Learn The Health Benefits Of Nordic Walking

Updated: Nov 8

The four most significant forms of physical activity


Exercises that focus on strengthening your muscles, extending your muscles, maintaining your balance, and getting your heart rate up can keep you flexible, active, and feeling wonderful. It is vital to maintaining a healthy body. However, we have a propensity to confine ourselves to just one or two distinct sorts of activities. In point of fact, we need to all be engaging in physical activities such as aerobics, stretching, strengthening, and balancing exercises.


If you are seeking for a kind of exercise that allows you to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, Nordic walking could be precisely what you need.

The increased walking method known as Nordic Walking involves the use of poles to engage the upper body in addition to the lower body during workouts. It provides you with a whole body exercise that is quite efficient yet doesn't feel like one at all! Nordic Walking is a pleasant and sociable exercise that can be done throughout the year in town centers or out in the open countryside.


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Now picture yourself in your own area, imitating the action of cross-country skiing by using poles to propel yourself forward as you walk down a path or sidewalk. This will give you a sense of what it would be like to really go skiing. This kind of walking is known as Nordic walking. It was at first conceived as a summer training regimen for cross-country skiers to follow. As a kind of physically beneficial activity, Nordic walking has quickly become popular all over the globe.


The origins of Nordic walking can be traced back to another kind of exercise that is more generally known as ski-striding. Ski-striding was a form of training that was performed during the off-season and helped individuals get more acclimated to skiing. In order to maintain fitness during the off-season, cross-country skiers in Finland were the first to make this into a year-round pastime. It is common knowledge that they are the fittest athletes in the whole globe. This is the location where the terms "Nordic walking" and "Pole walking" were first used appropriately. In 1997, the general public was given access to the first official Nordic walker ski poles. Since then, the sport has become the leisure fitness activity with the quickest expansion rate everywhere in the globe, and many millions of people participate in it. The straightforward nature of walking is married to a core and upper body fitness routine that is analogous to that of Nordic skiing in Nordic walking, making it a real whole-body workout. You will get a workout for your whole body if you do this.


AEROBICS

Aerobic exercise, which quickens both your heart rate and breathing rate, is essential for the functioning of many aspects of the body. Your heart and lungs get a good exercise, and your endurance will develop as a result. If walking up one flight of stairs leaves you too breathless to continue, this is a solid indication that you need more aerobic exercise to help condition your heart and lungs and provide enough blood to your muscles to help them operate effectively.

Aerobic exercise helps relax the walls of blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also lowers inflammation, which in turn boosts mood, and raises levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol. In conjunction with a reduction in body mass, this may also help bring down levels of the harmful LDL cholesterol. Aerobic exercise lowers your chance of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls during the course of a person's lifetime.


What are some of the reasons why Nordic walking has garnered so much attention? It has taken a step toward conventional fitness walking or jogging to a new level by making the upper body do its job in addition to the lower body. This enables the body to burn up to fifty percent more calories without having to walk faster or for a longer period of time. The method can be picked up in a matter of minutes, and it doesn't take very long to become skilled at it.


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The use of Nordic walking to improve one's fitness and endurance comes with a myriad of advantages, including but not limited to the following:


When compared to conventional walking, speed walking results in a heart rate that is around 13% higher, which is anything from 5-17 beats higher. This results in improved cardiovascular health. According to research, it only takes around four weeks of Nordic walking to see improvements in one's cardiovascular fitness.


The ability of Nordic walking to lower blood pressure was shown in a research on overweight women; nevertheless, the results were only comparable to those of regular walking. Additionally, it has been shown that postmenopausal women who engage in Nordic walking have improvements in their resting blood sugar levels. This is an essential factor in the prevention of diabetes and also contributes to an improvement in the blood cholesterol levels.

