Nordic Walking is a "total-body" exercise, the arms become weight-bearing forces which is boosting bone density and muscle strength in both upper body.and lower body.
All four limbs (including feet and hands) are being used; gluteals and trunk muscles as well as muscles of the shoulders, back and neck are involved, all those and the stabilizer muscles that YOU NEED to lead an active life. Training sessions include learning the Nordic Walking technique and variations as well as coordination training combining balance, agility and visual skills.
With each pole-plant there is a co-contraction of the abdominals and other core muscles. Use of the poles creates more of a cardiac workout. As the person uses the poles, there is a corresponding increase in heart rate, and the person does not have to walk faster to get a better workout and burn more calories.
Because of its versatility and adaptability Nordic Walking provides a total body workout for young and older adults, athletes to individuals with medical conditions. Nordic Walking started out as a summer training exercise for cross country skiers.
Nordic Walking compared to normal walking utilizes 20% more of the body's muscles during each workout (70 % vs. 90%) and is one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts because it works all major muscle groups in the body.
Active Aging Preventing Chronic Disease and Better Controlling Chronic Disease
Nordic Walking when correctly utilized can help in building strength, stamina, cardiovascular endurance, bone health, better balance and stability.
As we age our gait or walking ability, such as step length changes, postural changes, reduced range of motion in joints, loss of sensation in the feet and/or hands, etc. Learning the skill of Nordic Walking focuses on improving step length, arm swing, heel strike and toe push-off, an upright posture and forward directed gaze, that most seniors lose as they age and leads to balance and mobility problems.
Nordic Walking not only when learned correctly can help many seniors not only improve their walking ability, posture, improved joint range of motion and flexibility, the activity also improves cardiovascular and muscular endurance which in turn benefit brain health and helps to prevent dementia. Nordic Walking is also very beneficial for patients that are having issues with urinary incontinence.
Grip and go technique
Grip and go technique (when one hand grips and contracts the hand around the pole as it moves forward, while at the same time the other hand lets go of the pole when the arm swings back and relaxes the hand) thus increases circulation of blood and lymph and encourages lymph drainage.
NORDIC WALKING WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Nordic Walking is used in myriad ways to address a number of exercise interventions and diagnoses. It is advantageous for low back rehabilitation, benefits bone health, posture, better walking ability-heel strike and push-off, and better circulation and using left and right side off the body will also benefit brain health.
Some of the symptoms of Parkinson Disease are a reduced step length and shuffling, loss of arm swing, moving stiffness or ‘freezing’, hunched and stooped-over posture, problems with balance and falling, constipation, anxiety and depression, and dementia. Learning how to perform Nordic Walking at an early stage of the disease can help stave off some of those declines and even improve symptoms of Parkinsons Disease helping patients maintain functional health longer and slowing down the progression of the disease.
Patients with claudication, ataxia and arthritis: the poles provide support and ability to walk with more stability and experience better balance.
Patients with postural problems, back pain, pain and/or limitation of motion secondary to osteoarthritis of the knees and and neurologically-impaired patients.
Knee and hip rehabilitation: after joint replay event: provide stability and a lower-extremity unloading effect that is beneficial in the later stages of hip, knee and ankle rehabilitation.
For people with back pain, the poles help to un-weight the back and lower extremities, thus helping relieve back pain such as spinal stenosis. The poles bring a weight-bearing force into the upper extremities.
Fibromyalgia and MS: The poles provide support and stability to enhance balance and the ability to walk further which contributes to an enhanced cardiovascular system
Lymphedema: using both upper and lower, body muscles and the core stimulates lymph drainage, etc.
Patients with Osteoporosis can benefit from Nordic Walking in many ways. The walking poles promote a more upright posture and thus will help stimulate more normal weight-bearing forces and muscle contractions on the bones.
Instability of the pelvis or whiplash: Nordic Walking poles are utilized in the treatment
Diabetes and high blood sugar: since Nordic Walking utilizes both upper and lower body muscles, this can enhance blood sugar uptake and lower A1c, and possibly leads to requiring less medication or totally eliminating the need for medication. Additionally, the pole provide stability and support which is important with peripheral neuropathy (loss of sensation in the feet/legs), and can prevent the risk of falls and injury.
Wear comfortable walking or outdoor trail shoes. The sole must have good grip and waterproofing is a good idea. Walking boots can be problematic if the upper part covering the ankle is stiff or the laces around the neck of the boot are tied too tight as this can impair free movement of the lower leg over the ankle.
Lightweight clothing appropriate for the weather conditions on the day, light gloves, a hat and a waterproof jacket for cold and wet weather and suncream/block and sunglasses in sunny weather. It is better to wear several light layers of clothing and avoid lose and long fitting jackets.
Back pack-waist pack
Carry your personal belongings and water in a waist bag or back pack.
HOW CAN I START?
Remember that a good Nordic walking technique is essential. It is strongly recommended to be accompanied by a professional in the practice of this activity and if necessary, do not forget to ask your doctor for advice. Training sessions include learning the Nordic Walking technique and a variety of fun agility drills relate to Nordic walking. Some involve the creative use of poles; others utilize the natural environment.
Your Nordic Walking Instructor:
Jacqueline is an ANWA certified Nordic Walking Instructor and provides private and small group training in the art of Nordic Walking.
IDEA FITNESS Nordic Walking Benefits Heart Health