Yesterday Mary asked in her comment about walking sticks. They are not sticks, they are POLES. Sorry!
Background of Nordic Walking
Nordic Walking uses specifically designed poles to engage the upper body during fitness walking. Nordic Walking was first used as a summer training method by cross-country skiers.
It was then developed into a fitness exercise with specific training equipment in co-operation with the Finnish sports equipment manufacturer Exel Oyj, researchers in sports medicine, and other fitness professionals. Nordic Walking was first launched in Finland in 1997. It has rapidly increased in popularity and today Nordic Walking is well-known fitness sports.
Here’s a very good video but it’s quite long, 4 min 12 sec. BUT if you’re interested it’s worth the time to watch.
Health facts In Nordic Walking
Heart rate is 5-17 beats per minute higher (for example in normal walking heart rate is 130 beats/minute and in Nordic Walking 147 beats per minute i.e. increase is 13%)
Energy consumption increases when using poles by an average of 20% compared with ordinary walking without poles
Up to a 46% increase in energy consumption (Cooper Institute research, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sports 2002 publication)
Releases pain and muscle tension in the neck/shoulder region
The lateral mobility of the neck and spine increases significantly
The muscles most actively involved are the forearm extensor and flexor muscles, the rear part of the shoulder muscles, the large pectoral muscles and the broad back muscles
Does not aggravate joints and knees
Reduces the load on knees and other joints
Consumes approximately 400 calories per hour!!!
(compared with 280 calories per hour for normal walking)
Nordic Walking should be practiced for relatively long periods, i.e. between half an hour and two hours at a time. The pace should be steady and the heart rate should rise to between 120 and 150 beats per minute.
If you’re in a hurry
Original Nordic walking on uphill by Original Nordic walker Marko Kantaneva only 15 seconds!!!
If you’re still interested here’s a link to basic technique.