What is Nordic Walking?


Nordic walking (a walking style using special poles) is becoming more and more popular all over the world as an active sport, body and soul wellness source, that suits any age and type of people.

Since 1930 skiers train according to similar Nordic walking style technique at summer camps.

Nordic walking evolved as a everyday fitness activity in Finland just about 1997. A student of Valmark university Marko Kantaneva did his final diploma work on nordic walking as a sport type and created the first design of nordic walking poles.

This leisure time activity particularly popular in Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden as well as in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan and USA where the number of dedicated fans is increasing every day. Our neighbours Poles, Latvians and Estonians are counting thousands of active people who fell in love with this activity.

Founded in 2000, Finland, International Nordic Walking Association (INWA) counts over 2.5 million nordic walking enthusiasts all over the world. However, it is supposed that there are about 8 to 10 million officially unsubscribed fans.

There are even more organisations and associations actively spreading the idea of nordic walking and its training around the world. One of those is international union in Germany VDNOVAS (Verban der Nordic Walking Schulen), which foundation and methods of nordic walking training is used by Nordic Walking Style training network.

The idea of nordic walking case to Lithuania just in 2007 but the higher interest in public started to show just at the spring of 2009. The Nordic Walking Style consortium started its activity at the same time. The first training session was organised in Kaunas. Also the manufacturing of inventory was organised and the first nordic walking poles were produced in Lithuania in the summer of 2009.

As always the first steps of the activity in every country are similar. Firstly, people make fun of nordic walking, first walkers feel a bit uncomfortable and shy but after some time a huge crowd of various aged people step into streets equipped with walking poles and good mood.

Straight away after first steps people start to feel the effectiveness and enjoyment of such a movement. Nordic walking is attractive to everyone just because of its natural principles and simplicity. This activity could be successfully used by record breaking sportsmen as well as fitness and wellness groups that want to improve their physical status. It is widely liked as an active leisure time spending form among seniors as well as youngsters and kids.

Nordic walking could be practiced anytime and anywhere – city street, park, forest, riverside or even seaside.

It is an activity that does not need large expenses. Nordic walking poles obtained by reasonable price gives the motivation to practice regularly and keep your physical status well. Nordic walking training sessions and proper nutrition is the key avoid over-weight problems.

Nordic walking is perfect alternative to gym training because all the most important muscle groups are trained.

There are many exercises that could be practiced with nordic walking poles. These exercises enhances your body, makes it more flexible and elastic.

There were many research made during the last 15 year while nordic walking was increasing in its popularity. Comparison method was used to examine physical data of people walking with and without nordic walking poles. The conclusion was made that because of its fully positive effect people of all kind of physical status can practice nordic walking. As a fully safe physical activity form it could be enjoyed by people having small movement disabilities.

Effect on health:

•    All body muscle activity;
•    Increases respiratory organs, heart and blood-vessels work;
•    Positively affects mood;
•    20% higher body energy consumption than casual walking;
•    Relaxes neck region muscles;
•    Up to 30% less tension to your walking mechanism so it is particularly good for people having joint and back problems;
•    Entire body is supplied with oxygen due to active breathing;
•    Well-applied for recovering after heart illness or traumas;
•    Exercises with poles increases body power.

Because of previously mentioned reasons nordic walking is getting popular at big tempo. For instance, some countries (e.g. Germany) is already is applying nordic walking as a preventive activity against various illnesses and diseases. It could possibly become a huge part of maintaining health and fitness in wide society.