If you don’t dare to go to the gym or group exercise class in the corona fall, Nordic walking is a good, effective and safe alternative to indoor exercise.

Mika Venojärvi, a university lecturer in sports medicine who has studied Nordic walking, lists many health benefits from the University of Eastern Finland, the most surprising of which is that regular Nordic walking training quickly improves endurance fitness.

- If the starting condition is poor, the endurance condition increases in 2-3 months, when you walk twice a week for about an hour, says Venojärvi.

In Nordic walking, most of the body is activated as long as the technique is in order.

  • Read more: These 14 things happen when you start taking a daily walk - visible and tangible results quickly

Check the correct technology

An expert can see from afar if the technology is wrong.

A typical mistake is that the rods stay in front, i.e. they are not taken backwards.

- Many use sticks to balance and lighten walking, and then technology is usually out of place.

When the hands are held in front of the body, walking lacks relaxation, allowing the neck-shoulder area to be easily tense and pain to occur.

Relaxation is important in Nordic walking, as is posture.

Poor posture can put a strain on the neck-shoulder area.

- If the head is tilted forward, stress states may occur.

The head should be kept upright and looking forward.

With the right technique, the shoulders stay relaxed, the upper body works efficiently and the step rolls in a good walking rhythm.

Start training like this

Although Finns are a skiing nation, we do not have genes working with the opposite hand and foot at the same time.

Venojärvi knows that for many it is difficult to find rhythm.

It is a good idea to start the training by first hanging the sticks relaxed with your straight hands and going to get the walking rhythm from there.

When found, the step is combined with the rod push of the opposite hand behind.

- The straps should be tight enough so that the rod is not squeezed in the hand when pushed back.

In practice, the hand is opened when taken backwards.

No need to use force.

In this way, the arm muscles, back and abdominal muscles are used.

Good technology can increase power and energy consumption.

- If you walk on asphalt with the poles only as a support, oxygen consumption will only increase by about 5 percent compared to normal walking.

With reasonable technology, it will rise by 15 to 20 percent.

The hobby is not spoiled by price

The technique of Nordic walking can be learned, for example, with the help of videos found on the Finnish Ladu website.

For walking to be smooth, the poles must be the right length: the length of the poles is calculated by subtracting 55 cents from your own length.

The measurement is good when the tip of the rod is on the ground and the arm at a straight, 90-degree angle.

The hobby is not spoiled by the price, as the sticks are available cheaply, for a couple of less than 20 euros.

11 good reasons to go Nordic walking

  • Nordic walking raises your heart rate and increases oxygen and energy consumption.

  • Studies show that Nordic walking lowers high blood pressure.

    Blood fat levels also improve.

  • If the initial condition is poor, the endurance condition increases with regular (2-3 times a week for about an hour) training in 2-3 months.

  • According to studies, the fat percentage decreases somewhat.

  • Most of the body is activated.

    Compared to walking, Nordic walking is more strenuous, but it doesn’t feel strenuous as the strain is distributed throughout the body.

  • The knee joint is subjected to less strain on the downhill slope.

  • The rods balance walking, which improves the extension of the hip joint and makes the use of the pelvic area more efficient.

  • Chest mobility improves.

  • Neck symptoms are relieved as upper back mobility improves and shoulders relax.

  • Keeping safety distances is easy when moving outdoors.

  • Walking sticks provide support and safety for movement.

  • Tips for Nordic walking

    • Boost your workout by moving from flat streets and roads to more challenging terrain.

    • Uphill training is a really effective workout.

      Walk uphill as briskly as possible.

    • If walking starts to feel too easy, change to a jog, or do jogging breaks in between.

    • You can also use the rods to make many different stretching movements.

      Good stretching tips can be found on the FAQ Institute website, among other things.