Nordic Walking is a type of physical fitness training which is based on regular walking. The key difference is that Nordic Walking utilizes specially designed Nordic Poles to enhance the walking experience. With the use of these poles, Nordic Walking allows users to exercise or train more parts of their body compared to regular walking. Muscles such as the shoulder muscles, chest muscles, biceps, triceps, and the core or abdominal muscles are all much more engaged and exercised. Research and actual demonstration has shown that Nordic Walking can increase the energy used by a person by up to 46% compared to walking without the Nordic Poles. This translates to more calories burned for each individual. Furthermore, Nordic Walking has also been demonstrated to be able to improve muscle endurance, especially in the upper body, by as much as 38% in as little as twelve weeks.
Nordic Walking has many other fitness benefits. For one, it increases the heart rate much more effectively than regular walking even at different paces. This helps in giving the body a much better aerobic workout which in turn improves the vascular efficiency of the circulatory system. This also helps improve the delivery of both blood and oxygen to the different organs of the body. For another, Nordic Walking significantly decreases the amount of stress and pressure that is absorbed by the lower body when walking without the aid of the Nordic Poles. Much of the body’s total weight is distributed to the upper body muscles in Nordic Walking whereas all of the body’s weight is absorbed by the hips, knees, and ankles in regular walking. This lower stress decreases the amount of wear and tear that these joints suffer with every step and stride. Nordic Walking then makes walking much more enjoyable thus enabling the individual to walk much farther and exercise for a longer period of time.
Nordic Walking was first officially introduced as a fitness regimen in 1997 by the Finn Marko Kantaneva. He developed the concept based on off season training activities for skiers. Within this concept, he was able to give a definition of Nordic Walking and the instructions on how to properly do it. He also gave the reasons regarding why the exercise is a good training choice in terms of physiological benefits. Lastly, he provided the specifications needed for making the poles that are needed to make Nordic Walking work effectively.
The first commercially available Nordic Walking poles were manufactured and distributed by an athletic company named Exel in 1997. They are also responsible for coining the term “Nordic Walking” through a marketing flier which they used in 1999. The specification of these poles is very important to Nordic Walking because these determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the walk. Furthermore, using poles of the wrong length or size could cause uneasiness or even injury to the user. Thus, it is best to use the telescoping or adjustable Nordic Walking poles. These poles are made of two parts and have a twist locking mechanism which enables the user to adjust the pole to the exact length needed to fit his or her particular needs.
Written by SpainFitness Web