Passer de la marche sportive à la marche nordique

Step up from fitness walking to Nordic walking

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Nordic walking and fitness walking are gentle sports activities that have many similar benefits. However, switching from fitness walking to Nordic walking needs some time to adapt, especially for learning to use the poles properly. Let's look at the details!

The benefits of fitness walking

Fitness walking is a simple physical activity because it requires very little equipment: a good pair of walking shoes and sports clothing. This activity has a positive effect on your health because it increases your energy expenditure (about 300 cal/hour) and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is also the perfect discipline for re-engaging in a physical activity without causing a major shock to the system.

Nordic walking and its 5 benefits!

Nordic walking is also a "shock-free" physical activity, despite the fact that you need to use special poles tailored to your height. Its benefits are similar to those of fitness walking, however, the arm movement results in 90% of the muscles of your body being exercised.

1- This is therefore a dynamic physical activity that promotes cardiovascular exercise while causing less "trauma" than running By using poles that help to propel you forwards, you can walk faster (from 6 to 11 km/h) and expend more energy than fitness walking (about 400 calories per hour of walking).

2- However this is not the only advantage of this discipline. On hilly terrain where it is difficult to keep up a fast walking pace, poles help to steady yourself and move forwards despite the uneven terrain.

3- Nordic walking is also ideal for breathing deeply! Indeed, using poles helps to open up your rib cage which expands your breathing capacity.

4- Walking with poles forces you to stay upright and therefore relieves any back problems. This gentle exercise that does not apply any stress on the body reinvigorates the muscles of your back from top to bottom. So, having straightened your back and strengthened its muscles, the conditions are just right for exercising your neck, thereby reducing any pain and stiffness in this area.

5- Finally, fitness walking relieves tension in the knees and hips because of the role played by the poles in absorbing the slight shocks experienced with each stride.

Learning to use poles

Nordic walking poles quickly become the essential walker's accessory. As soon as you become comfortable using them, you won't be able to imagine walking without them. It is therefore important to know the technique. To do this, you must respect the following key points:

push with the arms: The arms are what drive the pace of the legs. If you want to accelerate, swing your arms more quickly and your legs will follow.

synchronise the arm with the opposite leg: to achieve this walking motion, you need to synchronise the arms and legs. More specifically, the left shoulder needs to be synchronised with the right foot, followed by the right shoulder with the left foot.

plant your poles in the right place: the poles should be planted near the back of your feet at an angle of 45° would be ground.

If you are already an experienced fitness walker, don't hesitate to mix it up and gradually switch to Nordic walking. It will boost your walking speed and energy expenditure, while also enhancing your breathing capacity and posture.

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