What is Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking is a fun effective fitness and rehabilitation activity. It is proving to be extremely beneficial to a wide range of neurological conditions e.g. Parkinson Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury, and Stroke to name a few. Nordic Walking is walking with specially designed Nordic Walking Poles using a specific technique.
Nordic Walking (NW) is an “intensification” of normal walking with poles. The poles are held behind the body at a 45 degree angle to the ground, this enables propulsion of the poles by pushing off using the upper limbs. The recruitment of the upper body simultaneously recruits the core muscles as well. There is focuse on a coordinated gait pattern, with attention to arm swing, trunk rotation, stride length, and heel strike while maintaining an upright posture. With the attention to detail used in teaching NW it has become a very useful tool for gait retraining. For example someone with Parkinson Disease may have a decrease in arm swing and loss of rotation in their back from rigidity, NW can really assist in retraining the upper body and complements the education that is provided in teaching BIG walking for Parkinson people.
NW can be performed on any outdoor surface, making it very versatile. This also encourages exposure to walking in the outdoor environment, which has many demands on balance. You may have noticed that if your balance is not very good you are avoiding walking on grass, up and down slopes or hills and the soft sand on the beach. This is when NW can be of real benefit as the poles give you two more points of contact with with ground and can really assist with balance. This will in turn increase your confidence with your walking and great results have been seen with spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis.
Research into NW has Shown an increase in energy capacity and cardiovascular uptake by 20% without a change in perceived exertion compared to normal walking. This means that your body is working much harder without your feeling much different to normal walking. This can be great for those that struggle with fatigue or shortness of breath from breathing conditions or heart conditions. Walking distance and speed have also been shown to be increased with NW by 38%. For more information on Nordic Walking, please reserve a place at our next NORDIC WALKING evening lecture- NOV 20th.
Some of the benefits to be gained by Nordic Walking are;
- Total body work out – incorporating arms, trunk and legs.
- Increased balance – with 4 points of contact
- Lower perceived exertion – you work harder without knowing it!
- 40% more calories burnt
- Increased coordination
- Improved posture
- Decreased stress on joints
To gain the maximum potential from Nordic walking it is important that the initial steps are taught by a certified Nordic Walking Instructor. It takes approximately 3-4 one hour sessions to become competent with the technique.
Nordic Walking Options at ARC
One hour or 30min one on one sessions can be booked and will be performed in the local park or inside the center if it is wet. Poles will be provided for the one on one sessions.
You will need to book in for a 30min initial assessment and technique session prior to joining the group. The group class is every Thursday at 4pm for one hour in a local park.The class caters for all standards of walking, partners, friends or carers are also encouraged to learn and join in. The class focuses on technique with many different drills to keep you interested and everyone is worked hard at their own level.
The class is designed to be either used continuously as a regular exercise session,or you are welcome to drop in and out as you please to use the class to brush up on your form and technique. The class will run every week even if there weather is bad as we will use the clinic gym instead. You may be able to borrow poles for your first couple of sessions (depending on numbers and demands on poles) and encouraged to purchase your own poles after a couple of sessions.
Nordic Walking Poles
We have a stoke a small range of Exel Nordic Walking Poles, and able to order your poles in a matter of days.
Please call to make a booking
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