Benefits of a walking exercise are clearly seen.

Benefits of a walking exercise are clearly seen here.

A common misconception that many have is that a good walking exercise program really does not do much.  In other words, they feel that you must “hurt” that is, “no pain, no gain” in order to get any real benefit from exercising.  Not true!

So what is walking exercise and how can we get the most out of it?  Consider some of my earlier posts about walking and the many, many benefits that come…seemingly overnight.

The Nordic Walking Pole

Promoting the Nordic walking pole is one thing, but in order to see it’s quick results, we need to know how to use these tools.  In my previous blog, we covered some of the basics to start with.  We concluded with the thought that once we learn a bad “habit” in our routine, it can be a challenge to rid ourselves of it.

Let’s consider what these bad “habits” are while we are learning to use Nordic walking poles and how to avoid them.

Errors In Our Walking Technique

Walking all of our life, we may have in mind that we “already know how to walk” and don’t need to be shown how.  If that is your thinking, then stop reading now.  On the other hand, if you recognize that all of us can learn from someone else, then keep on reading.

Using Nordic poles can be an adventure, especially when we do so with friends who walk with us.  However, caution needs to be exercised whenever we start a new type of exercise program.  With Nordic walking poles, it takes about six to eight weeks to really learn-the-ropes.

Common mistakes that are made at first are overextending our steps, that is, taking too large of a step.  Doing too much at first can cause strains to joints, lower back and groin.  Often times once someone has hurt themselves, more than likely, they’ll not continue any type exercise program.

Though we do want a firm grip on the handle of our walking pole, we need to learn the technique of how and when…to totally release the handles.   Too much grip (I call it the Gorilla Grip) can strain our wrists, lower back, shoulders and elbows.

When walking, stand erect.  Keep your chin up.  Many have the habit of leaning forward, their head leading the way.  This is counterproductive to trying to build back muscles as we walk so good posture comes naturally when we are not in our exercise walking routine.

Naturally we want to bend our elbows as we walk.  In the beginning, during the slower learning walk, that is acceptable.  On the other hand, as we progress, we want to walk faster.   Bending our elbows too much can cause us to lose any potential benefits.  At this point (faster walks) we need to increase the length of our poles.

The adjustable type Nordic walking pole is one of the best.

Be sure that you have a natural arm swing as you walk, arms swinging in opposition to each leg.

Keep your upper body straight, chin up, (don’t look down but look to the horizon).  Often times the bad habit of slumped shoulders show up.  Keep shoulders up while allowing your upper torso to slightly rotate from side to side in a twisting motion.

Note also that if your poles are too long for you, then more than likely you’ll be over flexing or over extending your wrists during your walks.  Keep in mind that as you plant each pole tip, the swing of your arm should be from the shoulder, not the elbow.

If you note that after your walks you little finger is a bit overworked, you have what is called “painter’s grip” as if your pole were a paintbrush or perhaps a pencil.  Try to relax your hands while still gripping the pole.

Make sure your thumb is wrapped around your pole.  We are pole walking, not hitchhiking.

Proper grips

Proper grips

The release of the pole handle should occur when your hand reaches the hip area.  Often times new ones open their hands in the front of themselves with fingers extending outward.   Always be aware that your hands should hold firmly to the pole except at the release point…at your hip.

Walk slowly as you begin this program.  Many will overdo it by too large or open steps with too much walking speed.  Concentrate on your technique at first, then when you feel the fluid motion of each movement, without having to think about it, you have achieved your goal.

This will still take about six to eight weeks though.

Each step should be heel first.  Then roll your foot to your toe for a stepping point.

Injuries can occur when you rush.  The Tips of our poles should be firmly planted.  From that point, we can take our next step.

Now that we’ve mastered the Nordic walking exercise, how can we build strength, cardiovascular, and build power within ourselves?

Our goal is to be fit and enjoy ourselves while out of doors.

Written by:  Tom McDaniel Be sure to click SHARE button

Photos by: relievejointinflamation,masterfile




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

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What walking poles can do for you...

What walking poles can do for you…

We hear that statement often :  What walking poles can do for you…is simply amazing.  This rather simple tool can give you zest for life, an overall feeling of health, peace of mind along with being physically fit.  But how?

The Beginning Steps

If you’ve ever golfed or watched the game of golf, you’ll note that much of what is accomplished is through swing-technique.   That is, each stroke by every golfer is similar to each other…but slightly different too, because we are different.

The same can be said about using Nordic Walking Poles.  It is in the technique where we will get the most benefit.

The Break Down

The walking speed in which we begin our pole walking can determine how quickly we develop correct walking techniques.  Usually it’s best to walk slowly at first, being consciously  aware of how we are walking.

We’ll note  several things almost immediately.  Our walking stride will become longer, our back is straighter, chin is parallel to the walking surface, our arms are now being extending outwards as if shaking hands, our cardiovascular will improve almost overnight!

A slower, rhythmical type walking, almost graceful in appearance, can be accomplished within a short learning curve…if we learn the correct way right from the beginning.

Where Do We Begin? … At The Beginning of Course

Using Nordic walking poles is not like taking a stroll along the beach.  We are purposely walking a certain way to accomplish better health, lose weight, develop muscle, or have better breathing techniques.

Follow along as we progress through techniques that are necessary to master.

What To Focus On

Your focus should be on your upper body position.  Nordic poles “force” us to walk more upright, which in turn will develop muscles that keep good posture in our everyday walk.

Getting used to poles, one could spend much time on where the ends of each pole is landing and get distracted from walking correctly.

Concentrate on the long swing of your arms, once you find the correct “spot” for you, the pole tips will automatically find the correct positioning.

Pole rubber tips will give you that little extra push forward as you develop your stride.  Keep your shoulders level, eyes forward, hands relaxed while cupping the walking pole grips.

Release The Grip

Often times new ones to Nordic walking poles, will keep a tight grip on the handle of each pole, as if it were going to slip away from them.  However, with the proper hand strapping, you can release the grip each time you take a step.

That is just one of the proper techniques needed…releasing the grip when it is in the hip location as you walk.

Swing Naturally As You Walk

To start with, a flat surface is ideal.  Be aware of the way you are standing.  Stand as if you are being measured for your height.  Straight and tall but not at attention.

Now for the “beach walk” stroll, you’ll need to be at ease and walk slowly.  Concentrating on you posture, arm stretch out, grip release and so on.

Learn to completely let go of your poles.

Allow them to drag along with you.  Concentrate on that opposite movement of arms and legs working rhythmically with each other.  This will begin to feel  automated when we get it right.

Remember to keep you chin up, looking forward, and keep your balance.  This is the beginning development of proper posture.  Lower back muscle gains and back health will come quickly.

