Home Sports and Fitness Nordic walking: you need to know that!

Nordic walking: you need to know that!

by Josephine Andrews
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Nordic walking is an endurance sport in which more than 90 percent of the muscle groups are used. Here you can find exactly how Nordic Walking works, why poles are used, and whether you lose weight.

What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic walking is an endurance sport and a special form of conventional walking – i.e., fast walking. Experienced Nordic walkers can reach a Nordic walking speed of up to 150 steps per minute.

The special thing about Nordic Walking is: Two special hiking sticks swing next to the body and thus support the movement of the steps.

The sport originated in Scandinavia in the 1950s: cross-country skiers and biathletes use poles to walk quickly to keep fit during the summer. From there, the sport came to Germany. Since around 1997, there have been well-known Nordic walking full-body training with special hand-loop sticks.

Nordic walking: instructions

How exactly does Nordic Walking work? The movement pattern of Nordic Walking is similar to that of cross-country skiing. At best, training is relaxed. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and don’t tense up. The movements of the arms and legs are harmonious and rhythmic. The arms are slightly bent, and the sticks swing close to the body. Overall, the stance is slightly tilted forward.

Step and use of sticks run diagonally in the so-called cross technique. This means that if you take a step forward with your left leg, the stick in your right hand will go forward and vice versa. You use the sticks to support the movement.

In a properly executed Nordic Walking technique, the step begins when the heel makes contact with the ground and ends when the toes push off the ground at the same time as the ball of the foot.

Beginners start with walking for 20 to 30 minutes. Slowly increase the workout up to 60 minutes. Two or three sessions per week are optimal. It is up to you whether you prefer to walk on hiking trails or paved roads.

Does Nordic walking help you lose weight?

Along with a balanced diet, physical activity is an important building block for losing weight or getting the figure you want. As an endurance sport, Nordic walking is suitable for losing weight – for example on the stomach.

But how many calories do you burn while Nordic walking? Overall, the calorie consumption in the sport, depending on the intensity, is around 400 kilocalories per hour.

Read more about calorie consumption during exercise here .

How healthy is Nordic Walking?

Overall, Nordic Walking is healthy and has the following additional advantages:

  • Training has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and regulates blood pressure.
  • Gentle endurance sports have a positive effect on lung capacity.
  • Nordic walking has a beneficial effect on the hormonal balance.
  • It strengthens the immune system and promotes metabolism
  • Sport keeps the musculoskeletal system fit and prevents osteoporosis.
  • In general, regular exercise is good for mental well-being.

There are no known disadvantages of Nordic Walking.

Who is Nordic Walking suitable for?

With Nordic Walking, the intensity can be individually adjusted to your own fitness level. Therefore, the sport is particularly suitable for beginners and those returning to sport.

Even people who are overweight or have knee and hip problems can start Nordic walking without any problems. Overall, however, Nordic Walking is not as easy on the joints as simple walking. The poles stabilize the gait, which also offers older people more security when doing sports.

Nordic walking is also well suited for people with these complaints:

  • arthrosis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • osteoporosis
  • overweight
  • Fibroymalgie
  • back pain

These muscles are used in Nordic Walking

Nordic walking is a real whole-body sport. Around 90 percent of the body’s muscles are used: As with jogging and cycling, the sport strengthens the muscles in the legs.

The torso and arm muscles are also used – thanks to the swinging of the poles. In addition, the shoulders and neck are trained effectively. The mobility of the pelvis is also promoted. At the same time, Nordic Walking is very easy on the joints.

Nordic walking: you have to keep this in mind!

In order for Nordic Walking to work, you should pay attention to a few other things in addition to the right technique. We have summarized the most important points for you.

The right sticks

The poles are particularly important for you to be able to perform the Nordic Walking technique well. Choose light and stable specimens. They should be long enough to reach the floor when you hold them with your arm bent 90 degrees.

At the beginning you can also use slightly shorter sticks. When you improve your coordination, condition and mobility, your joints find it easier to walk with longer poles.

equipment

As with other endurance sports, good shoes are important to reduce the risk of injury. Functional clothing is also advantageous for sports. Then you can walk in any weather.

Avoid bad posture

Make sure you walk upright. A round back or a hollow back can increase existing back pain. For an optimal health effect, you should not train tensely or with hunched shoulders.

Achieve as high a walking speed as possible.

You should not increase the step length to achieve a sufficient load, but take more steps per minute.

Nordic walking and pregnancy

Even during pregnancy, many women want to stay active and do something for their fitness. You should ensure that you do not practice any extremely strenuous sport or training with an increased risk of injury. Nordic Walking is, therefore well suited for expectant mothers. It improves endurance, burns calories and trains the respiratory muscles. However, if pregnant, do not go Nordic walking in bad weather conditions or on particularly strenuous routes.

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