Nordic Walking – its effects on health

Discover the benefits of Nordic Walking training and start walking! Not only will you lose weight in the blink of an eye, but you’ll also gain a lot more. Other training won’t give you that.

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Nordic walking is a walk with poles that looks a bit like cross-country skiing. It was invented by a group of Finnish doctors and athletes in the 1920s. It can be learned in a few minutes and grown all year round. The only equipment needed is special poles.

What are the benefits of Nordic Walking training?

For such an undemanding sport, there are quite a few! Learn about them and convince yourself of this activity.

1. Strengthens the muscles of the entire body

Only the legs and buttocks work during normal walking. When walking with poles, 650 are active, that is 90% of the muscles of the whole body.

2. It saves the joints

Knees are subjected to heavy loads when jogging or walking intensively without poles. But when you walk with poles, the pressure on the joints is 5-10kg less than when you walk without them.

3. It relaxes shoulder and neck muscles

Shoulder and neck muscles are tight from stress or sitting at a desk for long periods of time. They cause you to suffer from migraines or clench your jaw while you sleep! The movement of the arms during Nordic walking helps to eliminate excessive muscle tension.

4. Improves posture

Nordic walking is often recommended for people with spinal deformities, as it strengthens the back muscles and relieves back pain.

5. Thanks to this, you will quickly lose unnecessary weight

By walking with sticks, we burn 20-25% more calories than during a regular walk (up to 400 kcal per hour).

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6. It improves efficiency and body condition

Research has shown that during Nordic walking, we supply the body with 20 to 58% more oxygen than during traditional brisk walking.

7. Strengthens the heart

It not only strengthens the heart, but it also reduces high blood pressure and lowers the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. This is an invaluable benefit to your health!

8. Regulates blood sugar

This is a very important element in the prevention of diabetes. By walking with sticks, you can protect yourself from this disease!

9. Improves motor coordination

Older people feel more confident walking with poles on slippery and uneven ground. When practicing Nordic walking, you also develop deep muscles, which are responsible for maintaining an upright posture and balance (even in very difficult conditions).

What is the Nordic Walking technique?

In short, it is: to push yourself off the ground with your poles! The poles are placed diagonally, not vertically. When the right leg is extended forward, the stick held in the left hand is carried forward and vice versa. The tip of the stick rests on the ground, then, while working with the arms, push it back.

The longer the stick is in contact with the ground, the more effective the walk. The correctly executed movement should be both harmonious and dynamic.

In the final phase of the push, the hand opens and grabs the stick again as it is carried forward. The hands cannot be clenched all the time!

The use of sticks moves the body forward slightly and straightens it. The upper torso should be slightly inclined. Alternating arm work, poles close to the torso, and pacing the walk are other tips to follow to make walking not only enjoyable but effective.

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You can learn more about the technique of walking with sticks from the material to which the link is provided at the end of the material.

Special poles

Nordic walking poles have special straps. They cover your hand and allow you to open it without losing the pole. The straps are fixed with Velcro, which allows you to adjust them to different hand sizes.

The tips of the sticks are quite sharp, so you can put them on a natural surface. To move along the alleys of the city (asphalt, concrete, cobblestones, etc.), rubber pads are put on the ends. They are cut at an angle so that the largest possible surface of the rubber touches the ground and the stick does not slip.

The length of the sticks should be 70% of the height of the body so that the elbows are bent at right angles.

There are also many conversion factors in the literature that, when multiplied by the height, calculate the correct club length. And yes:

  • in the case of recreational walkers, it’s a factor of 0.66;
  • in the case of more athletic people, it is 0.68.

Who can practice Nordic Walking?

The great advantage of this form of exercise is the absence of contraindications to training. The elderly, people with health problems, and even pregnant women can do it without fear.

Walking with poles is certainly better than regular walking, because it is more dynamic and strengthens not only the muscles of the thighs, lower legs, and buttocks, but also the muscles of the upper body – arms, chest, shoulders, and abdomen – are involved.

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