Get a Full Body Workout from Nordic Walking

Nordic walking can be a great full body cardio workout, helping to develop both your strength and endurance

Credit: iStock

Year-round, nordic walking is as practical as it is beneficial

Emphasizing strength and endurance training, nordic walking is becoming an increasingly popular workout routine

You’ve probably seen people walking or hiking using what look like modified ski poles.

This unique exercise, called Nordic walking, has become popular because it provides year-round access to the whole-body workout of cross-country skiing. 
Nordic walking uses the muscles of both the upper and lower body, which increases your fat-burning and cardio workout without requiring you to walk faster or longer.

As you push on the poles to propel yourself forward you exercise 90% of the muscles of your body – including the abdominals. The repetitive contraction of the upper-body muscles with each stride (900 upper-body contractions and 1,800 abdominal contractions per mile) builds both strength and endurance in all of the muscles involved.

Benefits of Nordic Walking

  • Can be enjoyed year-round 
Strengthens most muscles of the body
Burns up to 45% more calories than regular walking
Reduces impact to the hips, knees and ankle joints by 30%

  • Is suitable for all fitness levels and ages

  • The poles provide greater stability and promote better posture

Check your local community centre for Nordic walking programs.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.