Are you looking to get more out of your daily walk? Heard about Nordic walking but didn’t know how to do it? Let us show you how to use Nordic walking sticks in the right way to get the most out of your walk.
Do you get shoulder and neck pain from working at desks and computers all day? Are you considering taking up walking to keep your core muscles active? Let’s talk about a new and more efficient way of walking called “Nordic Walking.”
In Nordic walking, the sticks remain behind the body and help the upper body get a more intense workout. It is very different from hiking or walking with poles. Many people are learning the benefits of Nordic walking, and it is rapidly becoming famous for its cardio and upper body strength training benefits.
With the help of Nordic walking, you can make your regular walking a better overall workout while exerting less energy.
However, most people don’t know how to use Nordic walking poles to get optimal results. This article explains the proper way to use Nordic walking sticks and their benefits.
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What is Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking is a full-body exercise involving support from special poles designed for this purpose. Nordic walking originated in Finland.
People use two specially designed Nordic Sticks to work the upper body while walking. It is similar to cross country skiing, where a person uses sticks by the arms to match each step they take.
Many people use these Nordic walking poles to help with their stability and balance. While some people also use these poles to take pressure off their joints, ideally, you should hold Nordic poles behind you as an extension of your arm that matches your foot stride.
Benefits Of Nordic Walking Poles
Doing Nordic walking increases your heart rate without making you feel tired. It is easier than a typical cardio workout. You can get the same outcome from Nordic walking as you may get from overall upper body exercise. More health benefits from performing Nordic walking include:
Upper Body Workout
Fitness experts suggest people not walk with arm weights as they put more stress on their joints when they walk for a long time.
However, in Nordic walking, a person’s arms, shoulders, upper chest, and back get a full workout through a different exercise mode. Nordic walking involves a full range of movement, lengthening, and stretching of muscles. It helps to relax muscles that have become tight due to long hours of sitting.
As per a study in 2017, people with 12 weeks of Nordic walking experience had outstanding shoulder mobility and fewer pain symptoms in their trapezius muscles.
Researchers also found that Nordic walking increases the upper body muscles’ strength more effectively than regular resistance training. Use proper technique to get the best result of Nordic walking poles.
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The nordic walking motion also helps individuals overcome the hunching that most people develop while working at a desk, sitting on a couch, reading, or watching TV in the same position for hours. Thirty minutes of walking using Nordic poles is an excellent treatment for the slouching problem.
Low impact Exercise
Nordic walking has a lower impact on the joints than most cardio programs. Experts say it is an excellent alternative to the standard cardio exercise form for arthritis or joint pains.
When you walk using poles, it helps your body redistribute the weight, which helps in reducing the load on your joints while increasing muscular strength. It reduces the pain from doing high-impact exercise daily, like running.
Nordic walking impacts knee joints almost the same as regular walking, which is also a low-impact exercise. With less impact on your joints, you can walk more without worrying about getting any injury. Use the poles as a mechanism to avoid pressure on your joints.
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Stability and posture
Nordic walking is very beneficial for people with leg problems or knee pain as it allows them more stability. You can use the poles on any surface and get desirable outcomes.
However, to balance yourself, you must know the proper techniques of Nordic poles and have good posture. With correct arm motion, you can get the good posture that you will need for walking.
People with arthritis often think that walking is no longer a pleasant exercise and give up on it. However, these people should use the poles for walking as it can help them walk comfortably without creating any joint pain.
Relaxes the upper body
People use many different varieties of equipment and techniques in order to include an upper body workout in their walk. Fitness experts suggest exercising correct arm movement to relieve your neck and shoulder tension.
You should use the proper Nordic walking technique with relaxed shoulders while maintaining your posture and using a full range of motion. It helps release the neck and shoulder stress that you may adapt from bad posture or working all day at a desk. It also helps you sleep better as you will feel no pain in your neck and shoulder after Nordic walking.
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Good for heart health
People looking for a way to improve their cardiovascular fitness should use Nordic walking.
When you do upper-body exercises, your body needs more blood to the target upper-body muscles. With increased blood, your heart will pump out more blood leading to an increase in the functioning of your cardiorespiratory system.
With more work on your cardiorespiratory system, your heart pumps more blood that cleans your blood vessels and smoothens the flow of blood, which ultimately improves the life of your heart.
One more study suggests that people with heart disease who participate in Nordic walking show a significant improvement in their heart health. It helps people enhance their exercise duration, exercise capacity, and oxygen uptake.
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Burn more calories than traditional walking
Nordic walking helps burn more fat than normal walking or low-impact exercise. In Nordic walking, a person uses more upper body muscles and requires considerable energy expenditure.
It increases calorie burning by upto 46% and helps get the same upper-body result without increasing your walking speed. Nordic walking is easy to continue while losing fat. At the usual walking pace, you will feel less tired and resume your walking for one or two hours.
Better full-body workout at the same speed
You should adapt to fast walking techniques to enhance your walking workout. If you don’t like fast walking or have some difficulties walking faster, you can switch to Nordic walking as it is a great alternative for a fast walking workout.
Using Nordic walking for your exercise, you can achieve the same results as race walking without going at full speed. As explained above, Nordic walking burns more calories than regular walking; it also enhances fat-burning in your body. It targets the muscles of both the upper body and lower body.
Nordic walking involves the lower body muscles such as the hamstring, calves, buttocks, and quadriceps. And it involves the muscles of the chest, shoulder, back, and abdomen.
You should use Nordic poles and add them to your average walking speed to get a full-body workout done without going faster.
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What is the Proper Technique for using Nordic Walking Poles?
Fitness experts advise many tips and proper techniques of using Nordic poles to get the most out of this exercise. The sticks stay behind the body and should point diagonally backward the whole time. Here’s how you do it:
- Stand tall and keep your shoulders relaxed and down, chest up, and look straight forward.
- You should hold the poles in each of your hands close to your body, keep them on a diagonal angle backward.
- You should lightly grip the pole with your hand. It will allow the poles to swing forward.
- You should lead by using your foot and striking the ground.
- If you use your left foot to take the first step forward, you should bring the right pole forward as its base lands on the ground to your side.
- Push the pole into the ground in a diagonally backward direction as you walk using a step with your right foot.
- You should loosen your grip as you fully extend your arm; this will prevent wrist injury and improve the range of movement of the hand.
- Maintain this form by bringing your right foot and left pole forward.
Follow the proper Nordic walking technique and get most of its benefits. As you can see, the main difference between regular walking and Nordic walking is the use and position of the different poles.
If you prefer a more visual approach to learning, the below video is an excellent guide to learning Nordic walking:
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Remember to follow the proper Nordic walking technique when you decide to use nordic walking sticks. It can help boost your upper body muscle while maintaining the balance and relaxing joints in your body. It is also suitable for low-impact cardio exercise, which means you can easily walk with knee pain or arthritis.
People who like walking use this walking style to add more challenge to walking. Many people use Nordic walking poles to walk faster. Invest in suitable Nordic walking sticks and good shoes and get a great workout experience.
We hope we have answered all your queries about Nordic walking, the proper technique, and its benefits. If you have more questions or doubts, please reach out to us, and we will make sure to answer your queries in as quick a time as possible.
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