Proper grips

Proper grips are needed for release control

Motor Memory

Up to this point, as we walk or run, our arm movements have been short forward and backward movements to compensate for our balance.

With Nordic walking poles, we will need to learn to extend our arms out in front of us, (shaking hands across a wide table) with very little swing to the back.  In fact, long time Nordic pole walkers do not have hardly any rearward  swing past their hip area.

The forward hand extension should be no higher than about the middle of you stomach of navel area.  Your stride is also something that would lengthen as you progress.

Rotation of hips, slight shoulder rotation, lengthening of stride and arm stretch will give you that synchronized smooth walking skill we are trying to accomplish.

Proper grip, stride length, and rotation of hips are needed.

Written by:  Tom McDaniel Share this site

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image

Which Type Of Walking Pole Is Best? 

Centimeters Or Inches…Which?

Most manufacturers make their walking poles in centimeters. If you are unfamiliar with cm, then the following steps will put your mind at ease when you are ordering walking poles, especially if you do so online.

1. Take your height in total inches and multiply by 2.54 which will give you your total cm height.

2. Then take your total cm height and multiply by 0.685 which will give you an estimated pole height (length).

On the other hand, if your poles should be measured in inches, use this formula for and estimated pole height (length).

1. Once more, get your total body height in inches and multiply by 0.685 which will give you your estimated pole height (length).

Adjusting the Adjustable Nordic Walking Pole

Loosen the adjustable pole and allow it to slide to a height that is a wee bit higher than your chest.

(Do not tighten)

Then place the tips next to your heels.

With tips next to your heel, extend your arms out in front of your body with pole in hand.

Allow pole to slide together until your hand is just above your waist. Note where the desired height is and tighten pole.

It’s usually best to do one pole, then make the other pole the same length.

Don’t Overdo it

Beginners usually start out with much enthusiasm, then, because of overdoing it at first, along with sore joints and muscles, they get discouraged.

Some stop completely.

A word to the wise…Start out slowly and build your skill level along with your self confidence in your personal appearance.

Shorter pole lengths are great for starters.

But as you progress, longer walking poles will be desired. Adjustable walking poles will allow for this needed change.

Walking up hills, soft soils such as grass, sand, dirt and so on, you should shorten your poles by about one inch.

Injured? Then the shorter pole length will also work for you.

Maintaining Your Walking Poles

If your choice in walking poles is a fixed pole, then your maintenance is simple. Wipe clean, check the rubber tips for wear, maintain your handle or grip area and strap, and you are pretty much done.

Adjustable poles require a bit more maintenance, but not much.

Checking the rubber tip grooves to make sure they are free of dirt and grime will give you better contact with the walking surfaces. Wipe dirt, snow, grime or other debris from your poles.

Adjustable poles can be taken apart for a more thorough cleaning. Just be sure and follow the instructions that come with your poles as to the correct way to do so.

Caution is needed when tightening adjustable poles. Often times pole walkers will over tighten their new poles. Be careful! We do not want to strip the threads.

My Walking Shoes

Now that we have our walking poles, the next item to address is our footwear. This is one area that most walkers sort of skip over.  It’s true that if you’ve got a comfy pair of shoes that you enjoy wearing, then by all means, use them.

On the other hand, just like anything else in different fields of training, there are specially designed shoes that make your walking more enjoyable and productive at the same time.

Our feet need to be taken care of.  As we walk, tremendous amounts of stress are brought to our feet.  Movement (forward motion) and our body weight (gravity) plays an important role.

Great looking shoes are one of the first things that people see.  However, good looks do not necessarily translate into foot comfort, support, or longevity of the shoe itself.

Just my size

Just my size

What To Look For In Walking Shoes

Once more, keep in mind the type of terrain you will be walking on.  In the city, mountain trails, dirt, gravel, and so on.  So, choose a shoe that will be appropriate for that type of walking.

Can I use running or jogging shoes?  These have been used by many walkers.  But are they the best choice?

Runners or joggers type shoes are designed with the knowledge that when running, the toe hits the ground first, then the heel.

Walking is just the opposite.  So, heel support would be a major factor in choosing the correct shoe.  This is applicable for both men and women.

Nordic does make walking shoes that meet all the needed requirements.  Nordic shoes are designed to move you forward or propel to somewhat, as you walk.

However, there are other manufacturer’s that do also.

Whichever shoe you choose, be sure that you have plenty of toe room for that forceful forward pushing movement with each step.

With that pushing movement in the toe, it also needs to be quite flexible.  You will be surprised at how much movement your toes go through when walking, especially when compared to runners toe movements.

Since your heel contacts the ground first, it needs support along with a good insole type of cushion that will be able to take the shock of each step.

Excellent hiking/walking shoes

Excellent hiking/walking shoes

When choosing your walking shoe, if possible, try on as many different types of shoes as possible.  If purchasing online, then be sure and see what the return policy is.

A soft upper shoe makes short work of the break-in time frame.  But, just like anything new, break them in slowly.  Let your feet get used to them.  Note any tendency for newly found “sore spots” on your feet.

Your feet will last you a lifetime.  Take care of them.  They are the walker’s best friend.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this with friends

Images by:  123rf,pixaby,1001enet




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Choosing the Best Walking Pole

Which type of walking pole is best is a simple question…However, unless you have a bit of knowledge as to what you are looking for in a walking pole, you may be spending money unnecessarily  so.

Follow along in this simple guide in choosing the best walking pole for yourself.  It can help you in any future purchases along with knowledge that can be useful for family and friends to also make the right choice.

Stride by Stride

Clearly not everyone walks the same.  Especially is this true if we are taller than most, or, on the other hand, either of average height of perhaps a bit shorter.

Since that is true, each person’s stride, or space between each footstep would be different.  Something that seems to be true around the world is that most people will choose friends at or about, their same height.

Strange, but true.  That is a good thing.  Why?

Because you can also invite your friends, with similar stride lengths, to join you in your daily walking.  🙂

Which Pole?  Adjustable or Fixed?

How would you answer the above two questions?  Follow along in this simple explanation.

Many walking pole brands have either fixed or adjustable poles.  Each of which, have their advantages.

For the seasoned pole walker, most seem to feel that the fixed pole is a wee bit lighter than the adjustable pole, plus they do not have the adjustment parts to contend with.

Fixed poles in many cases, are a bit less expensive than the adjustable type. Some claim that fixed poles are less likely to give out when walking, thereby being safer to use.

However, adjustable poles have many advantages over a fixed pole. Manufacturer’s have built into this type of pole, all the strength that is needed to withstand a good workout.

They are designed to be quiet (no rattle in the adjustments) and lightweight. They can be adjusted to different types of terrain, unlike fixed.

