Linda Lewis is a National Coach for the International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA) and tells us a little more about the sport.
You may have seen people walking with poles already and wondered what all the fuss is about, or you might feel like having a go but are worried that you won’t have the coordination. Well, the first thing is that it’s EASY as the correct technique (according to the International Nordic Walking Federation) is based on the natural movements of walking, whilst also paying attention to your posture – which most of us could do with!
If you are recovering from breast cancer, have osteoporosis, are overweight, have diabetes etc., then Nordic Walking could be a great help. If you are a runner whose knees or back can no longer take the pounding but you still want a good cardio workout, then Nordic Walking is also for you, so why not give it a try.
Here are ten reasons to give it a go:
It helps weight loss – you’ll burn more calories than walking at the same speed without poles as you are using more muscles.
The correct technique gives arms and shoulders a gentle workout – bye, bye flabby underarms!
When you plant the poles and push you are actually also engaging your abs – imagine how many times you plant and push the poles, even on a short walk.
The correct technique involves rolling through the whole of the foot and pushing through on the ball of the foot. This is great for combatting circulation problems in the ankles and legs, and also helps to activate the glutes with each step.
Working out the foot and ankle muscles is useful in fall prevention – as we get older people tend to shuffle their feet somewhat.
Using poles means you are more stable and less likely to slip when it’s muddy.
Going up hills becomes a doddle with the poles as you are now in ‘4 wheel drive’ mode; able to use your arms as well as your legs to climb.
Your heart beats slightly faster with the poles than it would walking at the same speed without them, so it’s a great way to increase your cardio activity.
As using the poles works the muscles in your arms, chest, abs, back, butt, legs and feet you are also working on strength, and you can increase the intensity as you develop your technique.
If you can walk you can Nordic Walk!
For more information about the sport and the Association go to www.inwa-nordicwalking.com
Linda holds training sessions for people who might like to lead a group or simply develop their own technique. She can also help to set up walking groups.
First published in the March/April 2019 issue of The Local Buzz.
Images: Linda Lewis and Shutterstock