So what is Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking appears to copy skiing technique in that the walker uses a specially designed light weight pole in each hand and uses the slightly exaggerated step technique that a skier might do, replicating ‘summer’ exercises for Nordic skiers.
It's a form of walking that uses two poles to assist you in the movement and propulsion. Some of the advantages include:
You won't look stupid doing it
It is true, in Britain we are often targeted and made fun of if we are seen to be doing something a little different to what is considered the norm. Even taking a shower in a changing room after playing sports is sometimes joked upon, which I really do not understand by the way! What is wrong with being clean, are we really that self conscious in front of others!
That being said, people of Britain are getting better, possibly because of social media and the larger population, things are improving. What's more, using the two sticks looks and feels great, almost empowering! You get a sense of achievement too when you look back at the distance you have travelled compared to somebody walking without the sticks and you'll be amazed at how much quicker you can walk with them!
Get fitter and more toned
By using the sticks you are moving more of your whole body when walking and are also pulling yourself along at every stride, working the upper body a lot more as apposed to normal walking. This pulling movement allows you to walk faster too!
Walking of any kind is beneficial to good health and wellbeing, a good long walk is good for the soul say some. Being a low impact sport, walking helps to reduce the risk of heart issues, drives blood from calf muscles to one’s heart, massages the cardio vascular system generally and is usually free!
It can be a very enjoyable form of exercise where you can travel at your own pace and take in all that is around you. You can make it more interesting by taking a camera along to record your adventures.
What good does that do?
Based upon the established fact that walking is a generally healthy thing to do, Nordic Walking goes the extra step further, please excuse the pun. Using the poles to balance with and as a pace stick the walker simulates the skiers arm movements which in turn extends the health giving exercise to the torso, heart, lungs and shoulder muscles that may not benefit directly from the simple act of walking.
Most people walk hands down, or in pockets, except for people who march, and there in is the issue, arm movement is often missing from a ‘normal’ walking action, Nordic Walking encourages people to exercise the arms vigorously whilst walking.
The technique for this is what Nordic Walking has developed, in addition it uses somewhat exaggerated paces, and the real benefit is gained through the arm movements in using the specially designed poles to ‘thrust’ with and this can be done using a number of differing methods; singly, double thrust and more. With simple training Nordic walking is easily done by people of any age, and with care any health level.
This fast growing walking technique is a growing pursuit throughout the United Kingdom and there is a rising number of people out and about all over the County enjoying a brisk work out.
NHS Choices explains...
"Similar to other forms of moderate activity, regular Nordic walking can lower your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. Nordic walking, like any other form of exercise, can also be used as part of an exercise program to lose weight." - http://www.nhs.uk
Nordic Walking Cambridgeshire says
"Nordic Walking is a revolutionary full body workout that you can do anywhere. You can work the upper body whilst you’re walking. It is an enjoyable way of getting fit’ (and staying fit whilst losing weight - and reducing your bum). ‘Learn the techniques with a fully qualified Nordic Walking Instructor and then go Nordic Walking in the Beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside." - Nordic Walking Cambridgeshire website
There is a website for walkers in Cambridgeshire called
It lists a few walking groups and even classes for learning.