What is it?
Nordic Walking is an enhancement of ordinary walking — it makes something we learn to do as babies twice as effective!
Nordic Walking uses poles to in order to add two major benefits to walking:
- Upper body muscles are used as well as the legs
- To propel the walker along, means they work harder than usual even though it feels easier!
Nordic Walking is a specific fitness technique and is not to be confused with trekking, hill walking or trail running as the poles are not planted in front of the walker/runner but in a specific way that increases the use of the upper body. It can be done by anybody, anywhere and does not require expensive equipment or clothing.
Nordic Walking is the fastest growing fitness activity in the world and is used by individuals, personal trainers, health clubs, physiotherapists, doctors and health promoters because it is highly effective, affordable and FUN!
The Nordic Walking technique MUST be learnt correctly if the participant is to get the most out of the activity – the full Health technique that ensures the whole body works efficiently is only taught by NWUK qualified Instructors.
Whatever your goal:
- Becoming more active
- Improving your fitness levels
- Losing weight
- Overcoming a medical condition
- Training for a specific sport or challenge
- Enjoying the great outdoors
- Meeting people and having fun!
Nordic Walking is a great way to get your whole body moving and to significantly improve the condition of your muscles, heart and lungs. It will boost your energy levels and help you to ward off medical conditions such as:
- Heart Disease and Strokes
- High Blood pressure
- Diabetes (type 2)
- Bowel Cancer
- Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis
- Stress and Anxiety
Once you have learned the technique you will be able to include in into your everyday life and walk alone, with friends and family or with your local group – find an Instructor near you and get started today!
General Fitness - A Fantastic workout!
Most of us know we should be a bit more active but sadly it is often when the waistline expands or ill health strikes that we really start to think about our bodies and the condition they are in! Being a bit more active with Nordic Walking will provide the following benefits very quickly:
- Keep your weight in check
- Increase mobility
- Give you more energy
- Make you sleep better
- Help you cope with stress
- Prevent serious illness such as Heart problems, Diabetes, Osteoarthritis and even some Cancers
It is easy to understand why traditional exercise tends to put people off, it can take time to drive to a facility, park the car and get changed and some ‘sports’ are not easy to take up as a beginner. Nordic Walking is easy to learn, can be done anywhere and gets you out in the open air – it’s a great way to build up your fitness levels. Nordic Walking is NOT just for beginners, the elderly or unfit – it can be done at any level and is a fantastic, motivating workout for the fitness enthusiast too!
Wellness - A great way to start!
Nordic Walking is perfect for those that want or need to get more active! It is simple to learn, suitable for people that have been inactive for a while or have medical conditions such as:
• Back, Shoulder or Neck problems
• Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis
• Diabetes (type 2)
• Stress and Anxiety
• High Blood Pressure
It is gentle, not intimidating and does not appear too much like conventional 'exercise' as participants don't need to get changed or work hard enough to feel uncomfortable, sweaty or out of their depth.
It is a great way to gently encourage full body movement whilst the poles help to reduce pressure on the knees and joints and help propel the walker along hence making it feel easier than it really is.
Often it is fear of aggravating a medical condition that puts people off taking up exercise - many have over done it in an attempt to get fit and find themselves less active than ever. Nordic Walking really is one of the best ways to gently increase activity without the risk of over doing things.
Mental Health - Good for Mind and Body
The mood boosting effect of exercise has long been recognised and physical activity has been used to help those with depression and anxiety for many years.
More recently studies have shown that ‘Green Exercise’ which is getting active whilst being exposed to or connecting with nature, has an even more powerful effect. We all recognise that being in touch with nature makes us feel more relaxed and ‘alive’ whilst being active helps us focus the mind and combat stress so it’s no surprise that it is now being used as a viable treatment for those with mental distress.
Studies for MIND have linked Nature and Exercise as a mood lifting combination and green exercise schemes are being piloted around the Country.
Nordic Walking is the perfect activity both for these projects and for those that prefer to enjoy the solitude of a peaceful walk in the open air.
THE EFFECT OF OUTDOOR EXERCISE ON MOOD - RESEARCH
There have been a number of recent studies that prove that outdoor or 'green' exercise has a pronounced effect on the mood and health of an individual.
The three major benefits found were:
1. Being outdoors generally leads to increasing activity levels
2. The connection with nature is proven to have a positive effect on mood and to reduce stress levels.
3. Taking part in outdoor activiites increases the opportunity for social interaction - those with increased levels of of social interaction tend to be in better health than those who have very little.
see Natural England - green Exercise for more info.
Sports Conditioning - Ultimate cross training
Nordic walking uses more major muscles than running, cycling or swimming – all of which are used by athletes as cross training.
Nordic walking can take your sporting performance to a whole new level. Whether training for an ultra-endurance event or a sport that requires repeated bursts of upper and lower body effort using Nordic Walking in your training offers time-effective and intense training methods to ensure you get ultimate results.
Nordic Walking UK have developed the 'ULTIMATE NORDIC BOOTCAMP '
Sports Conditioning Circuit that can be adapted to concentrate on the specific elements required in any sport – it contains practical sports specific drills and circuits and covers the science behind different training elements
- Power and Endurance
- Muscle Endurance
- Speed Endurance
If you would like to experience how Nordic Walking could enhance your training ask your local Instructor for the ‘ULTIMATE NORDIC BOOTCAMP’ programme.
If you are a coach for any sport – contact us to see how we could help you add this dimension to your programmes.