Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April

If you can walk, you can Nordic Walk

Nordic Walking has gained lots of popularity in the past years with more people enjoying the benefits of using two poles while walking.

To help you get active this April, the Nordic Academy are offering all registered 2018 Active April participants a one hour introduction to Nordic Walking with an International Nordic Walking Master Trainer for FREE. Offer is available for all ages and fitness levels and Nordic Walking poles will be provided but the ability to walk unaided is a prerequisite for participation. Come and Try sessions and more information can be found at the Nordic Academy website.


Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to create a low stress total body workout which delivers profoundly greater benefits than regular walking. It is a weight bearing activity that gives fantastic aerobic fitness, body conditioning and weight loss benefits without the pain and strain to the lower body.

‘It’s not just easier to walk with poles but you’ll also feel that you work your whole body by using the poles,’ says Lorraine, a Nordic Walking enthusiast herself. ‘People might look at me funny when I walk down the streets with my poles; I don’t care because I just feel so much safer and better for it. Nordic Walking has become part of my daily routine – it’s an all in one activity’.

Nordic Walking originated as a form of summer training for competitive cross country skiers in Scandinavia, however the evolved form is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Scientific studies have proven the following benefits of Nordic Walking:

  • activates 90% of the body’s muscles
  • gives a 20-25% greater cardio fitness benefit than regular walking
  • burns up to 46% more calories compared to regular walking
  • decreases the weight load and impact on the joints of the lower body
  • strengthens as well as tones the upper back, core and shoulders
  • gives a more intense workout but with lower perceived exertion
  • increases the lateral mobility of the spine
  • releases pain and muscle tension in the neck and shoulders
  • promotes upright and balanced walking posture
  • improves co-ordination

The combination of these benefits make Nordic Walking a ‘wonder’ exercise for people suffering from a wide variety of health problems such as diabetes, cardio-vascular  disease, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, obesity, Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis as well as for older people who are at risk of falling.

In Europe where the Nordic Walking movement is years ahead, it is accepted and promoted enthusiastically by the medical and health professions: insurance companies offer reduced premiums for people who Nordic Walk; rehabilitation clinics use Nordic Walking as a core form of therapy; and doctors ‘prescribe’ Nordic Walking as medical treatment for high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

Joanna, now a passionate Nordic Walker, says: “I was overcoming injury which limited my ability to be active. When I saw that Nordic Walking would allow me to remain active while supporting my injuries, I was keen to take part.”

Nordic Walking in organised or social groups can cater for participants of varying levels of fitness because the intensity of a Nordic Walking session is determined by the use of the upper body more so than by the tempo of the walk – therefore each person can exercise at the intensity suitable for them.

For the more serious fitness goers there are variations of Nordic Walking, (eg. Nordic jogging, uphill striding and double pole actions), which create high intensity training sessions – these are definitely not for the faint-hearted!

While Nordic Walking can be done anywhere and is very suitable to Australia’s landscape, some people use their poles and newly acquired skills to join the Nordic Academy founder on a 10-Day tour in the Austrian Alps.

Whether Nordic Walking is done to exercise or just as an excuse to get to the Alps, it’s an enjoyable, social and overall very healthy activity to get into. What’s more, it is an activity that is accessible, affordable, kind to the body and makes you feel great – just watch out… it is also rather addictive!

For more information on Nordic Walking, contact Nordic Academy on 1300 791 740 or visit their website.

Last updated: March 26, 2018 at: 10:24 am

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