What is Nordic Walking?
Nordic Walking as a training tool has been around for decades, used by competitive cross-country skiers to maintain upper body strength and endurance in the off season. The active use of the upper body that makes Nordic Walking a necessity for cross-country athletes also makes it perfect for anyone looking to improve their fitness or maintain a high level of fitness.
Nordic Walking for fitness is more a concept than a specific activity; the idea being that if you include the upper body through use of Nordic Walking poles you will get a better workout. Nordic Walking can be: hiking up your favorite mountain, walking on the beach, exploring ski trails in the summer, taking a Nordic fitness class, or walking through your local park. The key to Nordic Walking is the specially designed pole that allows for the active use of the upper body.
Why Nordic Walking?
Cross-Country skiing is one of the most demanding activities for both recreational and competitive skiers alike. Nordic athletes have shown greater physiological capacities than athletes in any other endurance sport. Why? Cross-country skiing, unlike running, walking, cycling or hiking requires extensive use of upper as well as lower body muscles. Nordic Walking therefore also sees its greater physiological benefits through a more active use of the upper body.
The benefits of Nordic Walking include:
Increased upper body strength and endurance
Increased heart and lung capacity
Increased Heart Rate without increased perceived exertion
20% higher metabolic rate which equals 400kcal/hour versus 280kcal/hour for walking
30% decreased stress on weight bearing joints
Better support and balance on slippery surfaces and rough terrain
Whether you are beginning an exercise program looking to drop a few pounds and improve your health, or you are a high level athlete seeking a new cross-training activity; Nordic Walking offers benefits that few other activities can match!