You might have heard of Nordic Pole
Walking. It's sweeping North America and it's just super exercise for ALL ages!
You may have heard it called nordic walking, the benefits of nordic walking, using nordic waling sticks, nordic walking technik or the like. Whatever you call it, it's real and very good news for you. Why?
Because it's really beneficial and very easy for us 50 Plus'ers to do. Just grab a couple of those nordic walking stick thingies and walk! Greater fitness without apparently working any harder. Sounds like a very good deal to us.
Now, just in case you're asking yourself "You mean that funny thing I see silly people do as they walk down the path waving their arms and poles in the air? How can that be beneficial unless you're laughing so hard you lose weight just watching?"
Well we wouldn't say 'funny' or 'silly' but yes - that's the stuff!
As you work through your personal Fitness Walking Program you can add variety to your walking styles. (And of course, as always you will clear this new activity with your medical professional, right? We knew you would.)
The Benefits Of Nordic Walking
As amazing as it sounds, just adding that little motion with those nordic walking sticks, nordic pole walking does all of this for you.
Llet's take a closer look at ...
Nordic Pole Walking - What It Is.
In simple terms it's walking with poles.
Hmm, maybe you want a bit more? OK, here goes.
You add nordic walking sticks or poles to your walking and use a technique a bit like cross country skiing. The big difference with nordic pole walking is that you walk upright, not bent over. This lets you use a longer arm swing and stride. This causes you to use more muscles, especially in your upper body.
When you exercise with nordic walking poles, you extend the normal arm swing you get with regular walking.
This simple action is the basic reason and source for all the benefits we talk about.
Some Bonus Benefits Of Nordic Walking!
So the next step is ...
How Do You Do It?
Rather than us blather on, the best way we know of is to show you. Have a look at this 5 minute video put together by Nordic Walking USA. It does a very good job of going over the basics. (used with permission)
Isn't that a good video? Shows you clearly just about everything you should know. Here is a great reference book authored by Dr. Schwanbeck that is worth taking a look at.
It's called The Ultimate Nordic Pole Walking Book. As an added bonus Klaus includes a neat DVD with this video and other stuff on it. We have it and love it! Great reference stuff and motivator.
OK. You've got all this good info. You're ready to get out there and give it a go. A couple of things. First ... what to look for in ...
Nordic Pole Walking Equipment
You want poles that are adjustable - fixed length, two section and three section poles are available. More sections usually means higher price to get the same strength when extended.
You need removable rubber tips. Our tips usually last about 6-8 months when you walk on pavement, asphalt, concrete. The carbide tip under the rubber usually lasts a very long time. Quality poles allow you to replace them too.
You want adjustable wrist straps. Some poles (like the LEKI we use) have a wrist strap assembly that has a quick release button. You can quickly release your hand from the pole without having to undo the strap from your wrist. This can be a nuisance in the winter with gloves on.
Poles tend to made out of aluminum, graphite, carbon fiber or a combination of these for lighter weight and greater strength. If you tend to walk or hike in rougher terrain, the extra strength might come in handy for stability and grip on sloped ground.
Finally we have two more important pieces of nordic pole walking equipment - nordic walking footwear and quality socks. They are so important they get their own pages. Please read the Nordic Walking Shoes and Thorlo Padded Socks pages for this.
And just before you head on out we have just 'one more thing' ...
Your weren't really thinking you could get away from warming up now did you?
That finely tuned walking machine of yours is developing very nicely but at our age, you know it's always best to warm up a bit first.
Work through these just before you start out. They don't take long and you'll enjoy your nordic walking all that much more. The stretching segment is courtesy of LEKI, a
leading manufacturer of ski, hiking, trekking and nordic walking poles for over 55
(If these are still a little bit tough, then visit our other Stretching Exercise page until you're ready for these)
Stretching Exercises for Nordic Pole Walking
*(Alternately you can put your foot on the edge of a couch or bed, bend the other knee slowly. Change legs. Use a wall or chair to support your hands)
Chest/Upper Shoulder Stretch
Yes! Now You're Ready To Go Nordic Pole Walking!
Yes, at long last you truly are ready to give this exciting and energizing experience a go.
Go easy but do GO! See you on the path!
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