All You Need to Know About Nordic Walking as an Expat

Relocating to a new country is not easy. After relocating, you may encounter issues such as loneliness and career regression. Therefore, to ensure that you do not lose your focus, you can get some exercise that will help you keep sane. One of those exercises is Nordic walking.

Overall, in the field of exercise, one of the famously and frequently done exercises is walking. Walking is known for its significance in strengthening the cardiovascular muscles. It also helps in losing weight, and maintenance of weight.

Interestingly, there is a method of making the normal way of walking to be even more significant and beneficial. It entails engaging in an exercise known as Nordic walking. This is a modified form of walking that entails the use of poles. In a way that is similar to cross-country skiing and this form of sport is slowly but rapidly gaining popularity.

The origin of Nordic walking dates back to the 1930s. It happened when the cross-country skiers in Finland were finding the best method to train for their sport when they were off from the season. They started using poles when walking during the months of fall, summer, and spring. These are the periods when there was no snow on the ground. From their experience, they realized that there was a great improvement in their overall endurance and hence they became strengthened for their competitions.

Benefits of Nordic Walking

As an ex-pat, you will get lots of benefits by engaging in Nordic walking. While working in Nordic countries, you can turn into a robot. Therefore, in a way, it will enhance your mood, and even increase your energy level. For a moment, it will make you stop feeling homesick. Through the walk, you can even meet new people or rather friends.

Burning Calories

Burning calories is another benefit one may get by practicing Nordic walking. The exercise offers a perfect cardiovascular exercise which raises the number of calories burned in a particular exercise session. The good thing is that both males and females who take part in Nordic walking on average burns about 19.5% more calories. It is high as compared to when they walk without the poles.

Losing Weight

Moreover, Nordic walking is a great decision for those looking forward to losing weight. Therefore, you can make it your major type of exercise. When doing Nordic walking one applies various muscle groups of the body as compared to when doing a normal walk.

As a result of using the arms frequently during Nordic walking, the triceps tend to be worked more. The muscles in the buttocks, lower body parts and thighs are greatly used in the exercise. It is not the same as the usual walking.

Heart Failure Recovery

Nordic walking is also significant for patients recovering from heart failure. This is because it is a low-impact but significant form of exercise that strengthens the muscles of the heart. It has been proven that this form of exercise has reduced the number of hospital visits for those suffering from heart failure. Patients who are above the age of 65 are likely to be great beneficiaries of Nordic walking. The exercise is highly recommended for this group of people.

Furthermore, Nordic walking is also significant as it improves coordination and balance. The reason is that it reduces stress on the joints of the body. The poles used in Nordic walking are significant and they play a great role as they sustain some of the impacts that the joints primarily absorb during the walking process. Therefore, it is a form of exercise that is not very difficult in the areas that are usually affected by arthritis.

Mental Wellbeing

Nordic walking assists in reducing anxiety and stress. The exercise tends to be even more efficient when carried out in a green environment. Nature tends to be so good for one’s spirit. In short, the exercise is a friendship creator, mood enhancement, as well as a stress buster.

Equipment Used in Nordic Walking

Nordic walking is an easy form of exercise as it does not require unique equipment. All that is required are two poles and appropriate footwear. After this, you will be ready to go. It is significant to note that not just any pole can be used.

Trekking poles are not fit for Nordic walking and one should also walk with poles that are correctly sized to one’s height to increase the importance of the exercise and reduce the possibility of injuries. Many specialists in Nordic countries recommend  the use of poles that are of adjustable height when doing the exercise. This is to enable one to freely adjust them over different terrain to ensure appropriate usage. However, it is significant to adhere to this rule if one is traversing an area that is mountainous and has got many hills and gullies.

Technique Used in Nordic Walking 

Despite Nordic walking being a relatively simple form of exercise, there is a little more of a learning process. It helps in ensuring that one is doing it in the right manner. The exercise is recommended for an individual get guidance from a professional instructor. It is important to note that when walking, pressure is supposed to be enforced from the shoulders and not the elbows or the wrists.

Through the exercise, one will also want to ensure that he or she involves the upper body parts fully. By involving the upper part of the body, one gains the maximum out of the exercise. Besides, when doing Nordic walking, one should keep their movements smooth, rhythmic, and regular and at the end of it he or she will greatly benefit from this workout.

Unlike hiking or trekking with poles. Nordic walking entails forward propulsion instead of stability on rough ground. It is significant to use the right types of poles which are planted at a certain angle with a full upper body movement that harnesses the power of the shoulders and the chest alongside the arms. This action entails arms wing, proper stride, and a roll through the foot.