Nordic walking takes a non-traditional approach to getting your steps in. The trendy exercise offers a full-body workout outside, making it a great way to get your heart rate up while enjoying nature.
But Nordic walking offers a range of benefits that go beyond your typical stroll in the park. Similar to walking with hiking sticks, this exercise involves specialized poles. Martica Heaner Ph.D, certified Nordic walking instructor and author of Cross-Training for Dummies (Wiley) says the “poles can help push your body forward and carry yourself through space in a way that you can’t do with walking.” Compared to activities like jogging or running, Nordic walking is more on the relaxed side—but it still packs a punch.
Ahead, find out what Nordic walking is, the benefits of the exercise, learn about Nordic walking poles, and everything else you’ll need for the full-body workout.
What is Nordic walking?
“Nordic walking is a type of physical activity where you walk using special poles or sticks,” says Eva Peña, ISSA-CPT, founder & director of Wellness+ Studio. This full-body workout is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Although activities like skiing or hiking utilize poles, Nordic walking differs in that you can Nordic walk anywhere, and wear traditional walking shoes. “The poles help propel your body forward so, during the cardio exercise, you get an upper body workout along with the expected lower body benefits of walking,” Heaner says. This makes for an engaging workout.
What are the benefits of Nordic walking?
Nordic Walking offers a range of health benefits, including:
Upper body workout
Peña says the use of poles in Nordic walking creates a pushing and pulling motion, making your triceps, lats, and core work. A study of older adults found that engaging in Nordic walking improved