Nordic walking

Nordic walking is a gentle endurance sport. For whom he is suitable, what equipment you need and if he helps to lose weight, learn here

Nordic walking

Nordic Walking is very popular in Germany - currently about two million people regularly keep fit with a brisk pace and the arm movement supportive sticks. And for good reason: the trend sport Nordic Walking is considered to be a particularly gentle endurance workout, improves your condition and helps you lose weight. For whom Nordic Walking is most suitable, which equipment you need and which mistakes you better avoid, read here!

Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking - that's behind it

As the name suggests, Nordic Walking comes from Scandinavia. Initially Finnish top-level cross-country skiers practiced Nordic Walking during the summer months to prepare for the winter season.

In 1996, two Finnish sports students wrote their diploma thesis on "Sauvakรคvely" (stick walking), one year later Nordic Walking is introduced in Finland as a new trend endurance sport. Nordic Walking refers to the dynamic - ie very quick - walking with special sticks, so that the arms swing while walking swinging.

Nordic Walking technique: how it works!

Just a walk with ski sticks? Nordic walking is much more than that. Here, the Nordic walking technique is crucial: Who uses the sticks properly consumes up to 50 percent more calories and strengthens the shoulders, back and arm muscles in addition to the legs. Do everything right with this Nordic Walking guide:

The movement is similar to that of classic cross-country skiing: you grasp your sticks on the shaft, and put the strap around your wrist. The tip of the stick generally points diagonally behind. Keep the upper body upright, activate abdominal and back muscles.

  1. The right stick is put on when the left heel touches the ground and the left stick when the right heel hits the ground.
  2. While the right arm swings forward, grasp the handle firmly and put the stick on.
  3. Swings the right arm backwards, opens the hand, the stick is released and remains through the wrist strap securely on the wrist.

At first practice this movement slowly and then more and more fluently and dynamically. For a clean Nordic Walking technique, always make sure to use the same movement and active pole use.

Nordic walking - the equipment

You do not need much to get started with Nordic Walking - a complete initial equipment costs about 250 euros. Of course, you can use existing running shoes and functional sportswear. Then you just have to buy a pair of Nordic walking poles, which you can get in specialty shops from around 30 euros.

Nordic walking poles

There are poles with a fixed shaft and telescopic poles, they are made of aluminum or carbon, the latter are higher quality but also more expensive. It is a matter of taste, whether one chooses sticks with a fixed shaft or telescopic poles - they are equally stable. Immens important for Nordic Walking: calculate stick length!

This simple formula is suitable for this: Take your height in centimeters by 0.66. A woman who is 170 centimeters tall, would therefore need sticks with a length of about 112 centimeters.

Sticks with a solid shaft are usually offered in 5-centimeter increments - so here would be the right Nordic walking pole length 110 or 115 centimeters. Telescopic poles can be adjusted exactly to the desired length.

Nordic Walking Shoes

When choosing your shoes for nordic walking you should look for a solid sole with a coarse profile - so you will find in any terrain stop. An advantage is shoes with a waterproof membrane (Gore Tex), they keep your feet dry in any weather.

Sports clothing during Nordic Walking

Breathable functional clothing transports sweat outwards and keeps the body dry and warm. Depending on the weather, wind and rain repellent materials make sense as an outer layer.

Heart Rate Monitor

Especially for beginners and health athletes is in Nordic Walking a wrist-worn heart rate monitor a worthwhile purchase. It indicates the current heartbeat and warns by beep when the set upper or lower limits are reached. Beginner models are available from about 30 euros.

Nordic Walking - that's what it brings

The endurance sport Nordic Walking has many positive effects: All the muscles of the body are involved in the movement and are strengthened, the condition improves, muscle tension, especially in the neck, shoulders and back, solve during Nordic walking. The sport also has a favorable effect on blood pressure, lung capacity and overall quality of life. Say, the endurance sport is also positive for the psyche, as numerous studies prove.

Experts therefore recommend Nordic Walking as a measure to prevent many illnesses beforehand, such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.

Nordic walking & calorie consumption

Even with Nordic Walking slimming works great.Nordic Walking can be a calorie killer - depending on the intensity and body weight, calorie consumption of up to 600 calories per hour is possible, less so on more relaxed tours.

For whom is Nordic Walking particularly suitable?

In principle, Nordic walking is suitable for everyone, that's what makes this sport so special. It is considered to be a form of movement that is gentle on the joints, because they are always the same processes, without abrupt start and stop movements, as is the case with tennis, for example. The tempo can also be adjusted individually.

Nordic Walking is particularly suitable for people who have the following symptoms, for example:

Nordic Walking helps to move the joints and keep them supple, because the blood supply to the cartilage is better.

ankylosing spondylitis
The even movement keeps patients mobile longer. Even if there are restrictions, the movements are so gentle that they can be performed.

Regular exercise can increase bone density.

Nordic Walking helps to lose weight and is also particularly suitable as a gentle form of exercise for obese.

In the case of pain, gentle movement, as practiced during Nordic walking, has a soothing effect on the clinical picture.

