Choisir le meilleur moment pour débuter la marche nordique

Choosing the best time for starting Nordic walking

Nordic walking, or even pole walking, is riding high! This ultimate gentle sport is gaining in popularity and can be practised alone, with others or in a club. If you feel tempted and are wondering what is the ideal time to start, here are a few tips for starting Nordic walking...

In September, grab your poles, everyone!

This is the best time to start Nordic walking particularly if you plan to join a Nordic walking club. This will allow you to join a group with a similar level of ability to you so that you can improve at the same pace as the others. New members register in the middle of September and there is the option to enjoy a free trial session. Generally, the club will lend you some poles to try out Nordic walking under good conditions.

You will easily find a club whose schedule fits in with your timetable and requirements Contact the departmental committee of the French Federation of hiking, the French Federation of athletics or by checking out the list of contacts at Some clubs offer long outings or one-day outings, while others offer several training sessions lasting between 1 hour and 1 1/2 hours a week, during the day and/or in the evening.

You can start Nordic walking at any age

[1]You can start Nordic walking regardless of your age or physical condition because you can tailor your level of practice to your physical capabilities. When practised with caution, Nordic walking will improve your quality of life and physical condition.

Many sportsmen and women who have suffered an injury, particularly when running, will gently get back up to speed by practising Nordic walking in order to replace or complement another sport. The poles help to lighten the weight of the body, spread the forces through all the muscle chains and relieve the joints.

Nordic walking is not restricted to a particular season

You can walk during any season and in any weather… However, in order to avoid discomfort, it is important to have the right equipment. At the very least, you need a pair of shoes with good grip (muddy ground, stones, frost, rain). You should also kit yourself out with clothing that eliminates perspiration, a waterproof wind jacket, a lightweight backpack and a belt for keeping your water close at hand. Also, think about accessories such as a cap, some gloves or a scarf to protect you from the sunshine or cold…

If you have to choose a season for starting Nordic walking, autumn or spring is the best because the temperatures are pleasant for walking. It's also the time when nature gives us a delightful palette of colours and many different fragrances.

For those starting Nordic walking in winter, warming up prior to going out is even more advisable than normal. This helps you to start out on the right foot and avoid feeling the cold as much!

You can also do it when you're on holiday!

The holidays are often a time for making new discoveries, thanks to the free time available to you. Are you looking to take advantage of this to start Nordic walking? If you are starting without an instructor, get some advice on choosing your Nordic walking poles (size, material, grip, gauntlet, etc.) and the basic Nordic walking skills.

Many holiday clubs and associations include Nordic walking in the activity programmes they offer during the summer. It's a great way to get started gently and familiarise yourself with this activity in a relaxed and friendly environment.

On returning from your holidays, you can continue… alone, with others or as part of a club!

[1] Subject to a prior medical checkup or stress test, except in the case of tendinitis in the limbs of the upper body or arthritis.