Walking is one of the easiest and simplest ways to improve your fitness and health. All you need is a good pair of shoes and somewhere to walk. Walking can be great for your health; done correctly it works nearly all of your major muscle groups, increases your heart rate and can even boost your mood. A daily walk could reduce your risk of all sorts of health problems, including diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and arthritis.
“Nordic Walking burns more calories … but it doesn´t feel any harder.”
Taking walking a step (ahem 🙂 further, Nordic Walking involves using walking poles and a special walking technique to increase the value of your walking workouts. Nordic Walking can help you to get fitter faster and to burn more calories, whilst while putting less stress on your joints. According to some studies, because you’re using many more muscles, Nordic Walking burns up to 40% more calories than normal walking. However, it doesn´t feel any harder.
“…using the poles means you can lose more weight and go further and faster. “
If you’re already a regular walker and you want to increase the benefits of your walking sessions, or if you’ve never walked for fitness and would like help in getting started, Nordic Walking could be for you. It involves using poles to support and propel you as you walk. It engages more muscles than normal walking and spreads the effort between your upper and lower body, resulting in greater calorie burn and a “whole-body” workout, without noticeable increase in the perception of effort. In effect, using the poles means you can lose more weight and go further and faster than usual, without feeling that you are working harder.
“…particularly good if you are very overweight… also useful cross-training for regular runners and cyclists.”
Walking with poles helps you to feel lighter on your feet and takes the pressure off your ankles, knees and hips. It´s particularly good if you are very overweight or have a lower-limb injury, such as arthritis or a “dodgy” knee or ankle, but it can also be useful cross-training for regular runners and cyclists. (More and more ultra-runners are using poles in races, to delay the onset of fatigue.) Because you can go at your own pace, Nordic walking is suitable for anyone of any age or fitness level.
You’ll need to learn the Nordic Walking technique from a qualified instructor and it’s a great idea to join a Nordic Walking group, where you can meet new friends and get regular support from your instructor. There is a bit of a learning curve to mastering the correct technique, but once you´ve got the hang of it walking will never seem the same again!
Nordic Walking is one of the activities offered on some of our fitness and weight-loss holidays. Drop us a line for details.