Looking for a work out that's easier on your joints like walking, but burns more calories? Nordic walking may be for you. Nordic Walking is fitness walking with specially designed poles. It's aerobic exercise that works your back, arms, torso, and lower body muscles and burns more calories than regular walking.
Physicians at the West Virginia University School of Medicine say there are numerous cardiovascular or heart benefits "By doing the walking you definitely are helping to use your body more and that gives good practice for your heart. But, by doing Nordic walking in particular you're using your upper body which helps more with your heart and cardiovascular endurance," said Dr. Natasha Harrison, WVU Family Medicine.
Nordic Walking also helps those with balance issues and improves posture. It's a great workout for those with arthritis of lower joint pain because it takes some of the weight off hips, knees and ankles. "This definitely would be a good option," said Dr. Harrison. "You're getting in the physical activity which can help with your arthritis related pain, but you're taking some of the burden off of your joints by using the walking poles and thus using your upper body to move you, not just focusing on your lower body to move you along."
Nordic walking is great for weight loss, if done vigorously, you can burn almost as many calories as jogging. But it's a lot easier on your joints. "There were some knee problems, but those have been resolved. And I don't find that I have any kind of aches or pain after I Nordic walk. So it is very easy to do. Anyone can do it. And if you have a balance problem the poles certainly give you some additional confidence that you won't fall," said Barbara Brown, a Nordic walker.
The average cost of Nordic walking poles range anywhere from $20 to $150 dollars. It's a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.