Are you looking for a full-body workout that’s low-impact, sociable, and can be done anywhere? Look no further than Nordic Walking, a fitness trend that originated in Finland and has become a secret obsession of mainland Europeans. It’s now ready to sweep through the UK, offering a unique way to enhance your health and fitness.
Many patients I encounter daily could significantly benefit from core training or targeted exercises to alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain or manage ongoing conditions such as arthritis or disc injuries to their spine. Osteopaths and Physiotherapists, who specialise in manual therapy, highly recommend Pilates and Yoga as effective methods for rehabilitation and injury prevention. Nevertheless, these activities may not suit everyone. If you fall into this category, Nordic Walking could be an excellent alternative for you.
Nordic Walking enhances natural walking using two poles to promote correct gait, reduce weight-bearing through joints, and engage up to 90% of all our skeletal muscles. The technique involves a backward pole position during the loading phase, control of the poles through grip and strap, and active and dynamic use of poles. The poles should always be in contact with the ground behind you, and with each step forward, the opposing arm swings out in front, dragging the pole gently along the ground. This technique stimulates proper upright posture and encourages good head/shoulder position.
Nordic Walking boasts a plethora of well-documented health benefits. It offers a comprehensive workout experience by effectively activating and strengthening the muscles in your back, chest, shoulders, arms, and legs, including those throughout your upper and lower body. This increased muscular engagement leads to heightened cardiovascular exertion, as your heart diligently pumps oxygenated blood to all corners of your body. This increased cardiovascular activity can help strengthen your heart and improve overall heart health. The use of poles in Nordic Walking takes some stress off your legs, reducing the wear and tear on your ankles, knees, and hips. This makes it an excellent option for individuals dealing with leg pain or injuries. Nordic Walking poles offer added stability, improving balance and reducing the risk of falls, especially in older individuals.
Even more importantly, Nordic Walking is arguably more sociable and can be done anywhere. All you need is the ability to walk and a pair of specialised poles. Unlike Pilates, which sometimes uses reformers, there’s no need for specialist equipment. If you struggle to walk due to an injury, Nordic Walking can serve as a great rehabilitation tool. For avid walkers, walks are graded on difficulty, and signing up for a harder walk may push you to achieve your health and fitness goals.
If you’re feeling fatigued from spending your summer exclusively within the confines of Pilates/Yoga studios, why not broaden your horizons with Nordic Walking? With a vast network of over 4,000 accomplished instructors across the UK, you’re certain to find one nearby. This invigorating, low-impact workout engages your entire body, offering the potential to elevate your overall fitness and well-being. Regardless of age, gender, or physical condition, Nordic Walking is an inclusive and gratifying activity that promotes physical and mental wellness without the pressure of competition. Whether you’re seeking a fresh fitness experience, looking to enhance your daily walks, or aiming to aid your recovery from an injury, Nordic Walking might be the perfect solution. Give it a shot during your next walk and witness the benefits firsthand!
For more information about Nordic walking
This article was written by our team of specialist therapists at Perfect Balance Clinic. If you would like more specific advice about how our team can help you with this condition or symptoms you may be having, please complete the contact form below and one of the team will get back to you shortly.