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Nordic Walking for Fitness and Fun!

An Introduction to Walking with Poles

-- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer
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To find the right pole length for you, first convert your height to centimeters (multiply height in inches by 2.54). Next, multiply your height (in centimeters) by 0.68 (the length of your poles should be about 68% of your total height). Pole lengths are graded in 5-centimeter intervals, so round your calculated length to the nearest 5 centimeters. As an example, the ideal pole length for a person who is 6 feet tall (182 cm) would be 123 cm. (182 x 0.68). The nearest 5-centimeter pole length available is either 120 cm or 125 cm. When choosing the right pole length, remember that your elbow should bend approximately 90 degrees when you are holding the grip with the pole tip on the ground.

While the technique needed for Nordic walking may take a little while to get the hang of, the overall benefits of the sport far outweigh the learning curve. Whether you want to burn more calories with less exertion or you just want to try something new, Nordic walking is an effective way to get in shape—and enjoy the outdoors!
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • Bought my father-in-law a pair years ago. He loved them. Now, I have to buy a pair for myself! - 11/7/2013 9:40:30 AM
    Interesting. I would love to try it someday. - 9/19/2013 10:52:44 AM
  • 4 pages, really?
    - 8/25/2013 9:48:33 PM
  • Great article - 6/15/2013 10:30:43 AM
  • This looks interesting and like something I'd like to try. Thanks for the info! - 2/14/2013 8:28:01 AM
  • Great information. I was given a pair, and this showed me what to do with them. - 2/5/2013 3:41:13 PM
  • Great article. I've seen nordic walking but had no idea there was a right way to do it. Would love to try. - 12/20/2012 4:56:30 PM
  • For some reason I keep thinking this article title is "Nordic Walking for Fitness and Profit!" - tee hee. :^)

    I suppose it does profit your fitness and overall health, right? So that's not far off. - 11/14/2012 9:01:28 AM
    I use to walk alot, but now my joints are so bad I am limited! - 8/25/2012 5:41:57 PM
    When buying Nordic poles, you might want to consider getting the telescoping type rather than the fixed length poles.
    Telescoping poles are much easier to pack for traveling, and are easily put away in a backpack if you should decide to jog or run a little. - 12/2/2011 2:07:41 PM
  • Ditto! Would love to see Nordic walking added to the fitness tracker! For some of us, it's our main form of cardio, ya know!!! - 6/1/2011 5:27:35 PM
  • I love nordic walking. Add it to the fitness tracker please!!!! - 5/28/2011 11:01:23 PM
  • The areas around here where I walk my dogs are filled with Nordic walkers during the warm months, it's downright a nuisance! I wish that people would get proper instruction before casually ambling through the woods, dragging poles around for no reason when they would walk faster without! In my two-and-a-half years here, I have seen ONE (!) person properly using the equipment. Makes me wonder if there's anyone leading those walking groups who knows what they're doing... - 2/23/2011 3:08:02 AM
  • this sounds really good for crosstraining, and I have seen people using the poles locally, but I am focusing on chi walking and this means the heel-to-toe motion would not work for me at this time. - 12/10/2010 10:21:19 PM
  • In my experience over the past 6 years of instructing both groups and individuals, Nordic Walking is great for posture, breathing (especially if you have COPD or asthma), heart health, back health and building strength. The full body workout is fun so people tend to stick with it...and that's part of any successful exercise program.
    Personally, I "walked the walk" so to speak recently. A lot of my clients adopt walking with poles post-op such as after a hip or knee replacement. Sometimes it is after a triple bypass. I always tell them that Nordic Walking will get them walking upright and with confidence than just regular walking. I had major surgery 10 weeks ago; at 2 weeks post-op I was crusing my neighborhood slowly. At 4 weeks, my doctor saw me for a follow-up visit and remarked at my amazing recovery. Everyone is different but for me, following my own advice and having it actually work (not that I liked being a guinea pig!) was gratifying.
    I hope everyone will one day try Nordic Walking...for me it is weight control, stress reliever and resistance workout all rolled into one. - 11/4/2010 3:16:03 PM
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