Nordic Walking started officially in Finland in the late 1980s, so it is a relatively new sport. Nordic Walking is starting to catch on to many places around the world. As the sport is relatively new many people wonder what are the benefits of Nordic Walking or if Nordic Walking actually works?
Nordic walking has many health benefits including 1) it will help your cardiovascular health and aerobic fitness, 2) it is a vigorous muscle workout, 3) it will help improve your walking posture, 4) it burns more calories than regular walking, and 5) is a fun sport to do.
Because you are walking with poles. it is a good sport for people who suffer from bad knees or some other joint problems. As more people discover the health benefits of Nordic Walking, the popularity of Nordic Walking continues to increase.
I am not a doctor. So before starting any kind of new exercise program please talk to your physician. I would suspect that most physicians would be happy if you started an exercise program like Nordic walking, but if you are not sure, then please talk to your physician and get their professional advice.
Nordic Walking is A Cardiovascular Exercise
Nordic walking is able to help improve your aerobic or cardiovascular fitness. Nordic Walking is considered a wonderful cardiovascular exercise because walking with the Nordic Walking sticks helps to add another layer of cardiovascular and muscle fitness to your walking workout.
The movement of using the Nordic Walking poles while walking, ensures that most of your muscles are used while Nordic Walking. Using these added muscles helps pump more oxygenated blood to all your muscles. This in turn helps to improve your overall level of cardiovascular fitness.
Nordic Walking is a cardiovascular fitness because walking with the Nordic Walking poles allows you to be able to walk faster than you would normally walk without the Nordic Walking poles. This increase in walking speed has a direct impact on your cardiovascular fitness and health.
Here are some ways Nordic walking helping improve your cardiovascular fitness.
- Strengthens Your Heart – One of the best cardiovascular benefits of an exercise like Nordic walking is that it can help to be able to improve your heart and make it stronger. This in turn helps improve your overall cardiovascular health.
- Reduces Other Health Risks – Like any good cardiovascular exercise, Nordic Walking helps reduce other cardiovascular health risks like heart disease or type two diabetes. It can help you to fight other health-destroying conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Nordic Walking Is A Vigorous Muscle Workout
One day I was in a hurry to get out the door to do my Nordic Walking so I skipped a proper warm-up. The next day my entire body was sore. This is because Nordic Walking uses more muscle groups than walking without poles.
Nordic walking is a vigorous exercise. The reason is you are using far more muscles than you would use just by walking alone. This is also why we recommend that everyone warm up and warm down when doing Nordic Walking.
Nordic Walking combines cardiovascular exercise with a vigorous muscle workout for your shoulders, arms, core, and legs. When you walk without poles it activates mainly the muscles below your waist, but when you add Nordic walking poles to your walking it activates all the muscles of the upper body as well.
Walking with Nordic Walking poles will give you a much better workout than walking without poles. Nordic Walking is a great way to activate more muscles than you would by just going out for a walk.
Nordic Walking Helps Your Walking Posture
One of the most important things that Nordic walking does is help your posture. As you plant your Nordic walking poles behind you this helps keep your posture upright and your chest open.
The movements of Nordic Walking also include rotating your upper body. The rotation of the upper body helps release tension in your neck and shoulders. The use of the Nordic Walking poles reduces the impact walking can have on your joints.
I suffer from some bad knees. I have found with Nordic Walking my knees do not hurt and I’m able to go further with the poles than without the Nordic Walking poles. As I also spend a lot of time working at my desk I find that Nordic Walking helps release a lot of the tension in my neck and shoulders.
Nordic Walking Burns More Calories
One of the added benefits of Nordic walking is that you will burn more calories than regular walking. As you increase your Nordic Walking speed and intensity you will also burn more calories.
A person weighing 140 pounds (63 kilos) will burn about 200 calories on a regular walk. If that same person adds the Nordic Walking poles to their workout and walks at about the same pace, speed, and intensity, they will increase that calorie-burning rate to about 383 calories. That is an additional 183 calories.
If you want to estimate the number of calories you can burn Nordic Walking check out the Burn Calories website calculator. You put in your weight and the amount of time you will Nordic Walk and the website will automatically estimate the number of calories you will burn. Check out their calculator by clicking here.
Most people find that Nordic Walking allows them to go faster and further on their walks than walking without the poles. This will also help them to increase the number of calories they burn during their walks.
Nordic Walking Is Fun
Nordic Walking is not only good for you and your health, but it is a fun way to exercise. Many people use the poles in conjunction with hiking as they walk over unsteady ground.
One of the great ways to Nordic Walk is to find a group of like-minded people and walk with them. By walking with others you can push each other to go faster and further.
As Nordic Walking starts to become more popular, Nordic Walking groups are starting to pop up all over the world. Here are some places you can look for groups:
- International Nordic Walking Association – The International Nordic Walking Association or INWA is one of the main Nordic Walking Associations. On their website, they have a place where you can find INWA certified Nordic Walking Instructors. Visit the INWA website by clicking here.
- American Nordic Walking Association – There is an American Nordic Walking Association that is based out of Los Angeles California. You can find out more by going to their website by clicking here.
- Nordic Walking UK – If you are living in the UK, Nordic Walking UK also has a lot of information and programs for Nordic Walkers. You can find out more by visiting their website by clicking here.
- Bristol Nordic Walking – Bristol Nordic Walking in the UK also has a lot of information and weekly walks you can join. You can find out more by clicking here.
In answer to the question, if Nordic walking actually works, the answer is YES. Nordic Walking is a great exercise with many added health benefits. It is also fun to do. By simply adding the Nordic Walking poles to your regular walking routine you will add a lot of additional health benefits.
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Where Do I Buy Nordic Walking Poles?
Nordic Walking poles are calculated by your size and your stride. To buy the poles it is best if you can go into a shop that specializes in Nordic Walking poles and test out a few to see what size pole fits best for you.
If you are not able to do that you can check out these poles that are sold on Amazon. You should also get the rubber boot they have for the poles. as I have had them fall off or get lost and it is easier to use those on the pavement or if you are walking indoors. Find out more by clicking here.
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