Do you know what is Nordic walking? Is Nordic walking modern sport?
Nordic walking is an outdoor sport practiced for leisure. This sport does not involve putting one foot in front of the other. It is practiced using poles specially designed for this sport.
It is important to have specific Nordic walking poles. These poles have many necessary accessories, such as proper hand straps and different attachments to the bottom of the poles depending on your terrain.
The poles for Nordic walking are designed to propel you forwards more quickly and use all the muscle groups.
Thanks to these special poles, movement is fast and the Nordic walker’s pace is athletic.
A bit of History…
Walking with sticks has a long history and it has always been associated with old ages and even infirmity.
There are many disagreements about how, who and when Nordic walking was created.
Many European sources claim that the original concept of the Nordic walking can be traced back
to the 1930s when in summertime the Finnish cross-country skiers used skiing poles for exercising and preparing them for winter seasons.
But many American sources claim that walking with specially designed poles was “invented” in 1985 in the United States by Tom Rutlin. He called it «Exerstriding» (Exercising all the body’s major muscles while striding).
It does not play a huge role who created Nordic walking. Today Nordic walking is a popular exercise and leisure activity promoted to the general public in many countries around the world.
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What are the Benefits of Nordic Walking?
- Helps with weight loss. This is because Nordic walking uses more muscles than regular walking and burns up to 46% more calories. Plus the poles propel you forwards helping you walk faster, raising your heart rate and expending energy.
- Tones your muscles and helps keep your bones strong.
- Protects your hip and knee joints.
- Nordic walking helps to reduce stress and anxiety and it’s even more effective when done in a green environment.
- It improves circulation because it increases the rate at which blood is pumped around the body.
- Strengthens your heart and lungs and benefits those with asthma.
- It is inexpensive and safe!
How to walk? Important tips!
Nordic walking is a sport for endurance. This walking is an excellent choice for those wanting to get in perfect shape.
It is great for both men and women, for sports enthusiasts as well as more sedentary types who want to improve their health and take up a sport.
This walking can be easily adapted to your needs. Each individual can start Nordic walking at his or her own pace, according to their own goals and physical abilities.
You can start walking alone or with friends from Nordic walking clubs.
But very important is to know the rules of how to walk correctly and don’t bring harm to your body.
- Unlike hiking, the poles are not held vertically in front of the body but oriented backward, like in cross-country skiing.
- Set the correct position of your body. Your poles have to touch the ground while your elbows are at 90 degrees and your hands are holding the poles. You have to feel comfortable when you walk.
- If you are walking on the pavement, use the attachable rubber pads that cover the bottom of the pole. These rubber pads should come with your Nordic walking pole. If you are walking on dirt, utilize the metal spike at the end of your Nordic Walking poles.
- Most Nordic walking poles will have wrist straps that look like the bottom of a glove, fitting around your thumb and should clasp to your wrist without you having to hold the poles in your hands.
- Step with the heel and roll to the ball of your foot. Focus on beginning your step on the heel of your foot while planting the opposite arm’s pole to the ground. Stepping on your heel will allow the opposite pole to propel your body forward.
- Choose which foot will be your lead foot and move both arms at the same time as this lead foot.
- While walking begins lightly touching your poles to the ground while keeping them at a 45-degree angle.
Remember that the wrong technique can put undue pressure on your knees, hips, and back, and damage your joints.
Try to avoid the following mistakes of all newbies:
- Don’t hold the poles too far away from your body and don’t plant them too far ahead of you.
- Don’t use the poles to prop yourself upon.
- Make sure you’re not taking too long strides.
- Don’t straighten the knee on your front leg.
- Swing your arms like pendulums. Never flex them as far as 90 degrees.
Now you are almost a professional of Nordic walking but you need some practice 😀
To read more about Nordic walking click here!
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