Nordic Walking: from Unfit to Superfit

I get  two main reactions from people when I talk about Nordic Walking:

  1. I couldn’t do that: I’m not fit enough
  2. 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:

Putting Up (and Putting Away) the Quechua Two-Second Tent

JP and I are intending to “wild camp” while walking the South Downs Way next week.


And we will be sleeping in the amazing Quechua two-second tents, which are easy to put up, but I found I needed a little help to learn how to pack the tents away: here’s how to do it:

The Icknield Way Walk

Possibly not my finest video production hour!  But a few snippets of the day.

It really was wonderful!

Best Nordic Walking Video

This gets my prize for the best Nordic Walking video I’ve seen so far!

It inspires me as an instructor, walk-leader, and walker. And it inspires me as a film-maker!

I think I might translate the title as “Nordic Walking: Marching to a Different Drum”

How to use the Walking for Happiness Website

People are always e-mailing, texting, phoning, Facebook messaging to ask me stuff that’s on the Walking For Happiness website.

So I thought a little tour round the amazingly cool features on the site might be useful!

What the Doctors Say

Dr Bhupinder Kohli

“Super Surgery” East London GP Bhupinder Kohli, talks about Walking for Happiness, from the shores of the South China Sea.

Dr Dominique Dock

Mountain Guide and GP, Dr Dominque Dock, from West London, talks about Walking for Happiness from Hampshire.

Dr Alison Grimstone

East Sussex GP, and nutrition and health expert, Dr Alison Grimstone, talks about Walking for Happiness.

How Nordic Walking Helps Those Who Hate Exercise

The World’s Most Unlikely Personal Trainer!

James talks about what Walking for Happiness has done for him–and what it could do for you.

Nordic Walking 101

These four videos give you 80% of everything you need to know, in about 20% of the time (or less!)

Here Susan demonstrates good walking technique:

Here’s the proper grip on the poles:

The proper angle of the poles:

And lastly, Susan puts it all together:

And that’s Walking For Happiness 101! Come on one of our classes to get the more detailed stuff.

Walking for the “Exercise-Challenged!”

Here James talks about how Walking for Happiness can help those not used to exercise. We apologize for the sound quality; the interview was recorded in a noisy environment.

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