This is a question I am often asked when out Nordic Walking. And how I laugh!!!
But actually, the exercise was first developed for cross country skiers to keep fit over summer, so the question is not far from the truth.
I first encountered this sport way back when I had an outdoor activity web company and was at an outdoor show. Back then it was all lycra and although I was curious decided it was not my thing.
Move forward a few years and I looked into Nordic Walking once more and was surprised at all it does.
The benefits of Nordic Walking include (taken from Nordic Walking UK):
Tones the upper and lower body at the same time.
Uses 90% of the skeletal muscles.
Burns up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking.
Reduces the pressure on knees and joints.
Great for the Heart and Lungs.
Ideal for neck, shoulder and back problems.
Poles propel the walker along, making it easier to move faster than normal without feeling the effort.
It is one of the most effective cross training techniques for athletes and sportspeople who require ultimate cardiovascular and endurance conditioning.
Can be done anywhere – no need for hills, country paths or even snow!
It appeals to all ages and fitness levels.
No need to wear special exercise clothing.
It’s very sociable; participants can chat as they go!
It is easy to learn and to keep up.
It combines exercise with the nature which has been proven to boost mood.
For over 12 years now I've taught Nordic Walking. Some people pick it up quickly others it takes more time. One thing I've learnt is that everyone finds their own technique and feels the benefits.
As part of the induction session, I get participants to lift up their poles and feel what happens. The power the poles bring just disappears. You may not have noticed it there whilst using the poles but when it is gone. Wow!
I really do love walking with poles and have taught those with Parkinson's to long distance walkers how to make the most of them.
If you fancy finding out more about walking with poles, then do get in touch.
There are always a few sessions on the timetable for you to choose from.