Walking Poles

Photo Credit: Anwi CC-BY-2.5-IT

Walking using walking poles, called Nordic walking, is a great way to exercise your arms, shoulders, back and chest muscles during a walk. Nordic walking turns a leisurely walk into a full-body workout. The arm movements when Nordic walking gets your heart pumping for aerobic fat burning. In addition to increasing the intensity of your walk, using walking poles also helps improve your balance and provides points of stability when walking on uneven trails. When you use walking poles, your posture is improved and your back muscles get a good workout while you walk. 
Using walking poles can seem a bit cumbersome at first, but once you get the hang of it, Nordic walking will feel natural. Start out by holding the poles in your hands close to your body with the wrist strap loosely around your wrist. Grip the pole with a relaxed hand so that the poles can swing forward. Allow the poles to swing from your wrist while in your hand. Think about how your arms swing naturally when you walk. When your right foot is forward, your right arm swings toward your back and your left arm swings forward. When your lead foot touches the ground, swing the opposite pole forward and allow it to touch the ground parallel to the heel of your lead foot. As you step forward, push back on the lead pole and simultaneously bring the other pole toward the front in time with your stride. Keep your arms relaxed when walking. The goal is to swing the poles in rhythm with your stride. 

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