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What is Nordic Walking?
Nordic Walking is a fun, social and effective way to be active. Is the gym not your scene? Is jogging too tough on your body? Is walking not tough enough? Do you find swimming too solitary? Well then you have come to the right place! Nordic Walking is as effective as jogging, as gentle as walking and it is perfect to do with a group of old and new friends. Because Nordic Walking uses poles it engages your whole body and works all your major muscles from head to toe. The result is an effective, easy and fun exercise that can be enjoyed by almost everyone - any age, any athletic ability.
Nordic Walking is one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the world and has its roots in the early 1930 as a summer training method by cross-country skiers in Finland. Development of Nordic Walking to its present form as a recreational physical activity for all started in the early 1980’s.
In Nordic Walking the benefits are clear within the first few minutes of trying and the Cooper Institute in Texas has issued the following findings following comprehensive tests into the activity.
Burn more calories in less time
Consumes approximately 400 calories per hour (compared with 280 calories per hour for normal walking).
Energy consumption increases when using poles by an average of 20% compared with ordinary walking without poles.
Heart rate is 5-17 beats per minute higher.
Up to a 40% increase in energy consumption. (Cooper Institute research, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sports 2002 publication).
A total body activity
The lateral mobility of the neck and spine increases significantly.
The muscles most actively involved are the forearm extensor and flexor muscles, biceps, triceps, the rear part of the shoulder muscles, the large pectoral muscles, chest, abdominals, back muscles, and your butt!
Reduced load and relaxed muscles
Does not aggravate joints and knees.
Reduces the load on knees and other joints.
Improves balance and co-ordination.
Releases pain and muscle tension in the neck/shoulder region.
Poles are a safety factor on slippery surfaces.
Varied levels of intensity.
Energetic, Relaxing and Fun.
Anatomy of a good Nordic Walking Pole
A good Nordic Walking pole is made from carbon composites which make it a lighter and stiffer pole, which offers good shock absorbing properties protecting your joints. This is particularly important for walking on hard surfaces like pavement and for all high intensity training.
Telescoping or fixed length?
Fixed length poles is the better option because they are typically lighter and they provide the best functionality through better swing weight and most security (won't collapse). Adjustable poles are an alternative where space is limited however you will lose some functionality. Adjustable poles are not recommended for people with an infirm grip or balance problems. There is always the risk that adjustable polse, if not tightened correctly, can collapse and ause you to fall.
Five elements that define a great Nordic Walking pole:
The Pro Grip is ergonomically designed so the wrist is correctly angled and supports the movements of the hand. This will allow your hands to stay closer to the body for maximum efficiency and comfort.
Comfortable, adjustable and supportive wrist strap
Allows smooth transfer of power through the strap at release without causing any stress in the hands and forearms.
Durable and lightweight carbon composite shafts
Durable and lightweight made from a single piece of carbon composite.
Removable rubber Control Asphalt Paw (tip)
The paw effectively absorbs pole impact while walking on hard surfaces such as pavement and asphalt.
Angled carbide spike tip
For correct attack angle on grass, tracks and other natural surfaces.