Do you enjoy walking for fitness but feel like you could do just a bit more sometimes? What if we told you that there is an exercise that can work out both your upper and lower body and your core muscles all at the same time? If you are interested in taking your workouts to a whole new level, then look no further than Nordic walking!
Nordic walking is an exceptional yet surprisingly simple way to get in shape and stay in shape. Nordic walking essentially combines regular walking with a pretty decent upper and core body workout, using poles that look similar to ski poles. And by decent, I mean that it engages a whopping 90% of your muscles! So no, Nordic walking is not just walking with poles. It is a total body workout.
Now in the past, you may have seen folks stroll past you while using walking poles to support themselves and to maintain balance and stability. That is a different type of walking than Nordic. To imagine Nordic walking, simply envision someone swinging their arms and propelling themselves forward with poles as if they are skiing past you. But they are walking instead. The poles are angled more behind them. That is Nordic walking.
Nordic Walking, (aka “Urban Poling”, aka “Nordic pole walking”) is a sport that has been around since the 1960’s. Its name offers a hint to its origin. Nordic walking began in Finland as a way for cross-country skiers to stay in shape and to maintain strength in their skiing muscles during the off-season. Lo and behold, people outside of the skiing community began to take notice and Nordic walking eventually spread to those who enjoyed walking as a way to stay fit. Nordic walking added a whole new dimension to walking and the fitness walking community soon embraced it. Nordic walking is quite popular today in Europe and Canada, with increasing numbers of Americans beginning to appreciate the benefits of this sport every year.
We already know that regular walking is good for us. But Nordic walking offers a whole new host of benefits that go way beyond regular walking.
Some of those benefits include:
Offers a low impact activity for hips and knees
Helps with balance
Allows you to walk faster
Uses 90% of the muscles in your body
Burns 20-46% more calories
Provides a fun and new experience which helps keep you motivated
Engages upper body and core while walking
Aids in weight loss
Can be done year-round
Increases circulation and flexibility
Reduces stiffness and pain
Gives you an opportunity to exercise and to connect with nature at the same time (which comes with its own host of benefits!)
Who it's For
Nordic walking can be great for people of all ages. This includes:
Active older adults
Employees taking part in wellness programs
Avid walkers looking to try something new
People who are looking for something low impact
People training for races (5Ks, 10Ks, marathons, etc.)
People who want to get an efficient upper body and core workout while walking (which means it is great for people who are short on time!)
People wanting to lose weight
Disclaimer: Always check with your physician before starting any new exercise program.
The beauty of any form of walking lies in its simplicity. And while Nordic walking takes walking one step further (no pun intended!), unlike many other sports, with Nordic walking, you don’t need a whole lot to get started. Just be sure to start slow, perhaps walking only around 30% of your normal walking time/distance until you get more comfortable with Nordic walking.
Also, it is critical that you take the time to learn the proper technique. Not doing so can cause you to miss out on the many benefits of this sport but worst case, could also lead to injury.
Are you ready to get started?
A pair of walking shoes with adequate support
Weather appropriate clothing
Nordic walking poles
*It is important to make sure that your poles are designed for Nordic walking and not for hiking. This is because there are some key differences in terms of handgrip and the angle of the rubber padding on the pole tips. Before venturing out, try to make some time for a 5-minute warm up to get your blood flowing. Equally important is taking the time to do some cool down stretching at the end of your walk, to promote recovery and to help your body return to its normal pre-exercise state.
Are you someone who needs that extra push to get started? Do you appreciate spending time in nature but just wish you had someone to enjoy Nordic walking with? Look no further! Our certified Nordic walking instructors are trained in proper technique and are ready to accompany you as you walk your way towards better health!
If you are looking for a certified Nordic walking instructor in Maryland, we provide Nordic walking lessons, along with some light strength training sessions. We can meet you where you are, because remember, Nordic walking can be done anywhere! But if you would rather arrange to meet at more scenic areas, we can explore that option as well. With so many beautiful trails in Maryland to enjoy, the sky is the limit!
Some people only want a few lessons and then they are ready to continue on their own. Others enjoy the ongoing companionship and motivation that comes from ongoing sessions. We offer packages for both, to suit your needs.
Pricing All sessions are approximately 1 hour in length and sessions include time for warm-up, cool down, light stretching, and walking. Depending on your individual goals, sessions may also include time for light strength training activities. Use of Nordic walking poles, light dumbbells and resistance bands are included.
Sessions range from $75 to $99 per session, depending on the package purchased.
*Group classes coming soon!
Contact us today for your free consultation so we can hit the trails together. Let’s go…Andiamo!