What is the Nordic Walking or Nordic Pole Walking?

What is the Nordic Walking or Nordic Pole Walking?

The Nordic Walking or Nordic Walking is an outdoor physical activity that consists of walking with specific poles that propel you forward. It is a complete exercise where all muscle groups are involved and with a feeling of same effort as regular walking.

The practice of Nordic Walking is very popular and becoming a popular sport. It is practiced in Europe and the USA, in Spain more people are becoming aware of this activity as another way of exercise and more people are practicing it.

The Nordic Walking is for everyone young and old, easy to learn, good for your well-being, the enjoyment of nature, physical exercise and health. The use of the correct technique uses the whole body in a symmetrical and balanced way, which increases physical and mental vitality, and improving your general well-being.

Fundamental characteristics of Nordic walking:

  • Safe and healthy activity for everyone, regardless of age, sex or physical condition.
  • Low impact on the joints.
  • Effective aerobic exercise to improve fitness.
  • Coordination and postural correction.
  • The intensity of the practice is adapted to individual needs.
  • It is practiced outdoors, anywhere (roads, beach, mountains, asphalt).

People who try Nordic walking like it and keep practicing, thus have very good physical and mental results. This activity is adjusted to the physical condition and interests of the person since, it can be practiced at various levels of effort: health (soft exercise, well-being), fitness (acquiring and maintaining physical fitness) or sports (training, competition).

Brief history of Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking was born in Finland in the 1930s, when cross-country sportsmen trained outside of the snow season walking with ski poles.

In 1966 Leena Jääskeläinen used walking with poles in her physical education classes in Helsinki. Since then she has been the great promoter of the activity, introducing the walking with poles as a new activity in the physical education of Finnish schools.

In the 1990s Nordic Walking was given a great boost, with an exponential increase of practitioners in Finland and northern Europe, being Tuomo Jantunen, director of the Central

Association of Recreational Sports and Outdoor Activities from Finland, the key person in developing and promoting Nordic walking.

The first specific poles are designed for Nordic Walking.

The name of Nordic Pole Walking is presented for the activity of walking with poles at an international level (1997).

Nordic Walking is introduced in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, also in the USA.

The first studies on the effects of the practice and benefits of Nordic Walking, carried out in universities in Finland and the USA, are published.

In 2000, the INWA (International Association of Nordic Walking, diagonal technique) was created, which is the official world federation for the formation and promotion of Nordic walking, with representation in more than 40 countries. The same year in the US emerges, the FITTREK technique. In 2005, the International Nordic Fitness Association (INFO, Alfa247 technique) was created. In 2010 the World Original Nordic Walking Federation was founded in Finland.

Outstanding benefits of Nordic Walking practice

Nordic Walking is more than walking and regular practice with a correct technique, it improves the quality of life producing greater vitality and physical-emotional balance. Some of the concrete benefits are:

  • Toning of the muscles of the upper and lower muscles and low impact on the joints
  • Increased cardiopulmonary capacity and increased activation of the cardiovascular system.
  • Releases tensions in the neck, shoulders and back.
  • Calorie consumption increases, ideal to control weight.
  • Improvement of body posture and correction of bad posture habits.
  • Promotes coordination and balance (gives confidence in the walk of older people).
  • Improves symptoms in patients with various pathologies (fibromyalgia, low back pain, diabetes, heart disease …).
  • Improves mood.

If you are curious to know more about Nordic walking  INWA .

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