Nordic Walking – endurance training that is easy on the joints

People who like to exercise in nature and train their endurance often go jogging. But Nordic Walking is the better alternative if, for example, severe overweight puts additional strain on the joints. The use of poles increases energy consumption by about 5% compared to fast walking without the use of poles.

Nordic walking is not new. As early as the 1930s, cross-country skiers liked to train fast walking with poles in summer and autumn in order to be immediately fit in winter. When new poles with professional marketing were introduced at a trade fair in 1997 and various sports associations were founded, Nordic Walking became a trend sport.

Basic technique of walking with sticks

Arms and legs move in opposite directions, that is, the right stick touches the ground when the left heel touches down and vice versa. Pushing the poles off the ground strengthens the muscles of the upper body. With the arm extended, the stick swings loosely far back. If you use a suitable loop on the stick, you can open your hand at the back and close it again at the front when you insert it. Long strides and an inclined position of the poles at an angle of about sixty degrees are typical of Nordic walking.

A characteristic training session

Warm-up exercises should prepare the muscles for the upcoming stress. The individual load can be controlled with a pulse watch. The well-known rule of thumb maximum pulse equals 220 minus age allows deviations of up to 30%. The training areas also vary accordingly. In the range of 50 – 70 % of the maximum pulse, the percentage of fat burning should be the highest. At 70 — 90 % of the maximum pulse, fitness (heart and circulation) is trained. A training session should last at least 40 minutes to effectively boost metabolism. Breathing and stretching exercises are suitable as a conclusion. Nordic Walking is especially fun in a group when conversations break up the training.

Equipment for Nordic Walking

The sticks are available in different qualities and designs. They usually have a metal tip for open terrain and rubber pads for walking on paved paths. Good shoes, preferably breathable and with a treaded sole, should support the foot but not constrict it. Comfortable casual clothing will suffice. If you want, you can of course choose functional clothing that quickly transports sweat to the outside.

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