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Burns around 400 calories per hour, which is much more than conventional walking, which only burns approximately 280 calories per hour. Researchers have known since 1995 that Nordic walking burns more calories than traditional walking does. In point of fact, they discovered that it burnt anywhere from 18% more calories than regular walking did. Since these results have been validated by a large number of subsequent research, it has been hypothesized that Nordic walking would be an effective type of physical activity for those who are interested in reducing their body fat percentage. According to the findings of one research carried out in Italy, overweight individuals lost more weight when they participated in Nordic walking as opposed to regular walking. Even though Nordic walking may not burn more calories than other, more strenuous types of exercise, like as jogging, it can be an excellent low-impact workout choice, or it can be a method to improve the benefits of your regular daily walks.


WORKOUTS THAT BUILD MUSCLE

As we become older, our muscular mass tends to decrease. Resistance exercise helps to build it back up. Strength training on a regular basis can make you feel more competent of doing day-to-day activities such as carrying groceries, gardening, and lifting bigger things around the home, which will in turn boost your confidence. Strength training will assist you in standing up from a chair, getting up off the floor, and climbing stairs, among other benefits.

Muscle strengthening not only makes you stronger but also helps to accelerate bone development, decrease blood sugar levels, aid with weight management, improve balance and posture, and relieves tension and discomfort in the lower back and joints.


Your upper body strength will develop as a result of the increased engagement of your arms and shoulders that is provided by Nordic walking as opposed to conventional walking. According to research, not only does Nordic walking boost hand grip strength, but it also increases muscular activation in the shoulders.


Upper-body strength, especially the power of your grip, is crucial for many of the activities that we perform on a daily basis, from carrying our groceries to filling the kettle with water. Increasing the strength of your muscles is another key step in the process of helping to avoid injury. This is because increasing muscular strength helps to stabilize the joints and protects them while moving in a way that causes impact, such as carrying heavy shopping bags.


Because the back and the joints in the lower body are subjected to less stress, the likelihood of damage is reduced. When you walk with poles, your weight is distributed across your arms and torso, which puts less pressure on your back, knees, and hips than when you walk without them. In theory, this ought to be able to reduce the amount of back discomfort you experience when walking and also boost your general endurance.


On the other hand, the evidence is contradictory; although some studies suggest that Nordic walking helps alleviate lower back discomfort and impact on the knees, others demonstrate that it is not more beneficial than regular walking.


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Because it redistributes your weight to a certain extent, Nordic walking may be beneficial to you if you have discomfort in your lower back, hips, or knees. If this is the case, you should try it. But before you give it a go, you should talk about it with your primary care physician first, and you should stop if the discomfort continues to bother you even while you're using the poles. The lateral movement of the neck and spine is greatly improved, which releases the tension in the muscles that are located in these particular locations.

When it comes to ascending hills and other terrain with a change in elevation, the poles assist you in moving up and along more effortlessly.


STRETCHING

Stretching helps to keep your flexibility in check. When we are younger and our muscles are in better shape, we often fail to recognize this fact. On the other hand, becoming older causes the muscles and tendons to become less flexible. The muscles get shortened and lose their normal function. This not only makes it more difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks like bending down to tie your shoes or experiencing muscular cramps and soreness, but it also raises the chance of experiencing muscle injury, strains, joint pain, and falling.

In a similar manner, consistently stretching the muscles causes them to get longer and more flexible, which results in an increase in range of motion as well as a reduction in discomfort and the risk of injury.


Walking in a Nordic direction, as opposed to walking in a conventional manner, may help you reach your destination more quickly. In point of fact, a study shown that in comparison to standard walking, Nordic walking resulted in an increase in average walking speed of up to 25%. When you walk at a quicker pace, you burn more calories than when you walk at a slower pace. Therefore, if you went for a 30-minute Nordic walk, you would be able to go farther and burn more calories than you could on a typical stroll. This is because Nordic walking involves walking with poles instead of your feet.


It would seem that there are several benefits to engaging in Nordic walking. People who dislike other forms of exercise, such as jogging, may find that this one is particularly beneficial to them. Nevertheless, you are still interested in doing anything more strenuous than brisk walking.


