Nordic walking offers a range of benefits for health and well-being that we often do not suspect.
The unexpected health benefits of Nordic walking
This physical activity, originating from Finland, is more than just a walk in the park. It offers you a multitude of health benefits that you may not have considered.
Improve your cardiovascular condition: using Nordic walking poles encourages you to increase the intensity of your walking. Result ? Your heart beats faster, your blood circulation improves and your cardiovascular system strengthens. Little by little, you will notice an improvement in your general endurance.
Stimulate your metabolism: Nordic walking is an activity that uses the body as a whole. By working both the arms and the legs, it uses more muscles than traditional walking, which boosts the metabolism and promotes weight loss.
Improve bone health: Walking, especially Nordic walking, is excellent for bone health. It helps build and maintain bone density, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
How to maximize the benefits of Nordic walking
Nordic walking, if practiced correctly, offers you a multitude of benefits. However, to fully benefit from it, a certain number of recommendations must be taken into account.
Equip yourself correctly: Proper equipment can help you optimize your training. Quality Nordic walking poles, a pair of suitable shoes and comfortable clothing are essential. The sticks should be the right size, usually they reach up to your belly button. They serve to distribute the force exerted on your legs towards your upper body.
Adopt the correct technique: Nordic walking is not just walking with poles. There is a specific technique to adopt to ensure that the entire body is working. Make sure you use your poles to propel your body forward, walk with your arms swinging back and forth, and walk with a comfortable stride.
Adapt the intensity: As with any physical exercise, the intensity should be adapted to your fitness level. Start slowly if you are a beginner and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as your physical condition improves. Overexerting yourself can lead to injury and is not necessary to reap the benefits of Nordic walking.
Diversify your route: Nordic walking can be practiced in many different environments, from city parks to mountain trails. Diversifying your route can help maintain your interest in exercise and target different muscle groups.
Step-by-step approach to Nordic walking
Step 1: Choosing the sticks
They are your best allies in Nordic walking. Choose them according to your size and the type of terrain where you plan to walk. A good pole absorbs shock and reduces pressure on your knees and joints.
Step 2: Clothing equipment
Choose comfortable, breathable clothing. Don't forget your hat in summer to protect you from the sun and your waterproof jacket in winter to stay dry.
Step 3: Warming up
Before you begin, take what minutes to warm up. This prepares your body for exercise and helps prevent injuries.
Step 4: The technique
It's not just about walking with sticks. The Nordic walking technique is specific: the movement comes from the upper body, and the poles are used to propel the body forward. Don't be discouraged if you find it difficult at first - that's normal! With practice, this will quickly become natural.
Step 5: Hydration and Recovery
Remember to hydrate regularly during exercise, and eat a protein-rich snack after your walk to help your body recover.
Step 6: Tracking your progress
It's always motivating to see how much we're improving! Keep track of your walks - distance covered, time, heart rate, etc. - to track your progress and set new goals.
Nordic walking is a healthy practice with considerable benefits for health and well-being. Not only does it keep you active and fit, but it also offers a gentle method of physical rehabilitation.