Nordic Walking is a walking technique using poles. But unlike using trekking poles, Nordic Walking poles are longer, as they reach passed the body at 45 degrees rather than being placed directly in front. Nordic Walking combines simultaneous core, lower and upper body movement. Nordic Walking is accessible, making it ideal for cross training, injury rehabilitation, pre and post natal women and those who just want to enjoy being active outdoors.
Nordic walking was originally defined as part of a skiing training method in Scandinavia when there was no snow. Ski poles were used for ‘ski walking’. The first poles designed for fitness walkers were produced in 1988 and then the first Nordic Walking poles were produced by the company Excel who coined the term Nordic Walking.
At this time it was described as Sauvakävely (pole walking) in the Finnish language but later, Exel decided to name the activity ‘Nordic Walking’ which is now the term used worldwide.
Nordic Walking involves applying force to the poles with each stride so Nordic walkers use more muscles throughout the body as it works the chest, latissimus dorsi, triceps, biceps, shoulder, abdominals, spinal and other core muscles.
Nordic Walking is a full body workout that can burn more calories without a change in perceived exertion or having to walk faster, due to the incorporation of many large core and other upper-body muscles compared to walking without poles.
However there are lots of benefits once you have learned the technique, you can read about my top five here.