Compared to regular walking, Nordic walking (also called pole walking) involves applying force to the poles with each stride. Nordic walkers use more of their entire body (with greater intensity) and receive fitness building stimulation not present in normal walking for the chest, latissimus dorsi muscle, triceps, biceps, shoulder, abdominals, spinal and other core muscles that may result in significant increases in heart rate at a given pace. Nordic walking has been estimated as producing up to a 46% increase in energy consumption, compared to walking without poles and trekkers, backpackers and skiers had been using this basic concept for decades.
Nordic walking provides additional benefits in muscular strength compared to conventional walking, making it suitable for improving aerobic capacity and muscular strength as well as other components of functional fitness in a short period of time. With the basic “hands above the heart” position necessitated by the poles, circulation is improved and heart rate is reduced. The “rhythm” created by walking with poles leads to relaxed, more regular breathing and increased stamina. The key points stated by the study authors are:
Nordic walking, conventional walking, and resistance training are beneficial for adults.
The cadences of the arms, legs and body are, rhythmically speaking, similar to those used in normal, vigorous, walking. The range of arm movement regulates the length of the stride. Restricted arm movements will mean a natural restricted pelvic motion and stride length. The longer the pole thrust, the longer the stride and more powerful the swing of the pelvis and upper torso.
So another way to be healthy and happy.