Back problems
After a herniated disc, but also with chronic back pain, Nordic Walking can help to strengthen the back muscles.

Chronically ill or cardiovascular patients should start the training only after consultation with the doctor and slowly increase the burden.

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    Ten sporty tips for beginners

    Get off the couch! Anyone who decides to show the red card to the bastard and become active from now on, should pay attention to a few things when starting into a sporting life. Ten golden tips for sports beginners.

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    Tip 1: The fitness check

    If you have not practiced sports for a longer period of time or if you are older than 35, a sports medical check is advisable before the first training session. It will check if you have any problems with bones, joints and muscles or heart problems that may cause you problems. In addition, the doctor can give you recommendations on exercise intensity and sports that suit you.

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    Tip 2: Soft entry

    Those who train their own stamina four times a week, such as walking or jogging, reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. Ideal are training sessions of 45 to 60 minutes. But do not start too fast in your sports program: At the beginning, half an hour of brisk walking brings the body on tours. As a rule of thumb for sports newcomers is true: You should be able to work up a sweat, but can talk with a sports partner while exercising. He can do something else for you.

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    Tip 3: Get support

    Namely give you approval. And that motivates and has a positive effect on the athletic performance. This is even scientifically proven: A study by the University of Exeter showed that athletes benefit from inspiring words. Golfers who were greeted by an attending audience with encouraging words needed one shot less per round on the course than those who had to play golf without any incentive. The same probably applies to other sports, according to the study authors.

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    Tip 4: Music motivates

    Those who play sports with their favorite songs in their ears do not just have more fun in training: Researchers at Brunel University have shown that motivational music also improves endurance. The study participants kept an amazing 15 percent longer on a treadmill when they were running to the beat of Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers or Madonna. The important thing was probably not the respective band, but the fast rhythm of the music.

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    Tip 5: Get ready for a dry spell

    Only after six to eight weeks can most sports entrants really enjoy the training. On the way to this goal, some psychological tricks help to keep the motivation high: choose a sport that you enjoy. And plan the exercise into everyday life, for example through fixed training appointments. Also reward can help. For example, treat yourself to new sports shoes.

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    Tip 6: Warming up protects against injury

    Strains and back pain hit especially overjoyed athletes. Before the body can perform at peak performance, the operating temperature must be right. Light gymnastics or a slowly increasing tempo help the body to warm up. Then do not wait too long until you start the actual training.

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    Tip 7: Stretching makes you mobile

    Although stretching exercises do not provide protection against injury, they do keep them flexible. If you want to stretchen, this should only after warming up or after doing the sport - for cold muscles stretching exercises are taboo. Hold each exercise for 20 to 30 seconds and only stretch until you feel tension but no pain.

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    Tip 8 - Drink regularly

    In sports, it is important to drink enough. This is also true when the temperatures are even colder and you may not even feel a great thirst. The best thirst quencher for athletes is water. Also recommended are fruit juice spritzers with mineral water, which also replenish the mineral and carbohydrate storage.

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    Tip 9: Think about breaks

    Days without sport are just as important as the training itself. The muscles do not build up during the movement phases, but in the time between the loads. If you want to become fit and muscular very quickly, you can switch between different types of sports that strain different muscles - for example jogging in one day and playing tennis the next.

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    Tip 10: Listen to your body

    Colds, flu and other infectious diseases put a strain on the body - sport is more damaging than good in this situation. Anyone who struggles too hard during training increases their risk of the cold also affecting the heart. Even with fever or swollen lymph nodes the sports shoes stay better in the closet. Foot and joint pain should definitely disappear before you start training again.

Nordic Walking & Pregnancy

There are some sports that are particularly recommended for pregnant women - Nordic Walking is definitely one of them. It protects the joints, neatly burns calories, improves endurance and puts you in a good mood. In addition, it helps pregnant women to train their respiratory muscles, so that the shortness of breath in the last trimester is not so noticeable. Therefore pregnant women are allowed to practice Nordic Walking until shortly before birth. However, they should refrain from forced marches or workouts in extreme weather conditions.

Nordic Walking - mistakes you should avoid

Even if Nordic Walking is an easy sport to learn, you can do a lot wrong. The most important thing is therefore a clean Nordic walking technique. Many athletes use the wrong technique - this is less effective and can lead to abnormal stress on the muscles and joints.

Three common mistakes during Nordic Walking:

  • Set sticks is forgotten, calculate them according to the following formula: height in centimeters by 0.66
  • Sticks are not actively used
  • The handles are tightly locked in place, instead of opening the hand while you guide the stick backwards

The best way to avoid the Nordic Walking mistakes is to let yourself be shown the correct movements by a professional at the beginning.

Beginners should only start Nordic Walking after a medical check-up. Then start with three times 20 minutes a week and slowly increase up to three times 60 minutes a week.

In extreme heat or cold, you should only use a short Nordic Walking unit or skip it to avoid overloading and damaging your health. Keep in mind these points, you can prevent many diseases with Nordic Walking.

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