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So you want to know about the benefits of nordic walking in detail, right?
Here, we will discuss the health benefits of practicing Nordic walking in detail.
We all know that walking is very beneficial for our health.
No matter whether you walk fast or slow, before the meal or after the meal, in the early morning or in the evening, it is always beneficial.
Many people who are aware of their health go for a walk every day. But if they include nordic walking instead of normal walking, they can get extra health benefits.
It is because Nordic walking has some unique health benefits that other types of walking can’t provide. We will discuss them one by one here.
Before we start discussing the health benefits of nordic walking, let’s learn a few things about it.
1. What is Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking is a type of walking in which you use specially-designed Poles in such a way that they harness the power of the upper body to propel you forward as you walk.
These poles are attached to the hands through a strap and angled behind.
That’s why it is also known as ‘Walking with Poles”.
Every type of walking only helps you improve your lower body but Nordic walking also helps you improve your upper body.
So, Nordic walking can provide you with a full-body workout.
Nordic walking was founded in Finland and got popular in 1990. Till now, it is very much popular.
2. Nordic Walking Vs. Normal Walking
There are lots of scientific studies available which confirm that nordic walking is more beneficial than normal walking.
It is because it includes not only legs but it also includes arms, chest, shoulder, and core muscles.
The poles you use during the nordic walk help you walk faster and longer which increases your heart rate and blood circulation throughout the body.
Another reason why Nordic walking is more beneficial than normal walking is that it increases the Rate of Perceived Exhaustion (RPE) very slightly.
It means you will not get more exhausted even if you are practicing high-intensity nordic walking.
According to the nordic academy, Australia,
- Nordic walking can burn 46% more calories than normal walking
- It can increase the aerobic effect by 25% more than a normal walk
=> So, we can say that nordic walking is more beneficial than normal walking.
3. Nordic Walking Vs. Jogging
Though jogging can burn more calories than nordic walking, in special cases, nordic walking is more beneficial than jogging.
For example, for obese people, I would recommend Nordic walking rather than jogging/jumping/running.
It is because such exercises can damage their knees and leg bones that’s why in such a case nordic walk is considered a good alternative.
Another case in which nordic walking is superior to jogging is when you want to engage arm and shoulder muscles too.
Because jogging can engage the legs, chest, and core muscles and not arm and shoulder muscles (even if you move your hands while jogging, they are not well engaged as in nordic walking).
So if you want a full-body workout, you should opt for nordic walking.
4. Nordic Walking Vs. Resistance Training
According to PubMed, Nordic walking is better at improving the muscle strength of the lower body, dynamic balance, aerobic capacity, and flexibility of the upper body as compared to resistance training.
Now, we will discuss the advantages of practicing nordic walking to our health.
5. Health Benefits of Nordic Walking
Scientific studies confirm that nordic walking can provide us with lots of health benefits.
We will discuss them step by step.
1) It Can Reduce Obesity
As mentioned above, nordic walking engages more muscles and even promotes our walking speed which results in burning more calories.
There was an experiment conducted in which women were told to practice Nordic walking for 12 weeks.
The end results were wonderful. Nordic walking showed a decrement in the fat content of almost all the women.
2) Nordic Walking Can Improve Your Heart Health
The poles we use in nordic walking can increase the speed of walking which increases our heart rate.
Studies show that during nordic walking, our heart works more to pump the blood throughout the body.
Nordic walking is also shown to keep the blood pressure normal.
According to PubMed, regular practice of nordic walk can provide you with overall heart benefits and helps you prevent various coronary heart diseases.
(Related: Foods to Increase Hemoglobin Levels)
3) Good for Knee Joints
Aged people who are suffering from diabetes or any other diseases are often told by their doctors to go for a walk.
But due to knee pain, they can’t do it. In such cases, nordic walking is a good option.
When you practice a nordic walk, the poles reduce the majority of the load from your knees and hips.
So, you can have your walk without damaging your knees.
