Nordic walking: pros and cons, rules

More and more often you can see people on the street who actively walk with special sticks in their hands — they are engaged in Scandinavian walking. We are talking about this excellent type of training that came to us from Finland. Maybe you’ll want to try it too.

What is Nordic walking

Scandinavian walking as a type of training originated in Finland in the middle of the XX century. It all started with the fact that in the summer skiers were forced to train as best they could — that is, they walked with ski poles because of the lack of snow. It was only in the 1990s that the Finns officially recognized this peculiar method and introduced it into their training programs.

In Nordic walking — as in any other training — the technique of execution is of great importance. When walking with sticks, it is necessary to correctly remove the arm from the shoulder and put the sticks at such an angle that when pushing off, you get the maximum jerk. Researchers believe that the main role of sticks in Scandinavian walking is to engage the muscles of the upper extremities, which are not used during normal walking.

The benefits of Nordic walking

Constant Nordic walking classes can significantly improve your health:

Increases physical endurance

The researchers compared the effectiveness of Nordic walking and regular walking — the results showed that when using sticks, you can train more intensively. The thing is that during Nordic walking, the load spreads more evenly without overworking individual muscle groups.

Increases the amount of inhaled oxygen

Studies have shown that Nordic walking increases the amount of oxygen inhaled by about 11% -23%. The more oxygen you inhale, the more energy your body can use. This means that the more effective the training will be.

Increases muscle mass

According to a study published in the journal Asian Nursing Research, Nordic walking helps people use not only the lower body, but also all the muscles of the upper body. This reduces the stress that occurs during normal walking and can help increase muscle mass.

Improves balance and posture

This is evidenced by the data of the health report for 2021.

Burns more calories than regular walking

A review published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that the short-term benefits of Nordic walking include an increase in calorie consumption by 18% -22%.

Improves mood

Scandinavian walking is usually practiced in picturesque parks and squares. Especially in summer, it helps to cope with stress, as well as reduces anxiety and relieves symptoms of depression.

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