Nordic walking is reckoned to be the fastest growing activity in the world – 10 million people are estimated to participate regularly.
You could describe the sport as rambling for the 21st century, since it’s a great way to get out in the countryside and forests (like this one, courtesy of Ramblers Worldwide Holidays). Having said that, many Nordic walkers are just as happy going around their local park or neighbourhood.
So how is Nordic walking different from normal walking? Well, participants use specifically designed poles to stimulate fitness in parts of their body in addition to their legs.
Lightweight and thin in design, Nordic walking poles are similar to ski poles, though they are around a foot longer than their Alpine cousins.
Through the use of poles, Nordic walkers workout their chest, lats, triceps, biceps, shoulders, abdominals, and other core muscles more intensely than if they were walking normally.
Experts have determined Nordic walkers burn of 40 per cent more energy, and increase upper body muscle endurance by 38 per cent in just 12 weeks.
In short, compared with regular walking, Nordic walking can burn more calories, provide a good aerobic workout and reduce stress on knee joints.
Having the correct technique and length of poles is essential to getting the most out of the sport. There are lots of cheesy tutorials on the web. Below is one of the more down-to-earth and informative ones.
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