Living with Parkinson’s

Keeping active is essential for people living with Parkinson’s. It can help you manage your symptoms and slow their progression. Nordic Walking is an exercise that can help with this and provide other valuable benefits too. As an exercise it is both safe and sociable. You can join a local Nordic Walking group or find an instructor to work with your local Parkinson’s group. No wonder it’s becoming so popular.

Why Nordic Walking is an effective and enjoyable exercise for people with Parkinson’s 

Nordic Walking is a valuable exercise tool for people with Parkinson’s because it: 

  • Enhances a natural walking style enabling you to maintain your stride and posture, and your confidence in walking.
  • Maintains neuroplasticity of your brain and positively challenges your coordination.
  • Give you stability through the use of specially designed poles and the correct Nordic Walking technique.
  • Improves both upper body and lower body strength, as well as increasing bone density.
  • Boosts cardiovascular and general fitness.
  • Gives you the chance to enjoy the fresh air and the sociability of being in a group.

Nordic walking is a style of walking where specially designed walking poles are used to help forward movement. Both the legs and arms are used, with the poles helping to propel the body to walk faster and more steadily than may be the norm. When properly used, the poles take the weight off the knees and lower body joints, which can create a feeling of lightness on the feet.

Walking itself is great for overall health, improving your body’s use of the heart and lungs, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and helping blood sugar regulation. Nordic walking in particular can help maintain a better posture and keep the body more upright. At the same time, taking longer strides gently stretches the limbs and rotates the body helping to loosen up and improve coordination. Nordic walking creates a steady beat to improve pace, particularly in people who feel they walk slower and take smaller steps. It can also make exercise fun and social when done in a group.

Nordic Walking fits into the exercise framework

“As Nordic Walking is becoming increasingly available across the country, it fits into both the first and second focus of the exercise framework, i.e. to get people engaged in an exercise style that can push them to exercise at a more vigorous pace, as well as for those already active, keeping up the level of vigour as they exercise.“

Dr Bhanu Ramaswamy OBE, FCSP, DProf, MSc, Grad Dip Physiotherapy
Independent Physiotherapy Consultant 
Honorary Visiting Fellow, Sheffield Hallam University

Information and advice

British Nordic Walking has a lot of useful information and advice: