Nordic Walking is an intensification of normal walking using two poles. The specific technique of Nordic Walking is representative to that of the normal gait cycle which is a different to just hiking with poles. The technique was first developed in Finland by the cross country ski team to keep fit over the summer months. Since then Nordic Walking has been one of the fastest growing fitness activities, with the correct utilisation of the poles the benefits include:
Total body work out – incorporating legs, arms and trunk
40% Increased cardiac output
Decreased perceived exertion
Why is Nordic Walking different to hiking or walking with poles?
Nordic Walking has a very specific technique and style which is an intensification of normal walking. Whereas just walking with poles can feel clumsy or unsupported, done correctly Nordic Walking can bring about many benefits.
Hiking with Poles
Placement of the poles
Stay in contact with the ground
Come off the ground
Stay at 45 degree angle behind you and behind your feet (out of the way)
In front of you – easy to trip over
Rotates to assist fluid movement
Stays fixed and still
What are the benefits of Nordic Walking if I have a neurological condition?
Strengthens the muscles and neurological sequences that support normal walking
If you know of an instructor who is unsure of how to maximize the potential of Nordic Walking for your neurological condition please recommend them to complete the online eLearning Nordic Walking instructor modules for different neurological conditions.
Watch this space for some handy tips, tricks and exercises for Nordic Walking.