Is Nordic Walking Better than Just Walking?

older woman

Is Nordic Walking Better than Just Walking?
by Zandra Jones

Nordic Walking is a form of walking that originated in Europe and has become widely popularized in Finland. After cross crountry skiers ended their training during the winter months, they begin walking with their ski poles in the off season. After a while, more and more people began to take on this form of walking exercise. It is a walking exercise that is done by using correct size walking poles which are similar to ski poles that are professionally sized to fit your height. When done correctly, the benefits of this form of walking are enormous.

Nordic Pole Walking is a total body workout that combines the effects of walking and running while taking in the advantages of cross country skiing. Researchers have found that this form of walking exercise burns up to 40% more calories than just walking or slow jugging alone. You get a great cardiac aerobic workout and the best part is that you get a better workout without exerting more energy. Other added benefits of Nordic pole walking is that is puts less pressure on the lower back, ankles, hips and knees and provides more stability and balance while walking.

The specially designed nordic poles helps work the upper body and lower body for a total body workout. These poles when designed correctly should put your elbows at 90% when strapped in your hands. If you get nordic poles that are too short, they will put added stress on your back. If the poles are too long, this will cause you to lean back on your heels which causes stress on the ankles. That is why it is important to get poles of correct length to provide proper walking posture.

Nordic walking is certainly not a new form of exercise because it very popular in Europe but it is just now catching on in the United States. It is also known as Nordic Pole Walking because of the visualization of ski walking then just Nordic walking like it is called in Europe. There are now coaches and instructors that are trained especially for this type of walking exercise. You can also buy nordic equipment to get the best fitting pole for your height and walking experience.

Before starting any exercise program please talk with your doctor. Walking can provide so many health benefits that are too numerous to list. Not only will you feel better but you will feel stronger and more relaxed. People even tell me they sleep better. If you doctor has never heard of Nordic walking, there are many online resources about the subject. Even though Nordic Walking is not new in Europe, will this walking craze catch on
in the US.

Copyright 2006 Zandra Jones, RN BBA writes about health related issues and alternative treatment. Learn more about Nordic Walking.


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