If you are the only one who will be using your poles, and know the exact length you need, then by all means, go with the fixed pole.

On the other hand, adjustable poles can be used by other family members and or friends that would like to “try them out” and perhaps become a walking companion.  🙂

Skill Level Changes Your Pole Length

As you get used to your walking poles, you will note that most newcomers will begin with their poles a bit on the shorter side.  Then, as you progress and desire a more robust walk, such as, power walking,  you’ll need to extend your poles a bit more.

Having your poles a bit longer will allow you to keep them out to the side where they belong.  Mainly they will keep you balanced and at the same time, give your entire upper body a good workout.

Walking up or down long grades, in grass, sand, gravel or on dirt covered trails or roadways, you’ll want to make small adjustments to the length of your poles once more.

Fixed poles will not allow for these small adjustments.  Fixed poles can be very tiring, especially if they are not absolutely perfect for each one of us when it comes to our own personal comfort length.

Note pole positions

Note pole positions…Fixed Poles

The Traveling Poles

The Nordic walking pole can be compacted into a smaller space.  They can be put into baggage areas within an airplane cargo hold with ease.

NOTE:  Do not attempt to use your poles as a carry-on.  More than likely you’ll lose them at the security gate.

Fitted into the trunk of a car or the back of a station wagon type vehicle. Some poles will come in either two of three sections that can quickly be put together or taken apart for easier travel.

What Length Should I Personally Have?

Length of legs, arms, stride, mobility of joints, (may be having some pain to deal with), type of shoe, or even over different types of terrain can have a bearing of our pole length.

Adjustable Nordic walking poles can compensate for all of the above.

Centimeters Or Inches…Which?

To get the proper length and adjustments for you individually, just follow along with this simple formula located here.

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Share this

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Low impact equipment

Low impact exercise equipment

 

Recovery after an injury, surgery, joint pain, or any other type of muscle or joint fatigue, a good quality low impact exercise equipment should be used in order to allow your body time to repair itself.

But what is low impact exercise equipment that does not cost “and arm and a leg” to purchase?

One Of The Best Total Body Workout Tools

Just to name a few of the low impact type exercises, swimming has been one of those that have been towards the top of the list.

On the other hand, unless you have a pool in your backyard that can accommodate you, or a handy “down the road” local pool, for most folks, a daily swim is out of the question.

But…what about a daily walk?  You’ll be amazed at the tremendous benefits that come from a daily walk.  However, with walking, usually only the lower part of our bodies get any type of exercise.

Since we want a total body workout, why not add walking poles/sticks to your arsenal of equipment?

See the benefits that come from this simple addition.

What To Look For In Walking Poles

Often times a novice pole walker will think, “I have a walking stick that will work just fine, after all, I’ve had it for years, so I’ll just use this instead of a new purchase.”

Others think similarly about using ski poles.

However, we need to recognize that ski poles or a cane-type walking stick, when being compared with specially designed walking poles are very different from each other.

What About Trekking Poles?

Trekking poles have a ‘swing’ weight that will allow a person’s forward motion to work for them.

Trekking poles are usually planted to the sides of ourselves for stability while we cross rugged terrain.

If your walking route is over rugged terrain, then the trekking pole is ideal. If not, then the more versatile walking pole is what you’ll be wanting.

A Quick Overview

Choosing the correct type of handle grip is important.  The Nordic brand is one of the top choices to begin with.  Cork handles for warm or hot weather, neoprene or different types of rubber handle grips for cooler weather.

These poles have a sleek design manufactured into them.  Lightweight yet very sturdy for walking and/or power walking.

Keeping our walking pole in our hands is highly desirable.  To make it simple to do, we find the Nordic “passive strap” to be one of the best.

It differs from the loop strap in that it allows our hand to conform to our pole without fear of losing our grip.

A few of the higher-end type poles allow you to “unclip” your hand straps from the pole itself.

Keeping the strap connected to your hand while you get a drink from your water bottle, remove or put on your jacket, consult your hiking/walking map and so on, makes for an enjoyable walk.

Regardless of whether or not your wrist strap remains attached to your walking pole or is removable, you should always use it correctly.  Be sure the velcro is around your wrist for a comfortable fit.

Know Your Poles

Poles are not created equal.  The Nordic walking pole is specially designed just for walking.  Light in weight, strong enough to hold up to it’s purpose, with very little swing weight.

Nordic poles are designed to dampen any type of vibration that can make the user tired.  Not surprisingly, they also absorb shock as you walk, giving you the most comfort possible.

Leki, one of Nordic’s pole manufacturer’s, offers a lifetime guarantee against breakage on their adjustable locking type pole.  Trekking poles.

Having a pole to be able to adjust to your stride and height, is a real plus for the serious or even the casual walker.

A Walking Tip

If you have ever used a cane or crutches, or perhaps know someone that has, then you are aware that if the rubber is missing from the tips of either of these, the cane or crutch is pretty much useless.

Why?  It’s just too slippery.

Nordic walking poles, as a low impact piece of equipment, also has specially designed tips for different types of terrains.

City sidewalks, asphalt or other hard walking surfaces (such as mall walking) are ideal for the rubber tip design that comes with the Nordic walking pole.

On the other hand, if from time to time, you choose to walk on gravel, sand, grass, or dirt, most poles allow you to remove the rubber walking tips to expose a more pointed type tip that allows your pole more “digging” power as you walk.

Terrain

Trekking pole terrain

Need To Know

Whatever your preferred walking terrain may be, keep in mind that tips do wear out.  Take a look at them when new, observe them from time to time, note the wear and replace them when needed.

Usually you can order replacement rubber tips for under 18 dollars.

Still unsure of which pole to choose?  Don’t be in a hurry to purchase until you know what length pole you’ll be needing.

We’ll consider that next time.

Have a walking experience?  Share it with us in the comments below. 🙂

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Share this Site

Images by:  gen3limitedcouk,meltingmommy




wa

What is Walking For Health

To answer the above question, simply put…it means that we choose walking as an exercise over other forms of training.  This is one of the VERY BEST overall, entire body workouts that there is.  However, believe it or not, to do it correct, it takes a bit of finesse and  skill to accomplish it.

To Gym Or Not To Gym…That Is The Question

With so much hype over health and issues that can be stopped or postponed by being healthy, it seems that everyone wants to “jump on the health bandwagon” and get fit!  That is a good thing!

Even the current President and his wife want children to eat healthier along with some form of exercise.  However, many choose alternative type of exercises other than joining and going to a gym.

Outside in the fresh air is always beneficial.  Especially when we can walk in new scenic areas.  How about you?  Does this type of exercise appeal to your senses?

Gyms can become over crowded at certain times of the day, even becoming stuffy and smells of sweat.  On the other hand, outside walks can not only be beneficial, but downright enjoyable!

