the oxygen consumption increased an average of 20% and the heart-rate increased with 10 beats per minute when using Nordic Walking poles. It was noted that although the body works harder when using the poles, the RPE (rated perceived exertion) was the same as walking with or without poles.
The Chinese have a saying that “10,000 steps per day lead to a healthy mind and healthy body”. Through the use of Nordic Walking, this number can be reduced down substantially and get additional benefits.
- According to Dr. Cedric Bryant, Chief Science Officer for The American Council on Exercise (ACE) : “It’s so low impact and joint friendly, and it’s a relatively simple way of taking what many people are already doing, walking, and boosting it up a notch to burn extra calories.” – The Wall Street Journal, 2/1/07.
- According to the Cooper Institute Study Summary, September, 2002, calorie burn is validated along with no perceived increase in exertion.
- The Cooper Institute in Texas also compared physiological responses of Nordic Walking to regular walking whereby the calorie expenditure and the oxygen consumption increased an average of 20%, and the heart-rate increased with 10 beats per minute when using the Nordic Walking poles. What really matters is that although the body works harder using the poles, the RPE (rated perceived exertion) was the same walking with or without poles.
- Nordic Pole Walking burns up to 46% more calories that exercise walking without poles or moderate jogging. (Cooper Institute, 2004, Dallas and other). It has proved to be an extremely great weight loss program in combination with a minful nutrition.
- It Increases heart and cardiovascular training to 22% more effect (Foley 1994, Jordan 2001, Morss t al., 2001 and other).
- It involves 90% of all the body muscles in one exercise and it increases endurance of arm muscles (triceps) and neck and shoulder muscles (Latissmus) to 38% (Karawan et al., 1992 and other)
- Eliminates each of the back, shoulder and neck pain (Attila et al., 1999 and other).
- It has less impact of approximately 26% on the hip, knee and foot joints (Wilson et al., 2001 and other)
- It increases the production of “positive” hormones and decreases “negative” hormones (R.M. Klatz et. Al., 1999; Dharma Singh Khalsa 1997).
- It has a significant impact on stress management and mental disorders (Stoughton 1992, Momment-Jauch, 2003).
- According to Dr. Ronald Peterson, Director of the Alzheimer Research Center at the Mayo Clinic : “Regular Physical Exercise is probably the best means we have for preventing Alzheimer Disease today, better than intellectual activity”.
Exercise has been widely proven to keep the brain active. This can prevent not only memory loss but also dementia. It is also generally known that exercise may help slowing down the progression of brain diseases.
Nordic Walking is both relaxing and invigorating at the same time. It has a positive impact on the mood as it takes place outdoors within a social Group Walk.