You might ask “Why try Nordic Walking?”. Well, why not? It is a great all over workout and as it is not generally a high intensity sport (unless you want it to be) it is ideal for everyone. There are also so many benefits.
Everyone knows that being physically active is good for us, especially as we get older. However, there is so much advice around that it’s difficult to know what activity is best for us.
The NHS Walking for Health article describes walking as “simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier”, and it is right. Walking is good but Nordic Walking is different.
What is the difference between Nordic Walking and walking?
You could say that one uses poles and the other doesn’t. That would be too simplistic though. The poles change things significantly. Firstly, they add the upper body to the exercise. The effect is to use more muscles, increase cardiovascular activity and improve posture.
Don’t believe us? Why not take a look at the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines for advice. This includes Nordic Walking and it fairs well against other activities.
If you don’t fancy reading the entire document, we have summarised the Nordic Walking bit in a separate post.
Nordic Walking is fun
“One of the most pleasant exercises I’ve tried”Stuart Heritage, The Guardian
This quote is from an article we found in The Guardian, that discusses Nordic Walking. It is absolutely right. Nordic Walking is a pleasant exercise. It’s easy to do and has many benefits. It can also be great fun, especially if you walk in a group like Strolls with Poles.
Strolls with Poles changes Nordic Walking from just exercise to an enjoyable social experience. We try to visit interesting and beautiful places and enjoy refreshments in local establishments, as well as providing exercise and instruction on technique.
What are the risks and benefits of Nordic Walking?
Are there any risks?
Well there is certainly a risk of getting fitter and enjoying yourself on the journey.
This is a low impact exercise. So, the risks associated are low. If you get it a bit wrong, you might trip over your poles or hit your foot with the end of the pole. Other than that, there are no more risks than there are with walking.
What are the benefits?
There are some great benefits of Nordic Walking. Many are documented but several are less tangible. There are obviously the physical benefits of getting some relatively easy and low impact exercise. Also, there is the aspect of getting outside in the fresh air and, if we are lucky enough to have a sunny day, increased vitamin D.
Age related benefits
Age related benefits are clear. As we get older, balance, muscle strength and bones tend to get weaker. Nordic Walking aids balance and improves posture, which no doubt leads to even more benefits. More muscle groups are used in Nordic Walking, resulting in improved muscle strength.
If you are an older lady, this article provides some good information on the benefits.
Rehabilitation from injury or illness can be difficult and getting back to exercising can be challenging. Nordic Walking can be your new exercise or even a stepping stone to get back to more strenuous exercise.
Physically, the poles assist balance and posture, allowing you to exercise for longer. This allows a slow, low impact, build up in exercise.
Many exercises are intense, require a team or are time limited by venue. Nordic walking is like walking and running, in the respect that it is generally done outside, does not require supervision or a team and the person doing the exercise determines how long they will do it for. Typically, we would be walking for between 2 and 5 hours, depending on the length of the walk.
The social benefit can be the greatest benefit for many people. Groups of Nordic Walkers tend to be like minded people and often get on together well. There is no rivalry. We are all just out to enjoy ourselves, while getting fit or keeping fit.
If you have difficulty getting out or are nervous about walking alone, then Nordic Walking could be for you. Generally, our groups support each other and stick together, more like a friends outing than an exercise class.
Is it for me?
Nordic Walking is for everyone. However, as with any physical activity, there are some limitations. All the same, the simplicity and low reliance of exercise equipment, means that it can be adapted in many ways.
If you want to try it, look out for our training sessions. These training sessions provide you with all you need to know about Nordic Walking. You can even borrow poles, just to try it out. No need to buy poles before you decide it it is for you. Alternatively, if you can’t come to a training session, you can come on a walk and get some basic training before everyone else turns up.
Why not give it a go?
Strolls with Poles – Nordic Walking for Fun and Fitness