Types Of Walking

A slow, methodical walk, such as through a mall, is most enjoyable but only has marginal benefits. That is one reason many folks have chosen to do “mall walking” throughout the year.

Ignoring the window displays and having a quick-step type of walk.  Mall walking is usually quite safe, lots of people around and overhead protection from the elements.

Scenic trails of uneven ground can be a challenge though, for some.  How can we benefit from this?   What is a Long Walk – What will a walk do for me?

Walking with friends and others that have similar goals can really make our day.  But how about adding something else to the mix?  Have you ever considered the benefits of walking with poles?

Surprisingly many choose this type of walking because it is an overall, total body workout.

1. What walking poles can do for you – Which are best and what can they do for you?

2. What is a walking stick?  a.k.a.  walking pole

3. What is the benefits of walking – 8 immediate benefits

4. What is a walking route planner – how to plan your walking route

Proper Footwear Is Important

Walking on different types of surfaces such as sidewalks, tiled surfaces, grass, or uneven terrain can be a challenge if we are not prepared for it.  So how do we know which type of shoe would be best for us?

Remember too, that our feet need to be “babied” before, during, and after our walks.  Without them, walking would not be possible.

1. What is the best hiking boot ?  Reviews – Walking shoes

2. How to lace up boots  (yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this)

A Mountain Hike

Daily walks are always the best.  If not convenient, then  perhaps  3 times per week would be the next best thing for you.

Or we decide to go on an all day walk or hike.  Where can we go?

1. Mount Rainier National Park   (my personal  “adventure”… you’ll like this one)

The Conclusion Of Walking

Now that you know what and where you want to walk, and how to go about it, why not invite others to join with you?

Be sure and take along a video camera or  picture camera to get those “once in a lifetime” images that you’ll have for years to come.   My suggestion.

How about you?  Have an adventure you want to share?  Leave your comments below.

Written by Tom McDaniel Share this site

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Choose A Walking Route Planner

What Is  A Walking Route Planner           image by:sparkpeople

The question :  What is a walking route planner, can be defined differently by many authorities.  However, most folks that are wanting a route planner are just regular people that want to walk in safety, in beautiful surroundings, with friends, with their dog(s) or for a vigorous workout.  Some even accept the challenge of walking across the entire country!

Much depends on what you, as an individual, want as an end result.

On the other hand, planning an “attack” on our health is also another type or form of a plan, wanting to be in the very best condition physically that we can be.

Where Do We Start?

Overcoming bad habits can be a real challenge.  Have you read about or even heard about the 30-30-30 attack method of overcoming bad habits and replacing them with good habits?

In this instance, we want the good habit of a regular walking routine.

The 30-30-30 challenge works like this…For a period of 30 days, we will take the time EACH DAY to read or listen to an audio recording of something positive.  It will be for a period of 30 minutes EACH DAY.   If we miss a day, then we start the 30 days over again.  So it is beneficial for us when we start that we do not miss a single day.

Since we want to be fit physically, then we read or listen to something that is health related.  Perhaps how to create good meals, proper warm up techniques, benefits of proper exercise for our age, physical condition or rehabilitation.

(Reading or listening to things of this nature will train us for having the proper mental attitude for exercise.)

We have to be the judge of what we can and can not do.

But why 30 days?  It’s known that to make or break a bad habit and create a good habit, it takes 30 to 45 days of doing that same thing over and over again.  Our brain and body begins to form “muscle memories” for that activity.

In this case, we want to begin a walking routine route planner.  We begin with a place in our local area that meets all of the safety and physical requirements that we want.  Once that is satisfied, then we begin.

Will it be indoors or outdoors?  Know what you are after.

Often times this highly successful type of “attitude attack” is applied to many areas in life.  In this case, we want to  apply it to our getting into a good physically fit routine, thereby, creating a good habit.   Having the desire to be fit is one thing, actually following through with it is where many fail.

Beautiful Scenery Is Desired

If we choose a walking route that encompasses scenery that is not only enjoyable to see and be in, but also safe to travel, then why not take advantage of it?  Do not ever underestimate the motivating factor of a beautiful route.

It’s true about things that we enjoy, we usually repeat them, over and over.  That can be true also of our route that we have chosen.

Year round scenery changes

Year round scenery changes

Too, as the year changes, so do our surroundings.  We take note of these gradual changes and want to keep coming back.   Just being out of doors in itself, compliments us and has positive effects on our health and mental well being.

Parks, open spaces, woodland trails, along rivers or lakes, canals or even near or on the beach are areas for consideration.  In the city, well lit streets for winter walking, tree lined or flower patches for spring or summer walking.  Perhaps we’ll  choose to take advantage of so-called bike paths.  They are usually safe and well traveled.

Need light rain gear?  How about a broad brimmed hat for the sun?

Regardless of where you choose to walk, be sure and take along with you, plenty of water and perhaps a type of energy snack for just-in-case.

Nordic pole walkers can go everywhere

Nordic pole walkers can go everywhere

Be Safe

As we walk, often times we are so “into it” that we forget about things that could possibly happen to us.  For instance.  Be sure that we avoid high crime areas.  Watch out for congested areas whether it be people, animals, or traffic.  Remember too, that there are others that take advantage of walking areas.

They may not be walking though.  Perhaps bicycle riders, skate boarders, roller-blades and many similar activities can be around us.  Just use common sense when making our choice of walking areas and times of day.

Some even choose to carry, not only water and a snack, but also a whistle to sound alarm if need be.  Others choose to carry an easy to reach can of hot pepper/mace type of personal protection.

If you anticipate animals, such as dogs, or even wildlife animals of any sort, bear spray is one of the absolute best types of defense.  It has a spray of some 20 to 30 feet and can also deter people that may do harm to us.

What Are We Desiring?

Overall fitness is something that all of us desire.  Some begin with the gym.  Others want to stay at home for a home-style workout.  And even more want to be with others that have similar goals and form a support group.  Whichever you choose, just do it on a regular basis using the 30-30-30 method to get started with.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blogs, you will note how beneficial walking is.  This can be especially true when using the Nordic walking poles (sticks as some call them) to get an overall body workout.

These workouts can be tremendously beneficial.  They can also be of great variety.  Intensity can be a factor also.   A slow casual walk, or perhaps a sightseeing type walk, to an intermediate type of walk or for those that really want to benefit quickly, a fast paced, heart pounding walk that works some 90% of our entire body muscles.

Entire Body Fitness Is Desired

Using the Nordic walking poles can be a challenge.  Getting our walking coordination to be in sync with using poles is not difficult.  We are really working with gravity and resistance in complementing our body muscles.  Nordic walking poles will help to redistribute our body weight and effort.  This is especially true with our lower body.

