Many doctors agree that Nordic walking is one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts because it works all major muscle groups in the body.
Recent studies by the Cooper Institute in Dallas, showed that Nordic walking burned more calories, increased oxygen consumption, and can be up to 46% more efficient than normal walking.
Normal walking, even with a fast pace and good stride, only uses approximately 70% of the muscle mass in the body at any given time. Put some Nordic Walking poles in your hands, and with the proper technique, you will now be utilizing up to 90% of your body’s muscle while increasing your heart rate significantly.
Nordic walking is suitable for all age groups and abilities of people who can walk, including those with some mobility limitations, offering fantastic health benefits. You may discover that Nordic walking enables you to move more easily and, therefore, to exercise at a higher intensity than you can, not only when natural walking, but also when doing other physical activities.
Six Benefits of Nordic Walking:
1. Reduce tension and pain in the neck, shoulder and back
Modern living means more of a sedentary lifestyle for most of us: sitting for long periods at home, at work or travelling. Combined with using computers, mobile devices and habitually carrying too much on one side of the body, back pain, neck and shoulder tension have become a very common, yet often invisible, health problem. With effective Nordic walking technique, rotation of the spine is enhanced compared to how most of us walk these days. This improves upper body mobility and strengthens spinal muscles, thus reducing the likelihood of neck, shoulder and upper back complaints. Use of Nordic walking poles leads to a strengthening of the large back muscles that pull the shoulder blades down. This can significantly alleviate neck and shoulder tension.
2. Makes Losing Weight Easier
As you use your legs, arms, shoulders, chest and back muscles when Nordic walking, up to 90% of the body’s muscles are actively working. On average, you will expend 20% more calories than when naturally walking at the same walking speed. Moreover, it can actually feel easier and less tiring than natural walking. This is because, although you are using more muscles and doing more exercise, the effort is spread across the whole body.
3. Improve your posture
Nordic walking actively using both the upper and the lower body, this lengthens the spine and body weight is carried more efficiently. Postural muscles are activated correctly and exercised effectively. Stability of the spine and pelvis is improved. Core muscles are engaged – these stabilize the back. The upper body rotation employed in effective Nordic walking technique is vital for keeping the spine in good condition.
4. Less challenging to adopt and easier to keep up
As the effort of your upper body controls how intensely you Nordic walk, it is possible to walk at the same speed as family and friends while exercising at your own optimal level. This makes Nordic walking more enjoyable and you more likely to stick to your exercise program.
5. Improve your heart and lung functionResearch has indicated that high intensity Nordic walking results in better oxygen consumption, higher calorific expenditure and higher heart rate than natural walking. Exercise intensity can be increased further when running with Nordic walking poles.
6. Take the load off your lower limb joints
Nordic walking can be considerably more comfortable than both jogging and natural walking. This may be because of the upper body exercise, better weight distribution and walking gait as well as toning weaker postural muscles.