I get two main reactions from people when I talk about Nordic Walking:
- I couldn’t do that: I’m not fit enough
- Pah! I couldn’t be bothered because I’m already super-fit.
Clearly, I’m not explaining myself well enough. Let’s deal with number 2, first.
Nordic Walking was invented by competitive cross-country skiers who wanted a way of training in the summer, when there’s no snow. Cross-country skiers are amongst the fittest sports people there are, having the highest VO2 max (ability to use oxygen).
Here’s a video of some Norwegians using Nordic Walking to get fit:
It has some Norwegian captions: here are the translations:
Annie M Lingjerde
Norwegian Alpine Ski Team 87-92
Physiotherapist, Training Instructor
Stavgang er mer enn du tror
Walking is more than you think
AnnieOne’s Nordic Walking er et egenutviklet treningskonsept
AnnieOne’s Nordic Walking is an in-house training concept
Tren smart og kjenn forskjellen!
Train smart and feel the difference!
Vi bruker Naturen som vårt helsestudio!
We use nature as our gym!
Kom i form på en humørfylt, profesjonell og trygg måte!
Get fit in a humorous, professional and safe way!
Stavgangteknikkene lærer du underveis
You learn The Nordic Walking techniques along the way
Vi streber etter at enhver skal få trene ut fra det nivået er på!
We strive to make sure any work is based on your level!
When she says “based on your level” I don’t think she’s thinking of me! There are international NW competitions where they do the equivalent of Alpine biathlons: nordic walking (well, running!) and target shooting.
This next video (it’s 30-minutes long, but is in sections, so you can watch a bit at a time) goes way beyond any level I’ve ever achieved, but shows that Nordic Walking (and its extension here, Nordic Ski Walking) can take you to high levels of workout:
Next is a 2-minute video, in Spanish with English subtitles, showing the benefits of Nordic Walking in preventing and ameliorating osteoporosis. Nordic Walking is probably the number one exercise to help prevent osteoporosis as it is a load-bearing exercise but reduces shock loading.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the age range, here are a group of 13 people, average age 87, making good use of Nordic Walking:
Finally, here’s my favourite Nordic Walking video … I just think it captures the spirit: