Eventually, most people who walk for fitness will reach the point when walking alone no longer challenges them or helps them see results. If that sounds like you, then Nordic walking may be just what you need. First used as a summer training method by cross-country skiers, Nordic walking has become a stand-alone fitness regime, thanks to fitness professionals and the sports equipment manufacturer Exel Oyj of Finland.|
Nordic walking, which uses walking poles to increase effort, is a low-impact, full-body workout that is gentle on the joints. And although you'll work harder and burn more calories than walking alone, the perceived exertion is about the same. What this means is that you burn more calories while working more muscle groups. If you try Nordic walking, you’ll enjoy a greater aerobic challenge than walking alone, but won't feel as though you're working much harder.
A small study conducted by the Dallas-based Cooper Institute and funded by Exel found that:
In addition to adding intensity and calorie-burn to your workout, Nordic walking also boasts the following benefits:
Basic Nordic Walking Technique
While Nordic walking is an effective workout, it’s not as simple as picking up a pair of walking sticks and heading out—you'll need to learn a different movement altogether. Here are some technique guidelines: