Living in VT, people try all sorts of ways to stay fit for their favorite winter sports in the off-season. It’s not uncommon to see people with ski poles and roller blades speeding down the sides of roads and even highways. Several years ago, I started experimenting using my cross-country poles for walking. I found that I really liked it and that it actually made things easier on my body. While I used poles for snowshoeing, I also found they made it possible for me to take walks around the icy roads in my neighborhood during the winter, and made hiking in the mountains much easier.
I put the poles aside for swimming, biking and working out at the gym. I just recently started using them again and I checked out poles at a sporting goods store. In truth they weren’t much different than the poles I have. Further, my husband informed me that I haven’t been using the straps on my current poles correctly. Maybe I will eventually purchase new poles, since they have some that are very light and fold to fit in a suitcase. However, you don’t need to invest in a lot of money for this activity.
For me there is nothing like learning something new, and how much better when it’s something that’s really good for you? According to the American Nordic Walking Association, Many doctors agree that Nordic walking is one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts because it works all major muscle groups in the body. Recent studies by the Cooper Institute, Dallas, showed that Nordic walking burned more calories, increased oxygen consumption, and can be up to 46% more efficient than normal walking. Nordic walking is also great for weight loss. By using the Nordic walking poles, you increase your heart rate on average 10-15% more than normal walking. This means you can burn well over 400 calories per hour, much more than normal walking, which only burns approximately 280. An additional energy consumption of 1500-2000 calories a week while doing physical activities reduces your risk of getting sick. You can achieve this by walking with your poles approximately 3 hours every week.
Nordic Walking, sometimes called pole walking, is being recommended and studied in groups of people with chronic disease, including those with Parkinson’s Disease. It’s also thought of as a good exercise to prevent chronic disease.
There are some good tutorials on-line that can help you with the basics. I found the on-line video Nordic Walking-An Introduction & How To very easy to follow. While it appears that this type of walking is more popular in Europe and Australia, it’s starting to pick up in the United States. The best way to find a group near you is to go on-line and put your location with “Nordic walking” and see what comes up. Chances are good there are places near your home.
Not up for walking today? How about a 9-letter word riddle?
What nine-letter word in the English language is still a word when each of the nine letters is removed one by one? Take a few minutes to try and come up with a nine-letter word that fits the bill, and then watch the video for the answer.