Nordic Walking in (European) winter - #nordic #fitness #instructor

'Walk this way' in the European / American winter. This highlights that in Australia we do have another advantage - we can Nordic Walk anywhere all year round!

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Walk This Way

NordicWalkingNordic walking began in Finland as an off-season exercise for elite cross-country skiers, says Claire Walter, author of the book Nordic Walking: The New Way to Health, Fitness and Fun. The sport has caught on in the United States in the past decade or so, she adds, popularized by distance runners looking for cross-training options that don’t stress joints as much as running does.

Indeed, Walters notes relieving joint stress is one of the many benefits of the Nordic walking technique. “The poles take some strain off the lower body,” she explains. The poles also provide a bit of added stability-and security- for anyone who has balance issues or simply hasn’t had much experience with regular exercise. “Nordic walking really is a great fitness regime no matter what your experience level,” Walter says.

Studies suggest that it further improves upon the many benefits of walking-raising your heart rate, increasing oxygen consumption, burning calories and strengthening a variety of muscle groups. A 2001 study conducted by the Cooper Institute of Dallas documented up to a 46 percent increase in calories burned over regular walking.

What’s more, many Nordic walking enthusiasts claim the gain doesn’t necessarily mean more pain. “I find it’s easier to walk fast with the poles,” Walter remarks. “They give you a rhythm, almost like a metronome.”

Although it pays off to learn the proper technique (see our tip below), “there’s no real danger in having improper form and there’s essentially no learning curve,” Walter enthuses.

TIP: The Nordic walking technique is more a pole push than a pole swing. Step out with left foot, bring right pole forward; step out with right foot, left pole. Plant the pole tip in the range between the heel of your front foot and toe of back foot. Start with a slow gait, increasing speed as your muscles warm.


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