Nordic Walking vs Trekking

Last week we exhibited at the Fitness Expo in Sydney.
Nordic Walking is still fairly new to Australia; so it doesn't come as a surprise when people assume it's a kind of trekking.

It's not.
But what's the difference?

When you look up 'trekking' on Wikipedia you get redirected to 'hiking'.

Trekking bascially means walking / hiking in natural environments; often on walking trails or treks. Sometimes trekkers use poles or sticks to take the weight load off their legs (especially if they carry heavy backpacks).

Nordic Walking means "walking with specially designed poles and a learned technique to create a total body BUT low impact workout". Actually a Nordic Walker does more workout than a walker without poles. And a Nordic Walker can workout anywhere and is not restricted to walking trails.

Even if I go trekking I use my Nordic Walking poles. However I will not perform the Nordic Walking technique due to the extra energy consumption. On a longer trekking tour it is important that one conserves as much energy as possible which means the Nordic Walking gets adapted. Mainly the extension of the arms is not a priority and the applying of pressure through the straps is purely to assist the legs with the workout and with fatigue.

Most importantly - whether you're trekking or Nordic Walking - you're in the great outdoors, 'pampering' soul, mind and body and do yourself good.

Yours in health
Patrick

1 comment:

The American Nordic Walking System said...

Excellent post about Nordic Walking and trekking! Walking with poles is the best!

The American Nordic Walking System was developed in order to provide the ideal level of exertion and intensity for any age, any pace and any fitness level.

Here is a super-simplified version of the 3 basic levels of the American Nordic Walking System:

Level 1: Casually walking, trekking and hiking with the poles is healthy and good - burning over 20% more calories than regular walking! Remember to keep your chin up, fingers relaxed and poles slightly angled back. Each pole plants inline with the opposing foot's heel - alternating and never out in front unless going down a steep hill. When done correctly you will immediately notice your improved posture – walking taller and with a straighter back –naturally and not having to think about it.

Level 2: Requires the arms to fully stretch out and slightly down, keeping the poles slightly less angled back and almost perpendicular. This full arm extension will help to burn over 30% more calories than regular walking! You will find that your walking pace will speed up and your stride will naturally lengthen. Never fake a long stride – allow it to happen naturally. Keep your chin up and fingers relaxed! Shifting from Level 1 to Level 2 is like shifting gears in a car. Level 2 reinforces improved walking posture when done correctly. Again, the poles are NEVER planted in front of the lead heel unless your are descending a steep hill.

Level 3: Includes the full reach + a firm pole plant (don’t be gentle), constant pressure from the heel of the hand into the strap and a follow-through push when the hand lines up with the hips. Level 3 is big in Europe, but most Americans don't want to be bothered. Level three burns over 40% more calories than regular walking. Level 3 requires maximum push and can only be effectively done with real Nordic Ski Walking. And remember the poles are NEVER planted in front of the lead heel unless your are descending a steep hill.

Casually hiking (Level 1) with Nordic Walking Poles provides all the fantastic benefits of Nordic Walking without such high intensity as Level 3 or true Nordic Walking.

Keep up the good work and have FUN Nordic Walking in Australia.

Pete - owner/founder/coach WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and The American Nordic Walking System