Fitness, shape, health: all the benefits of Nordic walking

Any physical activity practised regularly has benefits on your health and fitness level. But all sports are different, and as a result, their effect on your health is too. Nordic walking is good for the body, the heart and the mind!

Nordic walking: a complete sport for improving your health and fitness

Some sports improve your endurance, others work on your strength, flexibility, balance or coordination. The advantage of Nordic walking is that it effectively develops all of these qualities!

The double Nordic walking world champion, Olivier Capelli, talks about the benefits of Nordic walking in the company of Dr Patrick Bacquaert, head doctor of the IRBMS (Institute of Research in Well-being, Medicine and Sports Health)

1 - Nordic walking is an excellent endurance sport

By alternating dynamic phases with other slower phases, aided by poles that are specially designed for nordic walking, this sport helps to exercise and improve the capacity of your heart. Frequently practising an endurance sport is excellent for your health and a great way to keep weight off permanently!In particular, there are not many outdoor sports that give you a great cardio workout while also exercising all the muscles in your body.

2 - Which muscles are working when you practise Nordic walking?

Nordic walking poles are designed to propel you forwards, but they also have another feature: the movement of the Nordic walking poles amplifies the natural movement of walking and exercises the muscles of the shoulders, arms and abs as well as the buttock muscles (glutes) and thigh muscles!

It is also interesting to consider the poles as an outdoor fitness accessory, used for muscle-strengthening exercises and flexibility training. During Nordic walking, the poles point backwards in order to propel you forwards, rather than being planted vertically in front of the body as they are in hiking.

Therefore, thanks to the use of the poles, Nordic walking tones the muscles and improves your flexibility, your balance and your arm/leg coordination.

Nordic walking, a great way to prevent numerous illnesses

In addition to enjoying an open-air activity, Nordic walking is an excellent way to prevent certain illnesses and to stay healthy.

Nordic walking has a very positive effect on:

• Type II diabetes, high cholesterol

• Arterial blood pressure

• Quality of life of asthmatics

• Heart rate at rest

• Strengthening of the bones and prevention of osteoporosis

• Maintenance of your joints

So, are you ready to start nordic walking?