Getting fit again after a long break, with fitness walking and Nordic walking

Who hasn't had to take a break from their physical activities for a lengthy period? A break of more than three weeks will result in some extra fat and a drop in muscle mass, as well as a deterioration in physical condition and cardiovascular capacity. To take up physical activity and get fit again, there's nothing better than a gentle sport such as fitness walking or Nordic walking, to start you off.


Fitness walking or Nordic walking, gentle sports

You don't need much gear for fitness walking, just a good pair of shoes, flexible and light. Same goes for Nordic walking, plus a pair of walking poles. What's more, for these two sports, you don't necessarily need to join an association or private club and pay registration fees.

Fitness walking is practised in a wide variety of locations, including parks, forests, lakesides or along rivers, where you are in contact with nature at all times. This activity is described as "gentle" because the effort you make is constant and regular and puts less stress on the joints. Contrary to running, fitness walking is less demanding on the knees because the ankles play an important role during the foot motion. The impacts are spread more effectively between the different joints: hips, knees, ankles.

Nordic walking has the advantage of being gentler on your body, as the use of poles dramatically reduces these impacts, while also building muscle and benefitting the whole body. This sport relieves joint and back problems in an effortless way. 

The benefits of walking for your health

This discipline, which is so easy on your joints, actually provides a perfect combination of sport and health benefits. The cardiovascular exercise it gives you lies within the target zones for losing weight (between 70 and 75% of the reserve heart rate).

Fitness walking also improves your pace and your breathing capacity… A visible benefit in all your daily activities. The same goes for Nordic walking, as this sport improves your breathing capacity by opening up the rib cage and freeing the airways. 

Get fit with fitness walking and Nordic walking, with the help of the Decathlon Coach app

To help you on your return to physical activity, Decathlon has created a free smartphone app for monitoring your outing in real time. It's now even easier and even more motivating to follow your fitness training as you go.

The app shows you your distance and speed, your heart rate and the calories you burn. There's also a Decathlon Coach website where you can download your data so that you can analyse and compare your sessions. Ideal for tracking your progress!


Taking up exercise again with training programmes for fitness walking and Nordic walking

But that's not all: on our Newfeel website, you'll also find training programmes geared specifically to fitness walking and Nordic walking.

There are programmes for all levels, tailored to your specific goals (weight loss, Objective 10,000 steps per day, introduction to Nordic walking, etc.). So, don't think twice, go ahead and try out one of these programmes: 6 km in 1 h, goal: get fit, beginner's guide to losing weight.

For all the reasons we've mentioned, these two sports seem the ideal way to gradually take up exercise again after a long break. To get motivated, don't hesitate to use the Decathlon Coach app. That way, you can follow your progress as you go through the training routine provided in the fitness walking or Nordic walking programmes.