4) Nordic Walking Can Increase Your Exercise Capacity
According to the nordic academy, Australia, nordic walking can activate 90% of the body’s muscles.
That means it can stimulate almost every muscle of the body which results in increased exercise capacity, exercise endurance, and more oxygen supply.
5) Helps People With Arthritis and/or Parkinson’s
Everyone should do exercises. But when people with arthritis do exercise, it increases the pain around their joint areas.
Since nordic walking is a low-impact exercise, you can easily practice it and get relief from arthritis pain and Parkinson’s.
6) It Provides a Full Body Workout
Since nordic walking stimulates 90% of the muscles, it can provide you with a full-body workout.
It activates all the lower body, back muscles, chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, core muscles, etc. It’s like cardio exercise for all these muscles.
If you are a gym-goer and want to have a change from your exercise schedule, you can practice Nordic walking without worrying about skipping a gym day.
7) Promotes Upright Posture
Straightening the posture is one of the best health benefits of nordic walking.
The movement we practice while Nordic walking promotes the upright posture which is not possible in normal walking.
It also increases the strength of the back muscles and the spine.
Nordic walking is also beneficial for the person suffering from lower back tension.
8) Nordic Walking Improves Dynamic Balance
Though Nordic walking can’t help you improve static balance, it can definitely help you improve dynamic balance.
Now, you may ask what is the static and dynamic balance?
Let me explain.
Static balance is your ability to hold the body in a specific posture and position while dynamic balance is your ability to maintain balance while moving your body and walking.
According to PubMed, Nordic walking is one of the best methods to improve your dynamic balance.
9) It Can Improve Your Sleep Quality
It is one of the best health benefits of nordic walking that will definitely please you.
Nordic Walking is practiced in open spaces, and outdoor environments, and you also burn more calories.
These all factors allow you to feel more tired and have a wonderful sleep at night.
10) Boosts Your Memory Power
According to various researches, it has been proven that nordic walking improves your memory, memory recall, and creativity.
It is because during a nordic walk you squeeze your both hands unilaterally which improves brain functioning.
=> The Other Health Benefits of Nordic Walking
1) Lowers load and strain on the lower body
2) Enhances the lateral mobility of your spine
3) Increase the core stability and strength
4) Helps you make more friends. (Since it is an outdoor activity you may make more friends)
These were some health benefits of nordic walking.
Let’s dive deeper into Nordic Walking.
6. How to Practice Nordic Walking?
Well, it is always advisable to consult an expert. But you can still learn it from watching videos.
Here, I have embedded a video for your convenience.
7. Disadvantages of Nordic Walking
Though Nordic walking is immensely beneficial for your health, it has certain disadvantages.
Here they are,
1) It doesn’t improve your static balance.
2) It is necessary to use the Nordic walking poles to practice it.
3) Since it is an outdoor activity, outdoor factors such as bad climate, pollution, etc can harm your health.
4) There is a chance that a person suffers from fever, flu, and fatigue after practicing it for the first time.
8. Best Nordic Walking Poles
If you are interested in nordic walking and want to practice it. Then you will need nordic walking poles.
I have mentioned the best one below.
Now, let me answer some common questions.
1) Is Nordic Walking for Everyone?
Yes, anyone can practice nordic walking. But don’t practice it more in the beginning. Slowly raise your walking duration.
2) Should I Use Poles or Simple Rod will be Ok?
Nordic walking poles are specially designed to improve your nordic walking results. So in my point of view, you should use the nordic walking poles.
3) What is the Best Time to Practice Nordic Walking?
Morning and evening are the best time to practice nordic walking. If you want to lose weight then the evening walk will be a good choice.
4) How long Should I Practice Nordic Walking?
50-60 minutes is an ideal range. If you are a beginner then start slowly and gradually increase the duration.
Here, we have discussed the health benefits of nordic walking.
After reading all the aspects of it, we can say that nordic walking is beneficial for our health and we should practice it to increase the quality of our life.
If you have any questions related to the health benefits of nordic walking, you can ask me in the comment box.
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Thanks for reading…!!!