Power Up Your Walking Workout
If you walk for exercise, you may be ready for an upgrade-something a little more vigorous and varied. And though it may sound absurd, walking with poles is even better exercise than just plain walking, according to those who practice "Nordic walking."
A growing number of scientific studies have underlined the benefits as well. Think of Nordic walking as cross-country skiing (one of the best forms of aerobic exercise) without the snow, skis, and long underwear.
The poles used for Nordic walking are made of lightweight aluminum, titanium, and other metals-they look like ski poles. Some have angled rubber-covered tips called paws. They have cork or rubber hand grips, and some have mesh straps with a quick-release mechanism in case you want to free your hands.
Their length can be adjusted, depending on your height and the terrain. Any sporting-goods store that carries hiking equipment should have them, and they range in cost from $70 to $200 per pair. It's not hard to learn pole walking-you can teach yourself.
It's a basic marching rhythm: your right foot swings forward and you plant the pole with the left arm; then the left foot and the right arm. People usually feel a bit odd at first, but it's very safe, recommended especially for those with balance problems.
What's the point?
In addition to the poles, you'll need good walking shoes, of course. Nordic walking is already a popular exercise in Finland and is catching on gradually in this country. Some health clubs offer Nordic walking classes. Most of the poles come with a basic instruction booklet.
Article Tags: Nordic Walking
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Miodrag Kablinovic is founder of the fitness and health related blog: Miosuperhealth.com. Miosuperhealth offers free articles about weight loss, healthy smoothie recipes, meal replacement shakes, workout exercises and the basics of nutrition. Miodrag loves to help people reach their dream body. Furtermore he is a committed martial artist and runner.