A whole body low impact fitness activity
Nordic walking is a fitness activity which uses specially designed poles to help you walk faster, improve your posture and balance and give you a whole-body workout. It’s a low impact exercise suitable for everyone.
What we like most about it is that it raises your heart rate without you feeling too puffed which makes getting fit so much easier – oh – and it’s brilliant for your back, kind on your joints and great for your circulation. Did we forget to mention that it’s outdoors, so you can exercise in nature and lots of fresh air – and it’s sociable too! All of this means that it’s amazing for your mental health: the perfect blend of physical and mental wellbeing.
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?
To Nordic walk you need 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
Before you can get started you need to learn the basic Nordic walking technique. Book onto one of our free Nordic walking workshops taking place over the weekend:
Saturday 11am on Clifton Downs: Click here.
Sunday various times: Click here.