Nordic Walking – An Introduction
Nordic walking is both a sport and a physical exercise that is a great way to stay active and fit. It is as gentle as walking but utilizes walking poles that engage the whole body and helps works out all the major muscle groups. It can be performed both as a solitary or a group activity, making it a fun and easy workout.
While the concept of Nordic Walking has been popular with backpackers and trekkers for a long time, it was only officially defined in the year 1979. The concept was mainly based upon the off season ski-training practice using only one ski pole. This is an especially good thing to practice for someone with Parkinson’s Disease. The rotational movements of the arms and trunk are important movement components to maintain.
The equipment used for Nordic Walking is known as Nordic Walking sticks. They are a one piece nonadjustable shaft like structure and are available in varying lengths. The walking poles are strong and light made from aluminum, carbon fiber or some other composite compound. They usually feature wrist straps, or some other form of grip. Nordic Walking sticks also come with rubber caps for use upon hard surfaces.
The general technique of Nordic Walking is the same as that of normal brisk walking, but the range of arm movements is what regulates the stride. The less arm movement, the less pelvic motion there is. Conversely, the longer the pole thrust, or arm movement, the greater the pelvic and upper body movement increasing the length of the stride.
Benefits to exercise
In Nordic Walking, it is required to put in considerably more effort in moving the pole than regular walking. Because of this, Nordic Walkers use more muscles of their body and can attain a more complete work out for the chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, spine, abdominal muscles and other core muscles of the body.
Scientific study has found that Nordic Walking consumes about 46% more energy than normal walking and it is a great all around health benefit.
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