I am so glad I found out about Nordic walking!!! I was going stir crazy not being able to keep up my fitness routine of interval run/walking.
As mentioned previously, my back is causing me trouble, and a lot of pain – I injured it doing something I had done many times before at work, but that doesn’t make it right: Tip – Those manual handling courses and Health and Safety regulations serve a purpose….
Anyway, I read up on the effects of Nordic walking – and the fact that some doctors and physiotherapists use this as way to help people with very serious back injuries (and other injuries) to recover.
There were all sorts of claims as to how it burns more calories – takes the load off of the back and legs – and shares it over the rest of the body – and allows you to exercise for longer as the legs don’t tire so quickly…
My previous post shows a straight 2km walk versus a 2km Nordic walk.
This post shows a full Nordic lake walk versus one of my last C25K Interval (Run/Walk) training before I injured my back. The C25K was around the lake with a 90 second run followed by 2 minute rest, repeating for the full distance.
The kcal burn pretty much speaks for itself – but what you don’t see is the fact that after the Nordic walk I felt like I could just keep going – and I felt comfortable in my back, which is great – as even normal walking around and sitting is leaving me in discomfort at the moment.
So on to those figures…. The top two tables show the data and training heart zones from the C25K interval training. You can see my heart did get into a higher (red) zone – which has certain advantages – but the best zone to be in (for me at the moment – and people exercising in general) is the orange zone. In the lower two tables you can see that for almost the whole distance I was locked into that one zone for the duration – and I didn’t do that on purpose – that’s just as it happened.
INTERVAL TRAINING CHARTS:
NORDIC WALKING CHARTS:
Yup…. that’s only 56 seconds outside of my optimum zone!!!!
When it comes to equipment, you need poles and good trainers (not stiff bottomed hiking boots – you need a flexable sole) the poles have special binds on for wrist support and ease of pole use – It is a glove like design that keeps the pole between your thumb and first finger. Hiking poles just have a wrist loop – and this is no good. As for shaft design: Some people say go for one piece poles due to safety, but this is rubbish! A telescopic pole from a reputable company (tested and certified) is just as safe. The choice between telescopic and fixed length should be due to what you will use the pole for – and nothing to do with safety.
For me though, on an engineering point of view I know what I am looking for in a two part telescopic pole mechanism. Lets face it – sometimes you need a pole that can be shortened to be stored or carried in a back pack. The problem is that a poorly designed telescopic pole lock mechanism and/or a mechanism that hasn’t been tightened properly can cause pole collapse – not a great thing, as you can imagine…(a problem some people have if they just don’t have a good vice like grip when tightening the lock!)
Having yourself checked out for the correct running trainers is also a very important thing to consider – just like for running and jogging. The wrong equipment can end up causing you long term future problems.