Spotlight On: Nordic Walking
At buzz our Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS) has a long-established Nordic Walking group. We have three qualified Nordic Walk Leaders and one qualified Nordic Walking Instructor. Other than at the moment due to social distancing, the group usually meets every Thursday, in all weathers, at The Café in the Athletics Stadium located in Manchester's Etihad Stadium at 9:30am. The group splits into three walks, to cater for all abilities, and each walk lasts one hour. There is a warm up before the walk, a cool down period after, then the groups meet in the café for a drink and a catch up. Walking poles are provided.
Nordic walking is a total body version of walking that can be enjoyed both by non-athletes as a healthy physical activity, and by athletes as a sport. The activity is performed with specially designed walking poles similar to ski poles.
Who is Nordic walking suitable for?
Nordic walking is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Classes range from gentle walks for people with health concerns, to workout walks, which are a great way to improve fitness, lose weight and tone the whole body.
What equipment do you need?
You'll need a pair of nordic walking poles (these are different to those used for trekking because of how the strap is used and the angle you plant them on the ground), walking shoes and appropriate clothing. Most Nordic Walking Instructors will provide the poles, but you can buy a pair for about £30 if you prefer.
What difference do the poles make?
When properly used, the poles take the weight off the knees and lower body joints, this makes you feel lighter on your feet.
What's the technique?
You move in a similar way to ordinary walking and swing your arms from your shoulder with your elbows straight, think of a soldier marching. To get the full benefits and avoid injury, you could start with lessons to get the basic technique.
What are the health benefits of Nordic walking?
Similar to other forms of moderate activity, regular nordic walking can lower your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. Nordic walking, like any other form of exercise, can also be used as part of an exercise program to lose weight.
Health and Fitness Benefits of Nordic Walking include:
- Activates 90% of the body's muscles.
- Burns up to 46% more calories than regular walking.
- Increases aerobic effect by up to 25% compared to regular walking.
- Decreases load and strain on the lower body.
- Tones upper arms, shoulders and back muscles.
- Improves lateral mobility of the spine.
- Develops core stability and strength.
Is Nordic walking hard on your joints?
Nordic walking is no harder on the joints than walking. It's an activity suitable for people with joint conditions or who may be carrying some extra body weight.
How do you get started?
Once social distancing is lifted, if you want to get started then come along on Thursdays at the details above. You will be made to feel welcome (and bring £1 for the drink). See you soon!