What is Nordic Walking?
Nordic Walking is a full-body exercise, which activates over 90% of the body's muscles and uses up to 46% more energy than regular walking.
Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to propel the body forward. The result is a dynamic form of walking, which simulates the movements of cross-country skiing and exercising on a cross trainer.
It is also comparable to the gait of a four-legged animal and a car in four-wheel drive mode!
Why should I take classes?
Learning the correct technique from the start will help you enjoy all the benefits of Nordic Walking.
Nordic Walking is different from trekking with poles, hill walking or trail running. A qualified instructor will show you how to use Nordic Walking poles correctly.
Classes are fun and you will meet some new, like-minded people!
Why is Nordic Walking good for me?
It uses over 90% of your body's muscles and provides a full-body workout.
It burns up to 46% more calories than brisk walking without poles, depending on your fitness level and technique.
It works your neck and upper and lower back muscles, reducing tension and improving posture - all important areas to focus on if you tend to sit at a desk/on the sofa a lot!
It is based on normal walking patterns and therefore a natural and safe form of exercise.
Using the poles with the correct technique can take some stress off your knees and hips - up to 15%.
Your body works hard but the perceived effort is low - one of the reasons why Nordic Walkers don't quit easily!
It is social and therefore fun!
Exercising outdoors has a positive effect on your mood and mental wellbeing. Blow away those cobwebs!
Like all moderate intensity physical activity, it lowers the risk of lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and some cancers.
Who is Nordic Walking for?
It is adaptable and suitable for everybody, from conditioned athletes to those new to exercise.
For those looking to improve their fitness and recreational walkers alike.
For those who want to practice in a group and those who prefer exercising on their own.
It is accessible and affordable for all: just put on walking shoes, grab your poles and head outdoors!
What is a pole workout?
Nordic Walking lessons come with the added benefit of a pole workout. Poles are a great tool for warming up and cooling down exercises before and after a walk. They are ideal for improving balance, flexibility, strength and coordination.
Since when has Nordic Walking been around?
The first pole walkers - cross-country skiers using poles for their summer training - were spotted in Finland in the 1930s, but Nordic Walking proper was invented by PE teacher Leena Jääskeläinen in Helsinki in 1966.
In the early 1990s, Tuomo Jantunen, director of Suomen Latu (Central Association for Recreational Sports and Outdoor Activities) worked to make the benefits of sauvakävely (pole walking) available to the general public.
Since then, a number of people in Finland have been responsible for promoting the sport, among them Aki Karihtala, the current president of INWA, and Marko Kantaneva, a sports student who published articles and books about the activity and helped develop the first Nordic Walking poles with sporting goods manufacturer Exel in 1997.
Exel invented the name Nordic Walking for international use.
INWA was founded in 2000 and Nordic Walking spread to Norway, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It also quickly became popular in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, USA and Canada.
Today an estimated 15 million people worldwide enjoy this outdoor activity all year round.
British Nordic Walking, member of INWA, was founded in 2007.