What Is Nordic Walking
Nordic walking is a full-body version of fitness walking where you’re holding a pole in each hand to ensure you’re using all your upper and lower body muscles. As its name suggests, it originated from Finland. Today, both athletes and normal people practice it because of its many proven health benefits.
1. It’s Less About Speed, and More About Technique
Since you’ll be walking using poles, this will require your upper and lower body to move simultaneously. That way, you will be burning up to 46% more calories in comparison to regular walking. So, it’s important to focus on mastering the technique instead of trying to walk as fast as you can with the poles.
2. Everyone Can Benefit from It
The great thing about Nordic walking is that it can help both beginners and pros. No matter if you’re looking to burn some calories without doing cardio or need a smooth return-to-fitness regime, this practice is the solution. It’s easy on people with aching joints, backs, and necks, and it can greatly improve posture in a non-invasive way.
3. What’s the Proper Nordic Walking Technique
The most important thing in Nordic walking is understanding the difference between walking around with poles and getting an effective workout done. That difference is called technique. It’s important to practice beforehand:
- Start by walking naturally, relax your arms and shoulders.
- Grab the pole handles, but don’t squeeze them. Use the straps so you can relax your grip (much like with ski poles).
- Lean forward and try to land on the heel of your foot with each step, then roll through and push off on your toes.
- Release the pole after each strike, and keep your arms straight while you’re doing it (like in the picture above).
4. Aim for Longer Walks
Don’t try to rush your education into Nordic walking. Build your way up to longer walks, but start small until you master the technique and the movement begins to come naturally to you.
5. Getting the Right Poles Is Essential
There’s no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to walking poles. It’s important that your hand can grip the poles with your elbow at a 90-degree angle, so it’s a good idea to search for adjustable options. Finding a quick-release strap should also be a priority on your list.