Here at Damart, we love being fit and healthy, and one of our favourite types of exercise is Nordic walking.
Recognised by the NHS as a full body exercise that is both easy on the joints and suitable for all fitness levels, Nordic walking is an exercise that can be enjoyed just about anywhere.
What is Nordic Walking?
A term coined only in 1999, Nordic walking was originally a summer training regime for cross-country skiers.
As well as working the legs and lower body, Nordic walking uses upper body strength, using specially designed poles that propel a person forward while they walk.
Officially recognised as a whole-body exercise, it is suitable for people of all ages and there are clubs throughout the UK that accept members of all levels.
What equipment do you need?
Unlike other exercises, one of the many benefits of Nordic walking is the fact that you only ever need very minimal equipment.
Aside from a pair of Nordic walking poles (which you can pick up for around £20 online), all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes fit for walking and clothes suited for the time and season.
We also have our very own range of Damart thermals if you fancy taking it up during winter time.
It’s worth noting that some Nordic walking clubs also provide their own poles, so it’s worth calling ahead to ask whether this is a possibility.
So, what are the benefits of Nordic Walking?
Aside from the aforementioned full-body workout, there are of course specific benefits to different parts of the body.
For those looking for tone, Nordic walking is the perfect way to achieve it without participating in high impact activities such as running or dancing.
Using up to 90 per cent of the skeletal muscles, Nordic walking burns up to 46 per cent more calories than ordinary walking and helps to reduce pressure on knees and other joints.
For those with neck, shoulder, and back troubles, Nordic walking also works to relieve pain from problem areas and can strengthen important muscles.
What’s more, thanks to the specialised poles, the body moves forward at a much quicker pace without feeling the extra effort, meaning that it’s also great for the heart and lungs.
How to get started?
If you’re unsure about starting at a club straight away, you can hire a qualified Nordic walking instructor to show you the ropes.
With available courses located throughout the country, you can even find certified instructors that work with children so the grandkids can join too!
If you’re still not convinced, journalist and author Stuart Heritage tried the exercise back in 2015 and said it was: “One of the most pleasant exercises I’ve tried. After spending a few minutes learning how to use the poles – essentially they’re a sort of high-speed gondola punt – all Nordic walking entails is powering through fields while having a nice chat with people.”