Balance and coordination are improved with Nordic walking. Unfortunately, as we become older, our chances of tripping and falling while we are walking increase dramatically. This is mostly attributable to a decline in muscular strength, concerns with balance, and difficulties with the manner in which we walk. When you do Nordic walking, you put your poles into the ground at the same time as you're utilizing your legs, which is one of the benefits of the activity. Your balance will improve as a result, and you will be less likely to fall as a result of this.


BALANCE

Improving your balance makes you feel more stable while you're walking and may help keep you from falling down. As we become older, the systems that help us keep balance, such as our eyesight, our inner ear, and the leg muscles and joints, tend to wear down. Because of this, it is particularly vital that we pay attention to this as we get older. The good news is that you may help avoid and even reverse these deficits by training your balance.

Exercises that concentrate on maintaining balance, such as tai chi and yoga, are taught in a number of senior centers and gyms. Even if you don't think you have balance issues, it's never too early to start this kind of exercise since its benefits may be seen immediately.

You might also see a physical therapist, who will assess your existing balancing skills and provide particular exercises that are geared at strengthening the areas in which you are lacking. This is particularly important to keep in mind if you've ever fallen or come close to falling, or if you suffer from a fear of falling.


In point of fact, one research shown that individuals who participated in a Nordic walking training program for a period of three weeks saw significant improvements in their balance, even while walking without the use of poles. It should come as no surprise that Nordic walking is recommended by public health officials as a means of enhancing balance in elderly individuals.


In comparison to regular walking, Nordic walking places a greater emphasis on the use of the core muscles, especially those found in the back and abdomen. A stronger engagement of the core muscles leads to a strengthening of those muscles, which in turn may lead to an improvement in posture. Gaining strength in the abdominal region may not only enhance your mobility but also your sense of balance.

Nordic Walking is a really whole-body workout that combines the ease of walking with the strengthening of the core and upper body that is comparable to that which is achieved via Nordic skiing. You will get a workout for your whole body if you do this.


Nordic walking, which uses poles that have been modified in a specific way, is proving to be a full-body workout that is suitable for people of varying fitness levels. This type of walking can be used for rehabilitative purposes as well as for relaxing, weight management, or increasing aerobic capacity. When participating in a Nordic walking sport, it is important to choose poles that are not just any poles. Here are some pointers to consider while shopping for Nordic poles to meet your unique requirements:


The poles have to be strong, but they also need to be lightweight enough to transport easily.

It is important that the grips be both pleasant and replaceable.

The "paws" of asphalt are more effective in absorbing stress and gripping the surface.

Straps have a unique shape that makes it simpler to transmit both power and weight between participants.

When determining the height or length of these poles, it is important to keep the elbows perpendicular to the poles while holding them by the grip and placing the tip on the ground.


NORDIC WALKING WILL DO ALL THIS FOR YOU

Aim for a total of 150 minutes of exercise each week at a moderate level


Do you think you would like Nordic Walking?


If you can walk, you can Nordic Walk! It really is for everybody and everyone. Due to the fact that the poles allow both the upper and lower body to contribute equally to the activity, it seems to be easier than regular walking, especially while going uphill. People with mobility concerns or those recuperating from sickness or injury may find Nordic walking to be highly beneficial since it puts less pressure on the joints than other types of exercise and because it may be quite effective. In addition to that, it is an excellent workout for toning problem regions including the upper arms and the abdomen muscles.

  • If you haven't exercised in a while or if you don't enjoy playing conventional sports or going to the gym, this is the perfect activity for you.

  • If you have had an accident in the past, using the poles to support and direct you as you try to improve your fitness as part of your rehabilitation may be of great assistance.

  • It is an excellent tool for athletes to use while preparing for cross-country races.

  • It makes staying active in a social setting possible for community organizations.

  • In addition to this, it is an excellent choice if you are trying to reduce your weight.

  • You may start enjoying the advantages of Nordic Walking at any age, from 8 years old and up to over 80 years old, and it will enhance the quality of your life.

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DISCLAIMER

Please note that none of the information presented on this website, regardless of when it was last updated, should ever be regarded as a replacement for the direct medical advice provided by your primary care physician or another licensed clinician.