There are many different types of fitness walking. There’s race walking, power walking and one you may not be familiar with. It’s called Nordic Walking. It may be your new favorite fitness activity.
What is Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking is actually known by a number of different names. It’s also called pole walking, ski walking and Nordic ski walking. It actually started when Nordic skiers were looking for a way to train during the summer months. They took to the streets and trails with their cross country poles.
Nordic walking uses poles. Instead of swinging your arms like you might do when you jog or walk quickly, Nordic walkers swing their poles. Each step forward is met with the opposite arm and pole coming forward. The pole touches the ground and extends back behind you. It’s a fantastic way to burn calories and increase your cardiovascular health and fitness.
In a variation of the opposing arm and foot method you can also bring both arms and both poles forward with each step. Because Nordic walking embraces active arm movements it can burn more calories than regular walking. It’s also easier on joints than some forms of walking. If you’re new to walking for fitness, consider trying Nordic walking.
Getting Started Nordic Walking
There are two essential pieces of equipment for Nordic walking. The first piece of equipment you’ll want to invest in are your poles. You can purchase a standard pair of walking poles at any walking or fitness store. They also carry them at many outdoor retailers. Walking poles come either fixed or adjustable. Consider purchasing adjustable to make sure you get the proper fit.
Nordic walking poles come with rubber tips. This makes them more durable and lessens the impact when they hit the ground. It also makes it a more dynamic movement when you push off from the ground with them.
The other piece of equipment you’ll need are good shoes. You want shoes that offer cushioning and stability. If you’re going to be walking on trails rather than sidewalks consider getting trail walking shoes. They’ll provide more traction.
As with any new fitness program it’s recommended that you start slowly. If you’re new to walking you may want to walk for only a few minutes or a mile the first few times you head out. Walking every day is the goal so make sure you don’t push so hard that you need to take a rest day. Gradually as your fitness improves you will add time and distance to your walk. Consider combining a Nordic walking fitness program with more activity and regular walking.
Nordic walking is a great way to get outside, lose weight and get in shape. It’s easy to do and requires very little technique or skill. Anyone can Nordic walk. Start enjoying the benefits today.