A cross between walking and Nordic skiing
Nordic walking is a powerful blend of regular walking and cross-country skiing, using specially designed poles to accelerate your walking speed, keep your body in alignment and give you a whole-body workout.
Originating in Finland
It came about when competitive cross-country skiers wanted to keep fit during the snowless off-season. They discovered that by adapting their ski poles and using their cross-country upper body action whilst regular walking they could maintain their strength and fitness. The ‘Nordic walking’ name and technique was created in Finland in the late 1990s and came to the UK in around 2004.
Do I need any special kit?
Before you can get started you need to learn the basic Nordic walking technique and have a pair of Nordic walking poles. These are similar to trail running poles (yes, you can Nordic run – or Nordic skate – if you want) with a glove-type strap which clips in to a slender, streamlined handle. It allows for a full arm swing and great acceleration as you can push the pole way behind your body, letting go with your hand and powering through the strap. Nordic walking poles are different from trekking poles, which have a chunky handle with a loop strap and which are used primarily for support and stability.
I’m interested in Nordic walking – tell me how I can learn
Contact us if you live near Bristol and want to learn Nordic walking – we’ll show you how. Or else you can find instructors through the National organisations British Nordic Walking and Nordic Walking UK.