When Nordic walking many different muscles are claimed. This total body workout is also reflected in the calorie consumption: A Nordic Walker burns on average between 400 and 500 calories per hour - depending on the intensity of the execution. Especially elderly and people with joint problems can improve their endurance, flexibility, strength and coordination with this gentle sport.
How does Nordic Walking work?
Nordic walking works like cross-country skiing, but you do not need mountains or snow for that. Nordic Walking is not for fast-paced fanatics, although as a beginner in Nordic walking, you'll soon be out of breath.
Walking with ski poles
Nordic Walking is quasi fast walking with ski poles. Pushing off the ground with the ski poles intensively trains the chest, shoulder and arm muscles. At the same time the ankles are relieved. Nordic Walking is an optimal sport for the overweight, since the knee joints are spared. Even for older people, Nordic Walking is an appropriate way to move, because the sticks provide safety when walking.
In addition, Nordic Walking is an ideal workout for burning fat, as many different muscles are used. Nordic Walking gets the heart, circulation and metabolism going, provides more endurance and strengthens the entire body. The stress pulse is about 15 beats and the calorie consumption is 20 to 55 percent higher compared to normal walking. The subjective burden is only slightly increased, because instead of moving fewer muscles more intense, more muscles are loaded in an optimal range.
Stick length important for Nordic Walking
In order to be able to practice Nordic walking, you need good running shoes, loose, breathable clothing and special poles - if possible from a carbon fiberglass mixture. The stick should be so long that you can form a maximum of right angle in the elbow joint. Better is a slightly larger angle. As rule of thumb for the stick length applies: height in centimeters x 0.7 = stick length in centimeters. A rubber guard on the tip absorbs shocks and noises on asphalt or other hard ground. For Nordic Walking on soft ground you can easily remove the protection.
The right running technique for Nordic Walking
Anyone who has already done cross-country skiing, the technique will learn quickly and easily: The right leg and the left arm swing forward together - and vice versa. The upper body is slightly bent forward.
Stride length and pole position are important: The step should be longer than usual. The stick is located a few inches behind the heel of the front foot. The front arm should be slightly bent and in front of the body. The front hand firmly grasps the stick. The back, detached hand is behind the pelvis, with the arm outstretched and the hand should be open - so relaxes the muscles again.
When using a pole, you use strength and body tension, because only then will the whole upper body be trained. Important is the fully outstretched rear arm and the complete opening of the fingers. The stick can not fall down because it is attached to the hand by a glove-like loop.
Trained trainers for the elderly and beginners
A big mistake is to teach yourself the technique of Nordic Walking. Because that often goes awry: If, for example, with a bent arm uses the stick, it can lead to violent shock loads in the elbow and shoulder joint. The result: tension and pain in the neck and shoulders.
Anyone who has not practiced sport for years should get in touch with their family doctor with a simple training program.
At the Institute for Rehabilitation Sports, Sports Therapy and Disabled Sports of the Faculty of Sports of the University of Leipzig, it was examined to what extent Nordic walking can be used in the inpatient rehabilitation of cardiac patients. The scientists found that the patients were happy to learn Nordic Walking training. They also felt safer than walking without sticks, and their subjective stress was lower during exercise. Likewise, they felt less exhausted than the test groups without sticks.
Nordic Walking is now used by many rehab clinics in Scandinavia as a therapy. In Germany, too, some health insurances have begun to financially support Nordic walking courses as part of preventive measures.