Nordic walking is a form of aerobic walking using modified ski poles. It is a form of walking gaining popularity in the United States because Nordic walking burns up to 40% more calories without having to increase speed or distance.
If you hit the hiking trails, you will often see people using Nordic poles on the paths.
The poles provide stability and create less pressure on the knees while walking. Many people with damaged knees benefit from Nordic walking.
According to an article in Health Magazine, Michele Olson PhD is quoted saying that “walking with poles at a somewhat vigorous pace can provide a cardio challenge similar to running at 6 mph with less impact on your knees.”
Wikipedia states that Nordic walking “started as a way of exercising during the summer in Nordic Europe. Nordic Walking was first developed in Finland by Cross Country Skiers, who are considered the most fit athletes in the world, as part of their summer training. Nordic Walking combines the positive training effects of running combined with the advantages of cross-country skiing.”
In many ways, Nordic walking resembles the elliptical machines found in most fitness gyms.
Nordic walking involves arm motion as well as leg motion. It increases balance, focus and of course, fat burn. For a fraction of the cost of an elliptical machine, you can get a total body workout plus breathe fresh air as you workout in the great outdoors.
Nordic walking offers more bang for your effort over normal walking.
However, don’t make the mistake that Nordic walking is easy. Nordic walking is s a demanding workout for the total body and involves applying pressure with your poles to the ground. Because you are making use of your shoulders and upper arms to create pressure in pushing off and down again, you are engaging your upper and lower abdomen as well as your back to complete the motions.
The benefits of Nordic walking are that it is a great cardio workout that builds body strength, endurance and muscle tone. So if you’re looking to get a total body workout in the least amount of time, give Nordic walking a try.