Forget preconceived ideas and discover the benefits of Nordic walking
In recent years, you have surely come across people on hiking trails, on the side of the road or even in the middle of town, people walking with sticks. We are willing to bet that many thoughts and a priori have raced through your mind about the nature of this activity and the audience concerned. It's time to put an end to it because you know, Nordic walking is indeed a sporting discipline, contrary to what its name might suggest.
And the benefits of Nordic walking are numerous. The good news is that you don't have to live in the far north to practice it! You will just need a pair of poles, a little motivation, and between 1h30 and 2h00 ahead
A little history
But before going to choose the right sticks corresponding to your appearance, let's talk a little about its origins and its history. Nordic walking, also called Nordic Walking or Sauvakävely, is a sport that
comes from Finland. If this activity saw the light of day as such in the 90s, the beginnings date from the beginning
of the 20th century.
Originally, Finnish cross-country skiers were looking for a way to train during the summer season when they were deprived of snow and skiing. This is how they came up with the idea of walking with poles, using them in the same way as when skiing, that is to say by planting them at the back and simulating sliding. .
The practice then became democratized during the 20th century. It spread throughout the world in the 1990s. In France, the sporting practice became regulated by the French Athletics Federation from 2009. It is even the subject of sporting competitions such as the Nordic Walking Tour which was launched in 2014.
Today, Nordic walking has millions of followers around the world. Whether it's raining, windy, snowing, whether you live by the sea, in the city, in the mountains or in the countryside, it's an all-terrain sport and you will be surprised to discover all the benefits Nordic walking!
Nordic walking, kesako?
Nordic walking consists of walking outdoors (even if it can be practiced indoors) with poles that are specific to the discipline. It combines both endurance work and muscle strengthening work.
Gentler than jogging and more dynamic than hiking, Nordic walking can be practiced alone or in a group. The advantage of Nordic walking is that it can be practiced at any age and whatever your physical condition.
Nordic walking also provides excellent training for other disciplines such as skiing or hiking. This activity also allows you to get into sports gently. It is also a very good option for getting back into good physical condition.
In general, a Nordic walking session is carried out as follows:
- 10 minutes of warming up the muscles and joints
- Between 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minutes of Nordic walking which may include exercise exercises
- 10 to 15 minutes of recovery and stretching
The benefits of Nordic walking on the body and mind are numerous.
A little fresh air and presto
You can of course practice this physical activity in the city, but the benefits will be somewhat reduced due to pollution.
Like outdoor sports, Nordic walking when practiced in nature has a dimension of discovery and interlude. It allows you to explore numerous playgrounds, and combines the advantages of a session of
meditation to those of a sports session. We breathe deeply and admire the landscapes before us, we enjoy the present moment. It's an excellent way to escape alone but it's also a factor of social bonding when you decide to practice Nordic walking with others.
A complete sport and fat burner
In addition to the benefits for the mind with its dimension of escape, the benefits for the body and health are numerous.
We certainly walk, but it's the whole body that works: the legs of course but also the abs, arms, pectorals and neck.
By engaging the entire body, all the muscle chains in the upper and lower parts are mobilized. As a result, the energy expenditure is greater compared to that of conventional walking. If the practice of Nordic walking is regular and the sessions are long, it also allows a reduction in the body mass index as well as weight loss.
Synchronization, coordination and balance
The fact that this accelerated walk is practiced with poles allows you to work on the synchronization and coordination of movements. It also improves posture and balance. Unlike traditional hiking, the poles are not planted vertically but are pointed at the back of the body to be able to propel it forward, exactly like cross-country skiing.
And even if the pace is gentler than that of jogging, the cardiovascular work is almost equivalent because working the arms with the poles requires a lot of oxygenation (60% more oxygen required for Nordic walking).
A stronger skeleton and joints
Another significant advantage: there is no impact on the joints unlike jogging. On the other hand, vibrations help strengthen the bones! Thanks to walking and the repetition of the gesture of planting the poles, Nordic walking therefore constitutes an excellent remedy against inactivity osteoporosis and problems affecting the joints (arthritis and osteoarthritis).
In summary, Nordic walking has it all! To your sticks.