On the other hand, our core or upper body also gets into this workout.  It helps each of us to walk tall with a much improved posture.

A healthy heart and increased cardiorespiratory activities are highly desired.  This can be met by almost anyone at any fitness level.  As we apply the 30-30-30 routine in our lives, we will actually miss it when we are not able to get to our routine.

It’s quite addictive

If we choose to walk, then it should be on a daily basis.  If not, then a minimum amount of regular walking would be 3 or 4 times per week.  It should be 30 minutes each time.  But if we are unable to do that all at once, then quick bouts of 3 or 4 minutes throughout the day that add up to a total of 30 minutes per day would also be acceptable.

Year round enjoyment when using Nordic walking poles

Expect Year round enjoyment when using Nordic walking poles

Weight Loss Benefits Of A Route Planner

Have you decided where you will be walking?  Rough terrain?  City streets?  Through the neighborhood?  In a gym on a flat surface?

The terrain we choose to walk on can directly affect our loss of weight.  The more we exert ourselves, the more calories we will burn, even when at rest.

Using Nordic poles will burn more calories than traditional walking.  But keep in mind that until you reach the fat-burning-heart-rate,  we may not be seeing many changes in ourselves.

As soon as we reach that level, that is, the fat-burning-heart-rate, we will begin to see the fat seemingly “melting off” our body!

Walking with poles on our own walking route planner will take some finesse and skill. Don’t get discouraged when you begin.

Can you think of another place to walk?

Use your imagination 

Posture, Joints, Bone Density Add Up To Less Stress

As we walk with poles, we note that there is a slight rotation movement going on in our back.  This is beneficial.  Using upper and lower back muscles will automatically improve our posture.

With better posture, we begin to feel, act, and notice “better coordination” in all activities of life.  Plus, by having more cardiovascular activities, we have increased our endurance level.  Those activities that used to wear us out no longer do so.

Walking poles will help redistribute the effort that it takes to walk.  This is especially beneficial for those that are recovering from surgery, injury,  a birth defect or just getting started with a physical exercise routine.

By allowing the Nordic walking poles to take some of the strain, it allows our knees, back, and other joints to not be so stressed as we walk.

This is especially noted when we walk either up or down hills.

Bone density will increase.  Bone density is desired.

The more we use our body, bone will increase to make up for the effort we are putting it through.  Baseball pitchers and tennis players have been known to have somewhere as much as 4 times the bone density in the arm used most when compared to the arm used less frequently.

Since we want overall bone density, the use of walking poles meet that requirement, forcing  us to use all our bones and body muscles.

Don’t Get Stressed

Have you ever heard of “runner’s high?”

Anticipating the "walker's  high"

Anticipating the “walker’s high”

It is the point that all runners are trying to attain.  It is when your body releases endorphins which in turn, gives each runner a sense of being “high” along with an overall sense of well being.  It is a desirous thing.

Many who take up the Nordic walking routine, soon experience this.  They also experience less stress, not only to their joints, but in their mental outlook as well.

In addition to this is the ability for better pain management, along with endurance and greater muscle gain.

Since a much improved body efficiency in using oxygen as we get into a walking routine has been noted, we find that we become more aware of our surroundings.  Not only that, but we increasingly become aware of our finely tuned “engine” (a.k.a. our body) and it’s workings.

We take note of our heartbeat, our breathing, walking pace, how our feet touch the ground, we even “feel” the earth under our feet, the rhythm of our poles, our coordinated walking stride, and how our body is responding to this newly acquired skill along with how  our muscles are being strengthened with every stride.

With all of the above working together in harmony, we soon realize that our being stressed-out by everyday issues and/or problems seem to be not so overwhelming after all.  In fact, we even find that remedies for issues or problems, readily come to us as we walk.

Walking Route Planner

So you can see that a walking route planner can mean  all sorts of things to all sorts of different folks.   Did you see where you fit in?

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Why not consider using your newly developed walking skills with a set of Nordic walking poles?  After all, the purchase of these poles is pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.  They can be taken with you wherever you go.

But which pole should you purchase?  How can I know which is right for me?

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this site!




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Walking Poles

What Is The Benefits of Walking?

 

Starting now, you can quickly realize the benefits of walking.  Walking?  Why not jog, swim, go to the gym, or bicycle riding?  They all have their place, but surprisingly, walking will cover all those activities rolled into one!

Learning How To Walk

First of all, when we walk many will begin to view it as “serious business.”  On the other hand, we’ll try not to go with that attitude.  The benefits of walking will come to us whether we are serious about it or we are just enjoying the pleasant surroundings.

Coordination And Stability

Just like learning to walk as a young child, the proper use of Nordic Walking Poles also requires a measure of coordination along with a very short learning curve.  Stability and strength with growing endurance qualities, which will enhance our cardiovascular effort will in turn, allow us to be more agile and even increasing visual acuity.

To name a few of the tremendous benefits that come from regular use of walking poles would be :  strengthening  body muscles, tendons, ligaments, injury prevention, quick nerve system reaction to situations which include the agility and ability to learn other athletic skills and/or sports.

Put simply, by regular use of Nordic walking poles is really an investment to our future health, welfare, and overall sense of well being.

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Women seem to dominate this activity…but guys, you get the benefits too!

The Little “Engine” That Said I Can!

The creation of the human body is unique in itself.  The brief illustration that follows will help us to get the sense of how Nordic Walking Poles will benefit us.

A small 1 horsepower gasoline engine can do 1 hp worth of work all day long.   Try to get it to do 1 1/2 hp or perhaps even 2 hp worth of work and what happens?  In short order, it will break down.

On the other hand, if demand 1 horsepower worth of work from our bodies, we get 1 hp worth of work.  If we begin to demand 1 1/2 or even 2 hp worth of work from our bodies, then, over time, our bodies will build the needed muscle, coordination, stamina, and quick reaction time that is needed in order to not only meet, but welcome the change in pace and give us the 1 1/2  to 2 hp energy that is needed.

Using Nordic walking poles puts that little “engine” through it’s paces, that is, our bodies.  Using available resources, such as oxygen and a proper diet, our bodies will begin to burn fat and build muscle.  In fact, the better condition we are in, our little “engine” will be burning fat even when we are at rest.

Cross Country And Skiing…Do We Need It?

Regardless of what level we choose to begin our regular walking routine, our bodies will respond accordingly.  Since aerobic training and conditioning is really at the heart of our newly acquired skills, it sets the stage for anaerobic activities later on.

Anaerobic type of training could be considered the “quarter mile race” of our conditioning.  Since anaerobic training is quite intense, it is usually done in short bursts of energy.  For instance, activities such as we see in aerobic classes in many gyms throughout the country or a long distance runner suddenly has a burst of speed and energy as he/she sees the finish line.

