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What is Nordic Walking?

What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic Walking

Popular around Europe for many years, Nordic Walking is now enjoyed by more than 10 million people around the globe… and with good reason.

Now spring has arrived, bringing longer, warmer days and all the sights and sounds of nature to enjoy, it’s the perfect time to discover this growing trend.

But what is it exactly? Who is it suitable for? And what makes it so beneficial for our health and wellbeing?

Here’s our quick introduction to the world of Nordic Walking…

What is it?

Originating in Finland (hence the name), Nordic Walking offers an effective whole-body workout that doesn’t have to be too taxing.

It uses specially designed poles that are different to regular trekking poles, with a glove-style strap and a quick release system to help you execute an enhanced walking technique.

The upper body action involved is similar to cross-country skiing – so you won’t be surprised to learn that the original concept of Nordic Walking was as an off-season ski-training activity.

The great news is you don’t need snow-capped mountains or undulating Nordic valleys to enjoy it, because you can go Nordic Walking in urban areas and open countryside alike, any time of year.

Nordic Walking can also be enjoyed at different levels of intensity, by people of all ages, making for a fun and social activity you can share with friends, family or new, like-minded people.

What are the benefits of Nordic Walking?

Walking, in general, is great for your health and wellbeing. It improves cardiovascular fitness, strengthens muscles, helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces your risk of serious conditions like heart disease, stroke and cancer.

A good walk also helps you de-stress and clear your mind; while walking regularly can boost your mood and memory, increase your energy levels and help you sleep better.

Nordic Walking brings all those benefits and more. Applying force to the poles with each stride, you don’t just work your legs but also your chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps and abdomen – meaning you experience a full-body workout you don’t get from conventional walking.

As a result, you’ll burn around 20 per cent more calories than if you were walking without poles. That’s great news if you’re looking to improve your Body Mass Index (BMI) score or reduce your waistline (which is directly linked to conditions such as type 2 diabetes).

Regular Nordic Walking will help you tone your upper body muscles, reduce tension in your back and shoulders, increase the aerobic capacity of your lungs and improve your posture and gait.

Meanwhile, splitting the load between your upper and lower body reduces the impact on your joints in much the same way as a cross-trainer and, although your whole body is being worked, you’ll probably find it easier than normal walking – especially when you’re moving uphill.

That makes Nordic Walking ideal for those who are recovering from injury or have issues with mobility.

It’s particularly important to maintain strength as we grow older, and for those who perhaps aren’t keen on the gym and prefer to be active outdoors in the fresh air, Nordic Walking can be a great solution.

Nordic Walking with Be Well

Our short ‘New to Nordic Walking’ sessions are ideal for those who have never been Nordic Walking before.

We’ll provide you with the poles and the guidance you need, with our experienced instructors helping you learn the correct technique.

From there you can progress to our longer group walks or set off on your own adventures!

Find out more and discover our full walking timetable.

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Posted on Wednesday 20th March 2024

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