Walking is great! It gets us from A to B and is also great exercise, but did you know that with a couple of ski poles you can take things up a notch? At Natural Balance Foods, we love hearing about new ways to exercise and stay healthy. During the summer, it was all about Zumba but as autumn makes way for winter people will start to want to think a little differently.
What on earth is it?
So what is Nordic Walking? Well, it doesn’t involve traversing the frozen fjords or the frozen seas, but instead incorporates ski poles which turn an ordinary stroll into an effective fitness activity. Nordic walking started out in Finland (which is pretty snowy) in the early
20th century and was a staple amongst hikers and explorers who needed a little help when navigating the wilderness. The actual term ‘Nordic Walking’ was coined by a Finnish technology company who amongst other things, manufactured ski gear and sports equipment. The activity quickly took hold and has now become increasingly common across UK and Europe, with Nordic Walking societies popping up all over the US.
So why are people doing it?
As well as pretending you’re on a ski holiday, the main benefit of Nordic Walking is that it’s actually a pretty good workout. As you’re using two poles as you go along, your upper body muscles together with your legs do a decent amount of work as you support and push yourself. The upper back, arm and shoulder muscles are given an effective workout and also propel you forward for more speed, stamina and endurance.
Another benefit of Nordic Walking is that almost anyone can do it! Thanks to the support of the poles, people with arthritis, back or joint issues can still get out there and exercise without risking too much strain and injury.
Give it a go!
While it’s true that you might get a couple of second looks as you power along with your poles, Nordic Walking isn’t as obscure as it used to be. In fact, there are now a number of societies and groups that regularly meet for walks, making this a great social activity as well as a good way to increase your fitness. If you’re looking for a new, low-impact and effective fitness activity, this just might be the thing for you!
For more information on new ways to get in shape, check out our fitness section and if you’ve tried Nordic Walking before and want to tell us how it has helped you, get in touch!