What Is Nordic Walking?
Ever heard of Nordic walking? (Hint: it doesn’t have anything to do with the Nordic countries.)
Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or nature lover, Nordic walking has got something for everyone. If you rock a fulltime desks and computer job, or if you are a person suffering from shoulder and neck pain, it is high time you take up Nordic walking.
Now, let us take a look at what Nordic walking actually is.
- Nordic Walking: What Is It?
Nordic walking can be simply defined as a method of walking that works out your whole body. Nevertheless, the main component of Nordic walking is a pair of long poles which is used to work out or propel the upper body forward.
To put it simply, you could also think of Nordic walking as cross-country skiing without silly clothes and skis. The pair of poles cost around £40 to £200 per pair and beginners would want to take a course to do Nordic walking properly. Because, the movements of arms and legs is a bit confusing, and you might end up muddling which arm to move with which leg.
- Benefits: Why Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking is far better than just regular walking as it burns around 50% more calories. Nordic walking increases your heart rate and makes you feel like you have finished a better workout without actually having to work hard.
Though walking faster can get you a similar heart rate, there are people who prefer walking at a normal speed or cannot walk faster. Beginners can take up Nordic walking to cure mobility problems whereas, professional athletes can use it as a tool for sports conditioning.
Nordic walking works the entire upper body including arms, shoulders, back, upper chest, and all the muscles through a wide variety of motion such as stretching and lengthening. This can, in turn, help people overcome upper thoracic hump which is in turn caused due to hours of working on computers, reading, or watching TV.
Furthermore, our urban lifestyle contributes to the tightening of the neck that leads to stress. Nordic walking is also a cure to loosen up these knots and feel relieved.
As the poles provide more stability like a hiking stick, and thus, Nordic walking becomes easy for people who had given up walking due to knee or leg problems. Additionally, once the proper use of the poles and arm movements are mastered, it provides you with a good posture.
- Does Nordic Walking Work Without Poles?
If you practice the proper race-walking arm motion, you would be able to attain a similar upper body effect. Nonetheless, this is really hard to achieve without proper training. You need to loosen your shoulders, learn the proper arm movement, etc.
On the last note, if you are still dubious about taking up Nordic walking, I would ask that you simply go for it. For fitness enthusiasts, it is a great workout option, and for others, it’s just a beautiful day out. After all, it gets you out of the house and among other people.