Updated: Mar 5, 2019
Nordic Walking has become quite a common and well-known activity here in Britain, so we don’t get too many bemused looks any more when out and about. Comments I used to attract include:
“Have you lost your skis?”
“Is this pavement skiing?”
“Are you training for an Arctic race?”
“Where’s the snow?”
“This is just posh walking, isn’t it?”
So I would stop and explain, and depending on how much time there was (and how interested people really were), I would say something like this:
A few seconds:
It’s like cross-country skiing without the snow!
It’s walking with specially designed poles. You push yourself forward with the poles, so your upper body gets a really good workout, too!
It’s enhanced walking with poles –- the movement resembles cross-country skiing without the snow or working out on a cross-trainer (it’s ideal for people who aren’t too keen on a gym or who want to spend more time outdoors). When done properly, it has lots of health benefits. It’s suitable for everybody – inactive people, athletes, children, older people, patients diagnosed with a variety of health conditions, etc. – and you can do it on your own or with a group!
What to add if you have 20 seconds or more:
The poles take some weight off your ankle, knee and hip joints, so it’s great for people who can’t do any high impact exercise.
It works more muscles than regular walking and therefore burns more calories.
It’s a brilliant activity for developing core strength: with each pole plant and push into the ground, you switch on and engage your abs.
It’s also a very effective exercise if it’s toned arms you’re after (no more ‘bingo wings’!).
If done properly, it releases tension in your neck and shoulders and improves posture and breathing.
I’d have much more to add, but at this point, people are usually either interested enough to give it a try, or they have decided it’s not for them, which is sad – because we all know they’re missing out –but fair enough!