It’s no secret that walking is a great workout that’s achievable for people at almost any fitness level. Walking can aid in weight management, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and prolonging your life expectancy. Nordic walking is a trending workout that can offer even more benefits, including more favorable outcomes for your cardiovascular health.
Nordic walking is getting a lot of attention as a current fitness trend, but it’s actually been around for a few decades. Originally developed as an off-season workout for skiers, Nordic walking is all about full body engagement. With Nordic walking, you engage the upper body by wielding a set of walking poles, which attach to the hands with a set of fitted gloves attached to each pole, unlike hiking poles, which are held loosely with a strap around the wrist.
Full-Body Muscle Engagement
With Nordic walking, you’re not only engaging the muscles in the lower body, but you’re also activating the upper body muscles by involving your arms, chest, and shoulders with the movement of the walking poles. There are a few different stride techniques with Nordic walking, but each of them keeps your upper body moving as your legs move as well. It’s important to maintain good posture while walking with your chest high, your shoulders back, and your rib cage open.
In one study that compared Nordic walking to high intensity interval training and moderate-to-vigorous intensity training, Nordic walking showed a greater increase in functional capacity, strength, and overall cardiovascular fitness.
Getting started with Nordic walking only requires a good walking route, a set of walking poles, and a commitment to regular exercise. However, it’s always a good idea to check in with a doctor before beginning a new exercise routine, especially if you have a history of cardiovascular health issues. Start your walking routine with confidence after checking in with a MeMD provider for a virtual healthcare visit.