A guide to Nordic Walking

 What is Nordic walking? At its core, Nordic Walking is a walking technique that uses poles to work your upper body as well as your legs. It’s a whole-body exercise that can be enjoyed at low, medium or high intensity. Walking with poles is proven to burn more calories, as well as releasing tension in your neck and shoulders. Yes, it’s a workout, but the joy of the technique is that it doesn’t feel like one! Its name comes from the fact that it originated in Finland. 


Does Nordic walking actually work? Nordic Walking targets your legs, arms and core muscles so you get a full body work out, without feeling like it. Although the technique is based on a good natural walking style, you’ll need some lessons to ensure you get the technique right and feel the full benefits.  Once you have had a few lessons with a qualified BNW Nordic Walking Instructor, you’ll start to feel the impact. Various studies have documented the health benefits of Nordic Walking and the INWA 10 Step in particular.  


What are the benefits of Nordic Walking? Regular Nordic walking will, as well as improving your fitness levels and building muscle strength, reduce stress levels by working out outdoors! Classes are highly sociable – working out at a walking pace means you can hold a full conversation. Most people join for the exercise but stay for the community! By working more muscles than regular walking, you will increase your heart rate and calories burned.  


Do I need lessons to Nordic Walk? Although it may look simple and be based on something you do every day, learning the correct technique from a qualified BNW Nordic Walking instructor can reduce the impact of walking on joints and ease muscle tightness. Our Instructors are trained to help you get the best technique so you get the most effective workout.  


Can Nordic walking get me fit? Nordic Walking engages 80-90% of your muscles, helping to build muscle strength. As you intensify your workout, you’ll get your heart rate up gently. There are lots of beneficial effects on resting heartbeat, blood pressure and oxygen capacity shown in this research Health benefits of Nordic walking: a systematic review - PubMed (nih.gov) 


How to use the sticks? 

We call them poles by the way 😊 Your instructor will have poles available for you to try and give a full demonstration. They will be able to tell you what height pole to use (this is very important!). Nordic Walking poles have special straps to keep your pole attached to your hand, without you having to constantly squeeze the pole. Look for poles with straps that you can remove easily from the pole – they can speed up removing the pole. Poles vary in price depending on style and quality. We highly recommend using the poles provided by the Instructor so that you can find the best sort for you – they are the experts after all! 

Back to blog