Over 8 million people actively participate in Nordic Walking in Europe. If you enjoy walking for fitness and you’d like to burn more calories on your walks, you should check out Nordic Walking!
There are a few misconceptions about what Nordic Walking really is. It all started in the mid-1990’s in Finland. The Finns are avid cross-country skiers. To keep in shape during the off season, they pioneered that piece of gym equipment called the Nordic Track. Although you don’t see a lot of Nordic Track machines around anymore, one of the off-shoots of their design is the Nordic Walking pole.
Nordic Walking poles are telescoping and are adjusted to the individual such that the forearm is horizontal to the ground. The poles are high strength aluminum or even carbon fiber. They are feather light. The proper technique is to slightly drag the poles and keep them behind you at a 45 degree angle as you walk normally, with a left/right arm swing. You slightly push the pole into the ground to help propel you forward. This little action brings the triceps into action. By getting resistance into your walk, you involve muscles that normally would not get exercise. Even speed walking utilizes only about 70% of the body’s muscles. Nordic Walking increases that to 90%. To feed these muscles, your heart pumps more blood, raising your heart rate (this is good). More oxygen is need to produce the energy you need, so you burn more calories. One additional benefit of using poles – you carry a level of protection against snakes, dogs and other hostile critters!
To validate the benefits of Nordic Walking, the prestigious Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas did a study comparing normal walking with Nordic Walking. Comparing the two forms of walking, their study revealed that Nordic Walking burned an average of 20% more calories, with some individuals consuming up to 46% more than the walkers. Their heart rates went up 6% and oxygen intake increased up to 20%. All this with no perceived extra exertion and no knee or joint pain. In addition, the back is supported and causes the walker to be more upright.
Interested in giving it a try? LifeSport Fitness has arranged with San Jose local, Rick Deutsch, to teach and Introductory Nordic Walking Class along the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Rick is an American Nordic Walking Association certified instructor. You might know him better as Mr. Half Dome, as he is rather famous for having hiked to the summit of Yosemite’s Half Dome 30 times! Rick teaches Nordic Walking on the # 1 rated cruise line, Crystal Cruises. He’ll have loaner poles for the 1-hour sessions so you can experience the benefits of Nordic Walking. This 1-hour classes will be held at 6 pm on Wednesday, August 17th. The cost $25 and pre-registration is required. We can take up to 10 people at the session.
To register, log on to http://bootcampinsanjose.com/boot-camps/nordic-walking-class/ to secure your spot!
Committed to your success,