Reasons Why Taking Up Nordic Walking Could Be Good For Your Health

We all want to be as healthy as we can be, but most of us aren’t totally up for high-impact exercise that’s really going to get us there.

The good news is that scientists say walking can be just as good for you as more intense workouts, and then there’s Nordic walking – which takes it up another notch or two.

Nordic walking is basically cross-country skiing without the snow – you use poles even though you’re walking on a flat surface.

Nordic walking was developed in Scandinavia but made its way to Europe a few decades ago. That said, it’s not as popular as it could be despite having some many impressive health benefits.

6. It reduces your risk of falling.

Image Credit: iStock

The older we get, the more likely we are to trip and fall while walking. When Nordic walking, the poles hit the ground the same time as your legs, which can help mitigate a loss of muscle strength and increasing balance issues that come with age.

One study showed that people who practice Nordic walking show improved balance within 3 weeks, even when they’re walking without the poles.

5. It burns extra calories.

Image Credit: iStock

Research in 1995 showed that Nordic walking burns around 18% more calories that ordinary walking, and numerous studies since have confirmed those findings.

If you’re walking to lose weight, then, this could be a better option than walking alone.

4. It boosts your cardiovascular health.

Image Credit: iStock

At least one study has shown that Nordic walking can improve cardiovascular health in as little as a month.

Another study, which focused on obese women, showed that Nordic walking improved blood pressure and, in postmenopausal women, also improves resting blood sugar levels.

3. It improves upper body strength.

Image Credit: iStock

Since Nordic walking engages your arms and shoulders more than regular walking, research shows that it improves strength, hand grip strength, and muscle activity in the shoulders more than regular walking can.

We need upper body strength for everyday tasks like carrying our groceries or unloading the dishwasher, and it also helps stabilize joints and prevent injury.

2. It can help you walk faster.

Image Credit: iStock

According to research, Nordic walking increased average walking speed by up to 25%, which means you can burn more calories as a consequence.

1. It increases core strength.

Image Credit: iStock

Nordic walking engages core muscles – those in your abdomen and back – which helps strengthen them.

In turn, this can improve posture, balance, and your ability to move in general.

It might look a little silly, but listen – what exercise isn’t, the first time you see it?

And I mean, if it gets you in shape and you have fun while you’re doing it, who cares what anyone else thinks? Go for it!