Put a pair of walking poles in your hands, and Nordic walking can turn a basic trek into a full-body workout! This sport originated in Finland in the 1930s and has gained popularity around the globe. Listed below are some health benefits of Nordic walking poles.
Nordic walking originated as out-of-season training for cross-country skiers. The poles resemble ski poles, and you mimic movements used by cross-country skiers. Walking this way taps into more than 90% of the muscles in your body, providing you with a full-body workout.
Benefits of Nordic Walking Poles
The most significant benefit of using Nordic walking poles is the full-body workout they provide. Walking is a fabulous type of exercise, but it only targets the muscles in your core and legs.
Using Nordic poles to push off the ground and propel yourself forward works your upper body, giving you a full-body workout.
You engage your upper body, arms (forearms and triceps), shoulders (including deltoids), back (for posture), and chest (such as pecs) muscles while also using your lower body and core muscles
which are necessary for walking.
Using the power of walking exercises and adding extra resistance to regular walking, allows you to burn more calories and get a more complete workout than with traditional walking. The use of poles improves your balance, stability, coordination, and posture.
Nordic Pole Walking – Low-Impact Exercise
You will notice that I frequently include low-impact exercise in my posts. I do this, because I want you to be aware that you can get plenty of exercise without being a full-fledged fitness buff.
Nordic walking poles provide an excellent low-impact exercise option that almost anyone can use. It puts less stress on your joints, which makes it an ideal activity for those with joint pain, injuries, or arthritis.
The poles distribute the weight of your body, placing less stress placed on your ankles, knees, and hips. This makes Nordic walking an ideal exercise for people of all ages and all fitness levels.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
There are so many things you can do to increase the health of your heart and circulatory system. Nordic walking is one of them.
It is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. When you use the poles, you get lots of upper body exercise, which increases your oxygen intake and your heart rate. This strengthens your heart and lungs, increases endurance, helps to lower blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, and reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Increases Your Metabolism
Compared to regular walking, studies show that Nordic pole walking exercise burns around 46% more calories than walking without poles. This makes Nordic pole walking exercise an effective weight loss tool.
Reduces Anxiety and Depression
Nordic walking is an excellent stress-relieving activity. It can improve your mood, and overall well-being.
Physical activity can be a stress reducer, as well as going outside in the fresh air. Researchers suggest that by spending time in green space and nature you can reduce stress that is tied to many health problems.
Walking exercise promotes relaxation and releases feel good endorphins, which help reduce stress. It is an excellent option for individuals looking to improve their overall health.
Improves Posture and Balance
Using Nordic walking poles can help to improve your posture. When used correctly, the poles require walkers to maintain good posture and balance. This helps align your spine and reduces strain on your back muscles.
The poles offer added stability and encourage you to walk in an upright position. This can help to reduce back pain, improve your overall balance, and reduce the risk of falls.
Research with cardiac patients in a rehabilitation group found that three-weeks of Nordic walking led to increased coordination.
They Are Versatile
Nordic walking poles are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of settings. The tips can be adapted for the terrain you walk on. A pointed tip for walking in nature, and a rubber tip
for walking on sidewalks and pavement. They can be used on flat surfaces, hills, or even in snow.
Walking with Nordic walking poles allows you to cruise along at a faster pace without getting fatigued. Going farther, allows you to enjoy more scenery as well!
Science supports the evidence. There are many benefits of Nordic walking poles. They provide a full-body workout, are low-impact exercise, improve your cardiovascular health, and reduce stress. Using Nordic poles when walking increases your metabolism for increased calorie burn.
A study published in the European Journal of Sport Science found that Nordic pole walking exercise improves posture and balance in elderly individuals. It allows you to walk faster, with more stability and enjoy the scenery.
So, if you are looking to add a new exercise to your fitness routine, why not consider getting a pair of Nordic poles and go take a hike! They are an excellent option to consider.
How to Walk with Nordic Poles
Get the Right Equipment
There are poles specially designed for this activity. They have a wrist strap to help you maintain proper grip and technique. You can purchase these poles from local sporting goods stores or online.
Learn the Technique
Watch some YouTubes or get a trainer to show you how it is done. Nordic walking poles require a specific technique that involves using the poles to push off the ground as you propel yourself forward. It is paramount to learn the technique to get the most from your workout.
A Tip: the poles remain by your side and are angled back. Touch the ground mid-way between your two feet as you step. The idea is to gently plant the pole and push or propel yourself forward – using just a small propulsion. Your right arm swings forward as you step with your left foot, and vice versa.
If you are new to this sport, begin gradually. Start with a short walk around the neighborhood, and gradually increase your distance and speed as your fitness increases.
Create a Daily Routine
You could easily incorporate this activity into your daily routine as a stand-alone activity or use it as a warm-up before other exercises. Aim to use your Nordic walking poles for at least 30-minute sessions, three to four times a week.
Monitor Your Progress
As with your entire fitness routine, it is a good idea to track your progress. Track distance, time, and speed to see how you are progressing.
Nordic Walking Pole Exercise
With the right equipment, technique, and routine, you can find all the benefits of Nordic walking poles!
Disclaimer: If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.