Nordic walking in Québec
Nordic walking is not very well known in North America or in Québec, but it is quite popular in Europe. It originated in the Scandinavian countries in the 20th century. Nordic walking is a form of fitness walking with specially designed poles that propel a walker in the manner of a cross-country skier.
In this way, all the body’s main muscle and joint groups are used, which makes it a much more effective form of exercise than conventional walking.
Tests have shown that this technique increases oxygen and caloric consumption by 20 to 50%. In addition, 30 minutes of Nordic walking is equivalent to 50 minutes of conventional walking with respect to energy consumption.
It is also said that Nordic walking is easier on the knees than jogging and that it is enormously beneficial in that it brings about weight loss, improves the cardiovascular system and tones the muscles. In addition, the use of poles reduces joint stress.
The technique used in Nordic walking is simple: slip your hands into the wrist- straps of your walking poles and take long strides at a normal pace, with your body leaning forward.
Bring your right hand forward, open and relaxed, at the same time as your left foot. At this point, the right pole is dragged along the ground. Then, grip the pole handle, lean on it while driving it into the ground and move yourself forward at the same time.
However, this basic technique requires a good deal of practice to be mastered.
With practice, you will walk faster, be steadier on your feet and you will automatically adopt the proper posture with your shoulders relaxed and down and your back straight.
Nordic walking should not be done on paved or concrete surfaces, so avoid asphalted surfaces.
In Quebec, Nordic walking poles sell for a minimum of $60. They should be light, resistant and flexible enough to absorb shocks. They are made of carbon fibre or fibreglass and other composite materials. Aluminum is not recommended, because it is too fragile and not flexible enough. When buying your poles, talk to a salesperson to choose the appropriate weight, material and length.
Lastly, as an exercise, Nordic walking is suitable for everyone because it is inexpensive and very enjoyable.
Source of original French text: GrandQuebec.com
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