Since this training is for the advanced, we need not worry about it at this time.  Regardless what our fitness level may be, we can use our Nordic walking poles to meet any challenges that may come our way.  Our goal is to progressively build needed endurance, muscle, fat burning capabilities even while at rest, along with increased cardiovascular capacity.

The Top 8 Benefits Of Nordic Walking Poles

1.  Agility and performance in almost every sport will be increased.

2.  Being used to moving, our natural abilities requiring speed will increase.

3.  Like a fine-tuned engine running at peak performance, our total recovery time will be dramatically lessened, making recovery time brief.

4.  Coordinated walking skills will increase along with our natural dynamic balance  especially when maneuvering  over uneven surfaces we walk on.

5.   Nerves and response time will become much more acute.

6.  Since fitness is our goal regardless of our present physical fitness, it will naturally be a  “side benefit” of our regular Nordic pole walking routine.

7.  Getting our “wind” or cardiovascular  endurance will quickly be increased.

8.  Strengthened heart activities will allow our heart muscle to work less,  allowing our heart to perform the same activities as before our walking routine…but with much less effort.

Graceful Women…Muscular Men

Graceful women
Graceful Fit Women

 

Graceful women
Graceful Fit Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies, if you interviewed a number of other women that have been Nordic walkers for a while, you will find that each of them have noticed that within themselves, their own style of walking has become more graceful.

Using Nordic walking poles has given them greater grace and ease of walking even without the use of poles in their everyday activities.  Since coordination, building both upper and lower body muscle, along with fat burning capacities, these women’s bodies will naturally walk straighter.

As we walk, our arms and legs will quite naturally, fall into it’s natural rhythm of the opposite of our leg stride.  Better coordination, graceful movements will also include much fewer body injuries, quicker response time, excellent precision of movements, and ease of learning new skills in almost any sport.

Men, on the other hand, will gain all of the above benefits as women do, including much greater muscle mass.  Seeing that men already have more muscle mass than women, muscle will develop rather quickly.

Having a more athletic shape or build, will give every man a greater presence in practically any given situation or setting.  Even improving his mental awareness because his body is using oxygen more efficiently.

With greater capacity of endurance because of his now, highly trained and conditioned cardiovascular capabilities, those distance type activities beckons to him (or her), to want to join in.

Muscular fit men
Muscular Fit Men

A Excellent Way Of Life

Nordic pole walking is indeed, a way of life.  Knowing that as much as we put into our personal training and routine, WE are the one that gets 100% of the benefits.

Nordic walking requires our entire body to be involved.  Good balance, agility, quick response times, less fatigue, less injuries, along with grace and muscle development for both men and women, are what we are desiring.

Have you started your training yet?

Wondering which of the many Nordic poles to chose from?  

How to overcome the “get started” problem?

All of the above questions have been addressed.  Why not take a few minutes and see how?

Leave me a comment if you like the above and share with friends!

Written by :  Tom McDaniel

Images by: shutterstock,dailymail.co.uk,sparkpeople,express.co.uk

 

Walking Stick

What  Is  A Walking Stick ? … Often the above image comes to mind.

A walking stick or better known as a walking pole, can be used for health, protection, balance, safety, resting, or just plain “looking good” to everyone that sees you!  So many interesting and unique benefits come from this simple “invention” of the use of a stick, or pole.

To answer the question of “What is a walking stick”, can be just a wee bit tricky.  As noted above, it’s uses are quite diverse.  However, most people choose a good walking stick,  a.k.a. walking pole, for health reasons.

Benefits Of Using A Walking Pole

A brief summary of some benefits of this simple device are:

Anyone can use it.  Regardless of your age or fitness, you can benefit for it’s usage.

Knotted muscles show up in the upper back, neck and even in many shoulder areas often caused from stress at home or at work.

When using the walking pole the correct way (and yes, there is a right and wrong way to use a properly constructed walking pole)  it reduces the stress on the upper body.

The proper use of walking sticks/poles will actually improve your upper body mobility.  More muscle will be used and therefore give a person a more erect posture.  Slumping or round shoulders will be a thing of the past.

Mentally, many people do not like the word “exercise” or “workout” because it comes across as difficult.  On the other hand, when using walking poles, it is perceived by most, as a more moderate exercise, even though you are using 90% of your entire body muscles!

Balance is a challenge for many that are getting up in years.  Walking while using poles, can help to maintain balance.  Especially is this true when walking on uneven surfaces such as an off road hiking trail.

Aches and pains in our lower extremities can be greatly reduced.  Hips, knees, and ankles all take a tremendous amount of stress if we’ve not had a regular routine of walking.  Walking poles can relieve much of it by giving us the much appreciated support.

Weight Loss

Want to trim down?  Just by using walking sticks/poles, which uses more upper body movements, can burn some 40 to 48% more calories than just walking without them.

Building up your wind, or cardiovascular, is another side benefit of walking with poles.

And, once more, remember that while using walking sticks/poles, we are using about 90% of all our body muscles.  When we compare it to the 40% or less muscles that are used when not using walking poles,  we begin to feel more fit almost “overnight.”

Benefits of using poles are quickly seen

Benefits of using poles are quickly seen and felt in ourselves.

What About Surgery?

As a person ages, many times our joints begins to break down.  Often times requiring a hip, knee or ankle replacement.  The use of walking poles can once more, give us that needed extra support so we can get things moving again.

In fact, because of the many benefits of walking poles and it’s popularity, many large hospitals encourage the use of walking poles.  Medical associations likewise, agree with many major hospitals in this regard also.

Seniors especially gain benefits from walking pole use.

Don't Let your age stop you from pole walking

Don’t Let your age stop you from pole walking

For Those With Diabetes, OverWeight, High Blood Pressure

If we find ourselves suffering from any of the above, that is, high blood pressure, excess weight gain or diabetes, then take note of a few more benefits of using walking poles.

Many times our own personal physician will recommend different types of “exercises” for us.  If you find yourself in that category, then the use of walking poles is “just what the doctor ordered”  especially because of it’s low impact, and it’s many cardiovascular health benefits.

Why not try it and see for yourself?

You’ll almost immediately begin to note that with the use of walking poles, you have just transformed your entire body into a ‘walking machine’ by giving it a whole body workout.

A Word Of Caution

Keep in mind also, that if you’ve not used poles to walk with, do so only under the direction of your physician.  If he or she agrees, then work into it gradually.  Many times new ones will over due it the first time or two…begin to feel sore…and then just quit.

Feeling sore is a natural thing.  Those muscles that have not been used are going to try and tell you to… “stop!  It hurts!”  So the only way to get them to stop hurting, is to gradually work into a regular pole walking routine.  Soon they will begins to respond with “wow, I feel great!  let’s keep doing this” or something similar.

