Walking as an exercise

Learn How To Walk For Exercise

Walking to be fit is one of the most enjoyable type of “exercises” that there is!  However, in order to get the most benefit from our walks, we really need to learn proper techniques to how to walk for exercise, not just for pleasure, though a pleasant walk at times, can be exhilarating too.

Long walks can do wonders for everyone.  On the other hand, perhaps you can not walk for long distances or just don’t have the time to do so.  What then?

Shorter so-called “power walks” have been around for many years.  Surprisingly simple to do with many benefits.  Often times these power walks are done with light weights in either hand, swinging them as you walk.

The added weights will give you a better workout in addition to upper body muscle and strength.  However, there is an even better way to gain upper strength, shape, lose body fat especially in the mid section, get those shapely legs back,  develop  back muscles for good posture and much more.

Welcome To The Nordic Walking Poles

There is a great variety of poles to choose from.  So how do we choose?

Nordic Leki have pretty much dominated the market, and for good reason.  Usually they are a once in  a lifetime purchase, easy to work with, can be taken with you almost anywhere, and really give you that head-to-toe workout.

All done on a very low impact basis!

To quickly see the benefits of a walking exercise, we need to plan our walking routine.

What Things Do I Need To Know?

Nordic walking is a rather simple technique to learn.  However, just like anything new, it will take a little while to get used to the new motor motions of your body.  Once learned, it will stay with you and become automatic.

There is the  long arm technique.  This technique is teaching you how to stretch out your arms as you walk, much like extending your hand to shake with someone.  In our normal walking, the arms swing, but only slightly.  Nordic walking will allow us to use all of our upper body muscles.

The cupping and release of the pole is next.  As you move forward, your opposite arm will push you forward with the rubber “spring tip” at the end of each pole.  While your hand is at your hip, learn to release the end of each pole where you grip it.

In order to learn to release, we do need the correct type of hand straps so we do not completely lose the pole.

The long stride is also a part of the Nordic walk.  As you walk, you’ll note that you can take larger steps.  When you do, be sure that your heel touches first, then the rest of your foot will follow.

Depending on the type of terrain you are walking on, you may want to look into a comfortable walking shoe or boot.

As you develop this long stride, begin by walking through the motions slowly.  As you gain the needed skill and muscle memory, you can pick up the pace.  Keep in mind  that your pelvis will want to rotate more as you walk.  This is good.

The pelvic twist comes naturally as you extend each leg forward.  You’ll note that your shoulders also come into use.  All of this upper body movement is quickly,  giving your entire upper body a good workout,  burning fat as you walk.

Tips to the ground deliberately planted, will naturally make you grip your pole handle a bit tighter.  This is  a technique  that is mastered only after the above other techniques have fallen into place.

It may seem simple, but to learn the Nordic  walking technique the proper way,  takes on average, about 6 to 8 weeks.  During that learning time, remember to have fun!   Enjoy your walks!

Folks from all "walks" of life enjoy Nordic exercise

Folks from all “walks” of life enjoy Nordic exercises

What Things To Look For 

The above is just a quick overview of using  Nordic  walking poles to get the most beneficial exercise out of your walking routine.  However, there needs to be an awareness of some of the most common mistakes or errors that beginners make in their learning curve.

Once these mistakes are learned, they can be a challenge to rid ourselves of them.

What are they?  Let’s consider those next.

Written by:  Tom McDaniel SHARE this site

Images by:nordicwalkingnet,womenfitnessnet