If you’ve ever met a Nordic walker you’ll know that they are passionate about their chosen fitness activity and keen to spread the word. But with so many different types of exercise available, what makes Nordic walking so special?
Compared to the gym – I enjoy going to the gym but I know that many people don’t. First there’s the nightmare of knowing how to use the equipment; then there’s the agony of what you should be wearing and whether you’ll stand out like a sore thumb; and finally there’s the sheer boredom factor. An hour in the gym can drag interminably.
An hour of Nordic walking on the other hand flashes by in an instant. Plus there’s no need for any special kit (except the poles and you can always borrow those from us). And you are exercising your whole body – Nordic walking uses 90% of your skeletal muscles. In fact, it’s just like being on the gym cross-trainer except that you’re outdoors, enjoying the fresh air and scenery, and with people to chat to.
Compared to running – Running is a fabulous form of exercise if your body is up for it. Like Nordic walking it is a sociable, outdoors, weight bearing activity which helps keep your bones strong. However, whilst it might burn more calories than Nordic walking it can be harsh on your joints, jarring on your back, and terrible for your posture.
Nordic walking is a powerful calorie burning activity in its own right and can burn up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking when done correctly. It is also much kinder on your joints than running thanks to the addition of the poles. They help take the load off your joints, freeing them up to move more happily, especially when going downhill. A further benefit is that Nordic walking works your body’s postural muscles so that you walk tall and with good alignment, loading your body correctly.
Compared to cycling – Cycling is hugely popular at the moment and I have both a mountain bike and a road bike. However I no longer enjoy getting mucky from head to toe when out mountain biking and a few years ago I had a nasty fall whilst on my road bike – and I haven’t been on it since. Besides the muck and the danger when out on roads from wet leaves, pot holes, ice, and thoughtless road users, cycling isn’t actually that ‘slenderising’ for someone like me who holds their chunk on their trunk. I want to slim my thighs down not bulk them up. Plus I want a weight bearing, upper-body strengthening activity, neither of which cycling offers.
Nordic walking was recently specifically recommended by Public Health England as a muscle and bone strengthening and balancing activity. Its weightbearing nature and the added resistance provided by the poles helps improve bone health and strength. Plus the Nordic walking technique encourages the gentle rotation of your spine which boosts blood flow and nourishment the whole way down and strengthens the supporting muscles.
Compared to walking – Nordic walking is simply and enhanced form of ordinary walking. The addition of the poles helps build your upper body and core strength as well as accelerating you forwards. It makes walking more energetic (burning lots more calories) but at the same time the two supporting poles provide stability, giving you confidence when walking over rough ground or going downhill. It also teaches the mechanics of correct walking. Most people have never given much thought to how their feet should roll from the heel, through the mid-foot and off the toes, nor the value of lifting their chest and lengthening their spine as they walk. Nordic walking teaches all this and more.
So come and try it and then you can see for yourself what the fuss is all about. Call Ros on 07886 885213 for an informal chat or email us.