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Nordic Walking Guide

What is Nordic Walking? How will it benefit me? What equipment do I need?

  • New way to workout inside and outside
  • Total body outdoor & indoor fitness tool in the same equipment
  • New revolutionary innovation to old Nordic Walking
  • Perfect equipment for group training and rehabilitation
Nordic Walking Guide

Introduction to Nordic Walking

In 1997 Exel oy introduced, together with Suomen Latu and the Finnish Sport Institute Nordic Walking in Finland as a new sport and quickly after also in other European countries the interest for this new sport was coming up. Nordic Walking is now known in these countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Island, Estonia, France, Slovenia, England, Kroatia, Japan, Australia, Spain, USA, Canada, Taiwan, China.

In Finland, "mother country" of Nordic Walking, more than 800,000 people are weekly active in Nordic Walking. Furthermore, from research it shows that in Finland the percentage of men going out for Nordic Walking, is growing strongly. Internationally it appears that over 8 million people is at least once a week active with Nordic Walking. This number is still growing as result of expansion of member countries promoting Nordic Walking.

HISTORY OF NORDIC WALKING

For already more than 40 years Nordic Walking in Finland is used as a summer training for cross-country skiers. They practise Nordic Walking on long hiking expeditions, hill marches, and expeditions in swamps. Sport institutes and health organisations consider Nordic Walking already for long time, as a very good training method.

Many recreation centres also offer Nordic Walking as a exciting, popular form of training. The real big break through came in 1997 when Nordic Walking was accepted as a national approved training method. This break was a result of a successful meeting between two institutes: a commercial company and a national sports organisation

The Finnish company Exel Oy from Mantyharju designed a product named the "Nordic Walking pole" which has been put in the market as a training tool by the Finnish sports institute Suomen Latu ry. The combination between these two huge sport specialists were the perfect ingredients for a successful story. Trainers who were involved with rehabilitation were invited to think along about the possibilities to implement Nordic Walking in the rehab programs.

WHAT IS NORDIC WALKING?

Nordic Walking is an effective way of walking with help of poles. The movements of the arms, legs and body are during walking with poles equivalent to the rhythm of movements while walking firmly without poles. While performing Nordic Walking the arms and legs move in cloister and swing forward and backward.

In order to obtain good training results it is very important to learn this rhythm before going to walk with the Nordic Walking poles. The swing of the arms and the powerful placement of the pole, influence the length of the strides. A small arm swing means a limited pelvis rotation and shorter stride length. When the pole movement is bigger, the length of stride will also increase as well as the rotation in the pelvis and in the higher parts of the upper body.

By making use of the arm movements and a good Nordic Walking technique, almost all muscles of the body are trained. Nordic Walking can be considered as a "total body workout".

 

WALKING FOR HEALTH

Walking is a very safe way for increasing one's endurance and is a nice method to come in motion in a well-balanced way.

While walking the muscles of the legs, pelvis, midriff and arms, all work together. For example, a man of 75 kg uses approximately 12-15 kg muscles while walking. Generally speaking, walking is a form of training on a sub maximal level.

It is save for the joints in the lower limbs and also the spine because the centre of gravity of the body practically does not move vertically. This decreases overburden on the feet, ankles, knees, pelvis and lower spine. If walking is compared with jogging, the burdening on the joints of the lower limbs and lower spine, is 2 times less than while jogging.

From scientific research it is obvious that the daily advisable physical exercise to keep the body in good condition (International Exercise standard) is following:

  • Minimal 30 minutes walking firmly or
  • 10,000 strides or
  • Five times a day 5 times upstairs and downstairs, or
  • A total energy expenditure of 150 kcal

From scientific training studies it appears that regular walking for fitness by adults, not only the endurance improves, but that this also gives positive alterations in the blood picture and body constitution. Cholesterol, (LDL) diminishes the percentage body fat decreases and the muscle mass increases.

Another positive effect of walking can be found in the blood pressure (in rest), bone density and mental wellness. As well as in jogging as in walking studies at Swiss and Finnish men, results show that firm walking improves the aerobe endurance and health.

The energy use during walking is depending of the walking speed and the body weight. Already during walking with normal speed, the process of metabolism triplicates comparing with a resting situation. At a walking speed of 7 km/hour, the energy consumption is comparable with jogging.

NORDIC WALKING - FOR WHO ? - MEDICAL ASPECTS:

Not withstanding age, Nordic Walking can be done by everyone who wants to work in a nice and pleasant way on his condition and well being in the fresh air. Even persons with physical limitations can execute Nordic Walking. While walking with the specially designed poles, the joints are being relieved, relaxation appears in the neck- shoulder region and the spine is supported. Nordic Walking is a perfect exercise and outdoor activity for those people who have complaints on their spine and joints of pelvis, knees and ankles. The poles give an extra stability so that overburden complaints will not rise or will rise less than normal.

While treating pelvis instability, whiplash, fibromyalgie en chronic back problems, is has shown in practice that Nordic Walking is the perfect possibility to go out sporting. For elderly people with disequilibrium, walking with poles gives an extra safety. This often is the case at elderly people or at certain circumstances like cold seasons (e.g. snow and ice).

Nordic Walking has proven to be very appropriate for heart patients. It is a very efficient way to increase their fitness and endurance. The use of poles gives an optimal effect of training because the upper body is actively involved during walking. A good warming up for this group of people is very important as well as repeating the home work exercises. This benefits a better mobility and avoids negative experiences

Gymstick Nordic Walking

Gymstick Walking

The Gymstick walking poles include exercise bands which can be easily pulled out from the patented Quickhole-mechanism of the grip. This will allow you to transfer your Gymstick walking poles into a comprehensive fitness tool in just a few seconds and you are ready to exercise your muscular strength, balance and flexibility effectively!

Click here for Nordic Walking Stick product information

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