Nordic Walking is a full body workout that strengthens your back muscles, trains your core, tones and shapes your body and helps you lose weight. It's sociable, fun and one of the fastest growing activities in Europe.
I started Nordic Walking after I saw an article about it in a magazine. I was fed up with the gym and never liked jogging, but I wanted to keep fit and healthy. I loved walking and being outside in the fresh air and Nordic Walking seemed to be the perfect activity for me. After having a taster lesson I was hooked and wanted to learn more. I decided to train as an instructor after doing Nordic Walking for nearly two years. I trained with British Nordic Walking, the only UK Nordic Walking Instructor training body endorsed by INWA (International Nordic Walking Federation). This is the worlds official international federation promoting Nordic Walking and was founded in Finland in the year 2000, the home of Nordic Walking.
I am passionate about Nordic Walking and this activity complements my Holistic Therapies, as it has many health benefits.
What is Nordic Walking?
Nordic Walking has it's roots in the 1930's when cross-country skiers came up with a way of training in the summer months using just poles.
Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to enhance your natural walking experience. With a technique that is similar to the upper body action of classic cross country skiing, Nordic Walking becomes a genuinely whole body exercise that can be enjoyed at many levels, from walking for health to athletic Nordic running. More than 10 million people globally enjoy this outdoor activity all year round.
Nordic Walking is a very accessible activity and something that can be shared by people of different fitness levels. If you can walk, you can Nordic Walk! It is an ideal activity for people who haven't exercised for a while or who dislike traditional sports or gym activities. An injured person can use the poles to support and guide, working to improve fitness as part of their rehabilitation, with approval from their physiotherapist. Nordic Walking is suitable for a wide range of ages including children and older people.
Health Benefits of Nordic Walking
For losing weight - client testimonials have shown that Nordic Walking is very effective for weight loss. Nordic Walking increases the energy consumption of the body compared to regular walking at the same speed without poles, so in other words you burn more calories. The increase is due to use of the large muscle mass in the upper body. The use of poles has been shown to increase energy expenditure by approximately 20%. When people in the study were allowed to walk at their own pace this increased to 46%, as with poles they naturally walked faster.
Being significantly overweight can be a barrier to exercise in its own right. Nordic Walking can still be accessible to very obese people where other exercises may feel uncomfortable on the joints.
Back Health - Nordic Walking can work to improve back health in a number of ways.
Firstly Nordic Walking encourages people to walk more actively, to lenghten the spine and to better distribute their weight when walking, it also helps to improve posture.
Secondly Nordic Walking activates the core muscles of the trunk and has the dual benefit of releasing tension in the neck and shoulders.
Nordic Walking encourages the upper body (Thoracic area) to safely and healthily rotate. This is a vital movement for spinal health and in particular to ensure the intervertebral discs are able to imbibe fluid.
Stress - Exercising in green space has been shown to improve mental well-being. Being in natural light alleviates depression and can help Insomnia. Gentle aerobic exercises can also relax tense muscles.
Heart Health - Nordic Walking is a full body exercise, using reportedly 90% of the body's skeletal muscle. By involving the upper body muscles there is an increased demand on the cardio-vascular system. Nordic Walking will therefore result in a good cardio-vascular training effect even on flat terrain.
Reduced impact on the joints - Participants report that Nordic Walking feels gentler on the joints than normal walking. Can help increase bone density and thereby prevent or lesson the progression of Osteoporosis. Some Physiotherapists use Nordic Walking in the treatment of RSI (repetitive strain injury).
Nordic Walking Courses coming soon, please enquire.