Most people, myself included, have been caught up in the hype of exercise equipment by advertisements that make you believe that you need to have expensive equipment and/or machines, or go to a gym, in order to get a great workout. Well, here is the truth. You only need a pair of legs that can move and a couple of walking poles to get a total body workout.
We have all seen the ads for the Bowflex, the great abs sculpting contraption and many other types of home base gym sets with the top fit actors and models trying to lure us in to spend our hard earned cash. I must say I was one of them. After spending thousands on great big dust collector I just had to get rid of the thing. I am in no way bashing home gym equipment. These machines are high tech and built extremely well and the physics that go with them when used properly will benefit the user. Unfortunately over 90 percent of the people (like myself) who purchase home gyms only use them for a short time and the novelty wears off soon enough and in return is something often looked at when walked buy. Although we are a people who want to get in shape and feel better about ourselves we forget the simple thing that we do on a daily basis that can help maintain a healthy body and cardiovascular system, and that is walking. We have heard the term ” walk a block a day” many times from TV ads and our phys E.D teachers to help keep us fit. With this in mind there is a better way to walk that can be the new way for a total body work out, and this the Nordic Walking Technique.
Nordic walking has it’s origins from off season ski training. An activity used for decades know as ski walking by cross country skiers who wanted to stay in shape and build stamina during the off season. It quickly became a way for people who had knee pain and back to pain to walk again reducing the amount of pain in their joints.
The first specially designed walking poles with optional rubber tips (for hard surfaces, such as concrete and pavement) were designed by Tom Rutlin. Rutlin’s designs and enthusiasm helped to urbanize fitness pole walking.
In 1997, Finnish ski pole manufacturer Exel, working with Marko Kantaneva, introduced the trademarked Nordic Walker poles. “Nordic walking” became the accepted term for fitness walking with specially designed poles. Although fitness walking with poles has been relatively slow to be embraced in North America, the Nordic skiing savvy Northern Europeans quickly embraced this dry land hybrid of two of their favorite fitness activities, Nordic skiing and walking, and a little more than a decade after its introduction in Europe, an estimated 8-10 million people (mostly in Northern Europe) have taken up fitness walking with specially designed poles as a regular form of exercise. (Wikipedia)
– increased overall strength and endurance in the core muscles and upper body
– significant increases in heart rate
– incline walking becomes easier
– nearly double the amount of calories burned.
– improved balance and stability
– significant stress reduction of hip, knee and ankle joints
– increased energy levels and weigh loss
– fresh air and the company of the great outdoors.
– Meet new people who enjoy Nordic Walking
This is a great outdoor fitness activity that can help maintain a healthy life style and to meet new people. There are clubs that walk daily, weekly and monthly that have some great times together. No matter if you are the fitness elite who want to power walk with this technique or just stroll along with a friend enjoying each others company. Either way healthy living is key to longevity and Nordic Walking is great way to achieve that.