What is Nordic Walking?
Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to enhance your natural walking experience.
With a technique that is similar to the upper body action of classic cross country skiing, Nordic Walking becomes a genuinely whole-body exercise that can be enjoyed at many levels, at low, medium or high intensity. More than 10 million people globally enjoy this outdoor activity all year round.
At Exe Nordic Walking we work with you at your level, encouraging more movement and enjoying all the health benefits that come with being more physically active.
Is it for me?
If you can walk you can Nordic Walk! It really is for everyone. The poles mean that effort is shared between the upper and lower body so it actually feels easier than normal walking, particularly uphill. Nordic Walking puts less strain on joints than other activities and can be very effective for people with mobility issues or those recovering from illness or injury. It’s also great exercise for toning problem areas such as the upper arms and abdominal muscles.
- It’s an ideal activity if you haven’t exercised for a while or dislike traditional sports or gym activities.
- It is helpful if you have had an injury as the poles can support and guide you while you work to improve fitness as part of your rehabilitation.
- It is great for athletes for cross training.
- It provides community groups with a sociable way to keep fit.
- And it’s fantastic if you’d like to shed a few pounds.
Whatever your age, from 8 to 80+, you’ll enjoy discovering the benefits of Nordic Walking that improve your quality of life.
What is the difference between Nordic Walking poles and other poles used for walking?
This video, from Gilly Davy, an INWA Nordic Walking instructor and respected neuro physiotherapist, explains the difference between Nordic Walking and pole walking, why this difference matters, and how you can tell the difference between Nordic Walking poles and other types of walking pole.
How will it benefit my body?
Nordic Walking combines the simplicity of walking with core and upper body conditioning similar to Nordic skiing. This gives you a full body workout, which means that you can:
- Burn around 20% more calories compared to walking without poles.
- Release tension in your neck and shoulders.
- Improve your posture and gait.
- Strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.
- Reduce the impact on your joints.
And because Nordic Walking doesn’t feel like hard work you’ll be happy to walk further and for longer.
Sources: British Nordic Walking and INWA websites
Having retired recently I have been walking more. As I have hip arthritis I sometimes walk with a limp. I wanted to improve my posture and gait and reduce impact on my joints when walking, and Nordic walking sounded just right for me. I took a taster session in December 2019 and, inspired by Sue’s enthusiasm and professionalism, I signed up for a Learn to Nordic Walk Course in January 2020.
The Nordic walking poles were provided and I was taught the 10 basic techniques of walking and using the poles over 2, 1:1 sessions of 1.5 hours with Sue, at King George V Playing fields in Exeter.
Sue worked at my pace and we consolidated each technique before moving on to the next one. Sue videoed my progress and she was able to advise on how to adjust my posture, and technique. I learnt some useful warm up and cool down exercises, and tips to practice the walking techniques on my own. I found the sessions enjoyably challenging and rewarding.
It is up to me now to put all this into practice! I hope to meet up with other novices on some of the planned walks in 2020 !
Thank you Sue for this introduction.
Sarah, recently retired, Exton)
Do any of these statements ring a bell?
- I need to move more
- Don’t like the gym
- Not a runner but want to be outdoors moving more
- Spend all day sedentary, hunched in front of a computer
- Would like to walk further and for longer
- Enjoy being physically active in a small group and making friends
- Want to maintain your fitness for cross-country skiing
Read the latest research about the benefits of Nordic Walking
Research continues to be published around the world with regard to both Nordic Walking teaching methods and the health and fitness benefits of Nordic Walking.
Nordic Walking and Pain – Donald Silverberg Professor of Medicine Emeritus Tel Aviv University on benefits of Nordic Waking
Physical activity guidelines: UK Chief Medical Officers’ report, 19th September 2019: “Each week, adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) of moderate intensity activity, (brisk walking); or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity; or even shorter durations of very vigorous intensity activity; or a combination of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous intensity activity.”
Key points of the report are:
- Even relatively small increases in physical activity can contribute to improved health and quality of life.
- Regular activity is important for people of all ages.
- Increased emphasis on the importance of strengthening activities.
- New developments in the evidence base for the health effects of sedentary time in adults and children.
- An emerging evidence base for the health benefits of high intensity interval exercise, (HIIT).
Slow walking at 45 ‘a sign of faster ageing’, BBC website: “It would also be an early indicator of brain and body health so people can make changes to their lifestyle while still young and healthy, the researchers said.”