Nordic Walking

"...the biggest thing to hit the UK after Aerobics."
Richard and Judy

"..fitness craze takes pole position...sheds calories without tears."
The Observer

"...believe me...you'll all be Nordic Walking soon."
Evening Standard



Do you want to increase your fitness, lose weight, tone your upper body and do not like jogging? Nordic Walking is a fun way to improve your physical condition irrespective of age, sex and fitness level.

This fun and social cardiovascular workout utilises over 90% of the skeletal muscles, burns over 20% more calories than normal walking and provides a full body workout with less strain on joints than running.

Nordic Walking is a great way to socialise and an alternative to a coffee morning as you can 'walk and talk' and have a well deserved rest afterwards. However, it is also suitable for performance sport.

What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic Walking is cardiovascular/aerobic fitness walking with specially designed poles. If using the technique properly almost every muscle in the body is trained.

Nordic Walking started in Finland as an off-season training method for competitive cross-country skiers. Now 10% of the Finish population Nordic walks at least once a week.

It is the fastest growing recreational fitness sport in the world with an estimated 3.5 million Nordic Walkers at the end of 2004.

Technique

During walking with poles the movements of the arms, legs and body match the rhythm of walking firmly. The arms swing forward and backward and the powerful placement of the pole increase the length of the strides.

When using the technique almost all muscles are exercised. The muscles of the arms, shoulder areas and trunk are more actively stimulated.

In order to obtain full benefit of the technique it is important to learn the technique properly, which teaches you how to engage the upper body and the full extension of the arms.

Features and Benefits

  • 21% increase in energy expenditure compared to walking

  • Full body workout

  • Increased VO2-max

  • Less strain on joints than running

  • Perceived exertion remains similar to normal walking

  • Efficient way of increasing fitness and endurance

  • Increased energy

  • Provides relief for neck and shoulder complaints, and spine-related complaints

  • Can reduce repetitive strain injury (RSI)

  • Fights osteoporosis

  • Appropriate for heart patients

  • Suitable as part of a weight loss regime

These are just some of the benefits that can be achieved through Nordic Walking.

Equipment

The only equipment you will need is some good trainers and Nordic Walking poles.

Poles
The Exel Nordic Walking Sport Pole is a lightweight carbon fibre poles, which has been especially designed for Nordic Walking. The poles come with a life-time guarantee. The poles can be purchased through your instructor, or the web-site www.nordicwalking.co.uk.

Nordic Walking Exel Accessories

Water Bottle Belts
Foldable Pole Bag
Fitness Backpack
Nordic Walking Sport Gloves

These can be purchased through your instructor.

Nordic Walking classes

There are three levels of Nordic Walking:

Health: for anyone with a bodily restriction or health condition

Fitness: total aerobic body workout, endurance

Sport: for highly-trained athletes

Group coaching

Induction Class / Taster session
2 hours induction class must be taken before joining a class. This will take you through the basic technique of Nordic Walking and assess your fitness level. This sessions includes warm up, dynamic stretches, Nordic Walking, cool down and static stretches.

Beginners - Intermediate (6 x 1 hours)
This will also include how to use open hands backwards, full arm extension, how to increase the intensity, uphill and down hill training.

Beginners - Advanced (8 x 1 hours)
Intermediate+ e.g. jumps, skipping, bounding, interval training, circuits and running.