You’ll know when that times arrives.  🙂

You'll love the company

You’ll love the company!

A Sense Of Overall Wellness And Well Being

Being a low-impact type of exercise, it promotes not only fitness and health but also an overall feeling of well being.  Wouldn’t you agree that the time has come to really “get the juices flowing” again?

It has been proven that pole walking is deemed a catalyst to the promotion of rehabilitation along with much improved physical activities.  Not only that, but it’s great fun!

Comparisons To Other Forms Of Exercise

Many thousands, if not, 10’s of thousands of people worldwide, enjoy jogging, running, bicycle riding or swimming for exercise.  All of which work well.

But what exactly are the benefits as compared to pole walking?   Am I building muscle?  Am I burning calories?  All excellent questions that need to be answered.

Let’s start first with calories being burned.

Using a stationary bicycle, we burn about 200 calories per hour.  A quick paced walk is around 240 calories per hour. Jogging is a wee bit more at 280 calories per hour.  Swimming, which has also been deemed and overall body exercise, burns around 330 calories per hour.  A fast paced aerobics class can burn up to 440 calories per hour, which in itself, can be exhausting.

Pole walking which gives us a 90% total body workout, burns between a whopping 600 to 900 calories per hour!

So, not only are we burning more calories and using 90% whole-body muscles, but we also get to see beautiful new scenery, fresh air and enjoy conversations with friends that walk with us.

Thinking back on what we just covered, if we are even remotely considering a low-impact type of exercise, then why wait any longer?  Why not look into pole walking?  You may be pleasantly surprised with how many are actually doing this in your area.

Feeling adventurous?

Feeling adventurous?  With poles you can get  there.

Which ‘Stick’ Or ‘Pole’  Should I Use?

To answer the above will take more than just a name of a walking pole company.  However, the Nordic Walking Pole has pretty much dominated the scene.

They are the company that actually made it popular around the globe.  So to give them the only credit would be very easy to do but quite unfair to all the other great companies with walking poles.

But what should we know and how do we choose the correct one for us?

Find all the answers here that you’ll need to know in order to make an informed choice.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this site

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What walking poles can do for you

What walking poles can do for you

Walking comes naturally to us, so why use walking poles?  Can’t I just use a stick?   Let’s dig a bit deeper into what walking poles can do for us, which are the best to use and why, in the first place, should we even consider using them.

Reasons To Use Nordic Walking Poles

Have you ever experienced a lower back pain?  Statistics show that about 85% or more, adults at one time or another, suffer lower back pain.  Walking sticks can help alleviate much, if not all of the pain.  That can include hip and knee pain as well.

Keeping fit and maintaining your wind is of primary importance to many who are conscious of health.  Pole walking is similar to cross country skiing.  In fact, that is where it began.  Many professional cross country skiers would train with poles and rollers skates in the off season.

The so-called “urban poling” began way back in the 1930’s in Finland.  Since then, it has seen a booming growth for health conscious people of all ages and backgrounds.

Urban poling can be done with friends

Urban poling can be done with friends

What About Running?

As popular as running or jogging is, many just can not do it.  Aches and pains, the constant jarring of one’s bones against each other, let alone the lack of support for women unless wearing  a specially constructed sports bra, all can have a negative effect on a person.

Joint pain will eventually begin to take it’s toll, making our running routine not as enjoyable as it once was.

Follow the leader

Let’s play Follow the leader

Walking, on the other hand, is a great alternative to running.  Using the Nordic walking poles can bring back the fun in exercise or just an excuse to get outside.  Its a great challenge to get yourself into a walking sync while using the poles.

Take a quick look at the correct way to walk with poles.  Afterwards, be sure and come back.

Click for short How-To Video

Walking Tall

Once we learn how to properly walk with poles, and get used to the “cat calls” about “forgetting your skis” or “hey, it’s not winter yet” and things similar, in short order, we’ll note that not only are we getting into better shape, but we are actually walking more erect.

Stooping and slouching is pretty much unheard of after a regular pole walking routine.   Upper body strength, better posture, and those shapely, muscular legs begin to show.  Women, don’t worry about “muscles” popping out.

Muscles that you will be using while Nordic pole walking

Keep in mind that the muscles in your legs are the ones that you’ll want to show off.  After all, it’s those leg muscles that give your legs their shape.   Not only will you be using some 600 different muscles throughout your body, but you’ll also be burning some 400 or more, calories each hour you walk.

How To Prepare Before Walking

Your feet are one of your most important assets that need to be considered before starting out.  So a quick look at the terrain you will be walking in will determine what type of comfortable walking style shoe you will be needing.

Whether it’s around the neighborhood or through the forest, even or uneven surfaces with tripping hazards need to be considered.  How is the weather?  Expecting rain?  Wind? Lots of sun?   Whatever it may be, you can wear or carry it with you (a light backpack comes in handy here).

A good leg workout

Gives your legs a great shape!

If you are a wee bit leary about starting out with walking poles, you may want to consider taking a few lessons as to the proper way to get the most benefit from your poles.

It only takes one or two lessons to really get the hang of it.  Plus, you can enjoy the association of others that are likewise, exercising with poles.  It’s great fun.

Which Pole Is Right For You?

Often times when we think “walking stick,”  what comes to mind is a stiff branch or a small tree that we made into a walking stick.   That would be partially correct.  Some of the Nordic walking poles or sticks, are indeed,  rigid with a fixed length.

However, since we are all of different heights, walking stride, way of walking and so on, it would be better to have a walking pole that fits us as an individual.  Therefore, the adjustable type walking pole is a much better fit.

The most popular pole that  Nordic has to offer would be the Leki Supreme Shark.  It is fitted with cork handle, quick release strap and comes with the Powergrip paws (the rubber ends on each pole).  Sturdy, but light in weight, and fully adjustable in length to fit you and your stride.

On the other hand, you can start out with the Nordic Walking Instructor Trekking Pole.  Less expensive but just as effective and fully adjustable.

There is also the Nordic Walking Carbon VIP Poles that work amazingly well.  Fitted with removable rubber tips making them ideal for indoor or outdoor use.   One drawback for this excellent walking pole is they are not adjustable.  But, being very user friendly, they can be used as an “everyday walker.”

Nordic pole walking is stimulating !

Nordic pole walking is stimulating !

How To Choose

Though rigid walking poles are less likely to have vibration, the fully adjustable type walking poles are exceedingly strong and any vibration that may be felt is kept to a bare minimum.  These poles will last for years to come and are safe to use.

With several different type poles to choose from, let’s briefly consider each one.  First there is the non adjustable or fixed length, second would be the extendable, third is adjustable and telescopic, and finally there is the strapless and trekking poles.

Going Strapless?

One of the best things that Nordic has going for them is the easy release straps.  Going without the use of these straps is NOT recommended.  The strapless pole would be used by individuals that may have a balance issue and would need to quickly release the poles in case of a fall.

The fixed length pole is just as it says.  Fixed.  In choosing this pole, one would have to be confident enough in themselves that they know the exact length they would need.  But keep in mind that more than likely, these individuals would not be able to improve and/or develop their individual technique.

The extendable pole is almost the same as the fixed pole, with one exception.  It does have an adjustment that is close to the handle that can absorb any vibration.  This pole can be adjusted to fit each person exactly.

On the other hand, the fully adjustable poles are for everyone.  All walkers enjoy the ease and freedom that this pole offers.  Being fully flexible, it’s completely suitable for all Nordic pole walkers.

Enjoy backpacking?  Then the telescopic poles are what you want.  These poles will fold down so as to fit into a backpack, suitcase or just handy to carry.  Not taking up much space, they are a great add-on for a vacation, or even walking through a city.

However, keep in mind that since they are made up of 3-piece construction, they do have a bit of a tendency to vibrate as you walk.  If you can deal with vibration, then this is the ideal pole for you.

With a lightweight backpack and Nordic Walking Poles

With a lightweight backpack and Nordic Walking Poles You can  go to amazing places.

A Final Note

A lightweight pole is best.  Nordic poles are light in weight, yet sturdy.  We feel that though carbon is best suited for walking, being more expensive, most people tend to shy away from it unless they are seasoned pole walkers.

A unique feature of the Nordic walking pole is the ability to remove or replace the rubber feet (or paws) on each of the poles.  They are properly angled so as to give their user much needed stability.

Something to look for in poles is, if the rubber feet are not easy to remove and replace, plus not having  the correct angle, then more than likely, it is not an official Nordic walking pole.  Just be aware.

The hand straps are a great feature.  Not only for helping to stop hand fatigue, but  safety  also.  They should be simple to attach and detach from the pole and your hand.

Though Nordic walking poles have been around for many years, there are several other  excellent walking poles on the market that can be well suited for you.

Some of the names of well established and reputable companies would include :

Leki      Gabel      Swix      Komperdell

Having built their reputation on creating and manufacturing ski poles, you know they have to be some of the top companies in the world.

Enjoy your new found exercise and healthy lifestyle with Nordic Walking Poles.   Feel free to leave a comment below.

An enjoyable pastime with friends.

Why not take up An enjoyable pastime with friends?

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this info.

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What is brisk walking? Here is what it looks like.

What is brisk walking? This is what it looks like.

Brisk walking can be enjoyable and beneficial at the same time.  What are the benefits of walking?  Read on and you shall see.      Continue with Part 2

If you are a beginner though, it must be something that you start with on a gradual basis.  Many times a person sees the need to “get in shape” and begins a routine of exercise.  However, because of the initial interest, most will over do it and then quickly loose interest.

If you are wanting to start an exercise program, start slowly.    Begin with just a few minutes each day until you get into a regular routine or habit.  It has been shown that it takes a minimum of 30 days to either make a new habit or break an old habit.  Exercise is no different.  Do it for 30 days, then you can begin to increase your routine time-wise and endurance building.

Good Intentions

Many who start out with good intentions over do it right at first.  The next day, or perhaps two days after the beginner starts, they feel aches and pains that they have never felt before.  Most usually quit at this point.  That is the main reason to gradually work into a routine.

More experienced hikers enjoy a real challenge from time to time.

Getting Started

A good way to start is by a brisk walk.  It can be done at almost any time of the day or evening. Find  the time period that suits you best and stick with it.  A popular walking exercise is done with light weights held in each hand while walking briskly.  It should be more than a stroll, yet not at a run or jog.  Just a quick-stepping walk while you move your arms to the front and back in a natural motion as you walk.

Many call this type of walk “power walking.”

Power walking

Power walking

Pole Walking

However, there is another type of walking that instead of using light weights, you have properly lengthened poles in each hand.  It resembles cross country skiing.  In fact, you can use ski poles to begin with.  If you are walking on a hard surface, just put rubber tips on the ends of the poles so as not to have them slip.

Another name for this type of exercise if called Nordic-walking.  In fact, it was the cross country ski racers that came up with this type of training.  It was to supplement their off season conditioning so as to stay in tip top shape when the winter snows began to fall.

This type of training started back in the 1980’s and then was adopted by the general public sometime in the 1990’s.  Nordic walking is much more than just a passing fad.  It is a way of life for many who want to keep as healthy as they can.  It started in Finland and over the years has been introduced into many others countries.

Suzanne Nottingham knows how to get the most from walking with poles.

Nordic type of Pole Walking

Nordic type of Pole Walking

Muscles being used during pole walking

Muscles being used during pole walking

The Benefits Of Walking Are Numerous

But why the use of poles?  The Nordic walk with poles, exercises your upper body, while walking exercises you lower body.  With the use of the ski poles while walking, you are working the muscles in you back, arms, neck, and abdomen.

It also has an added benefit of relaxing you as you walk.  It speeds up your body so you burn calories faster and thereby drop many extra unwanted pounds of weight.  If you are an office worker, try the Nordic walk.  Those muscles that become stagnant by sitting at a desk all day can really enjoy being used again.  It helps you to stay erect and breathing becomes easier.

When we use the poles instead of the light weights, we walk in a more erect position.  It helps us to stand straighter with a much slimmer waistline.

A slim waistline

A slim waistline is another benefit for pole walking

One more benefit of the poles is that as we walk, it can relieve joint pain and joint pressure by allowing some of our weight to be distributed to each of the poles.  The poles can also help keep our balance if we are walking on uneven ground, snow, ice, or other types of soils.

If we are serious about Nordic walking, we need to have a well fitting and ankle supportive type of shoe.  They should be used only while we exercise, not for everyday use.  If we really enjoy wearing this type of shoe, then buy two pair.  One for daily use, the other for our Nordic walking.  Why two?  Because we will mentally get ourselves ready when we put on our “walking shoes.”

Walking is beneficial for all.  Running or jogging is also beneficial but it can cause injury or joint pain especially if we are not as young as we used to be.  Why not start out with walking?   It is a great way to really enjoy life.

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Brisk walking –  Great fun and exercise!

Don’t Like To Walk?

Many choose a different type of exercise.  Bicycling is another type of exercise that has a low impact on most people.  Plus, you can enjoy the scenery as it passes.  Have you considered this as a stepping stone to walking?

Bicycling is a great alternative

Bicycling is an excellent alternative

 

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this site




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