How to Do Nordic Walking

You've seen 'em walking down the street with poles in the summertime. It looks like they are skiing cross country, but there is not a flake of snow to be seen! What on earth are they doing and how can you join in on the fun?

Steps

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    Obtain a sturdy set of Nordic walking poles, sized appropriately for your height. Good quality poles will come with hand straps.
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    Go outside before beginning your first session.
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    Hold the left-handed pole in your left hand and slip your left hand into the strap. Firmly affix the strap using your right hand. Now place your right hand into the strap of the right-handed pole and affix the strap firmly.
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    Walk normally, and do not actually use the poles at first. Just let them dangle from your hands as you walk. This will help you get the feel of how this works.
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    Imagine a line on the ground perpendicular (at a perfect right angle) to your chest.
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    Grasp the poles and move forward with your right foot, stepping on the imaginary line you have drawn. Put the left pole down at the same time, on that same imaginary line. Your left pole will hit the ground at the same time as your right foot. Now just push down and backwards as you walk through the stride.
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    Complete your stride and now step down with your left foot.
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    Place the right pole down as you step. Once again, the pole and the foot will touch down at the same time, and on a new imaginary line drawn on the ground perpendicular to your chest.
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    Practice in this manner for about 30 strides or so and you will probably be able to pick up some good speed.

Tips

  • There are poles are made specifically for nordic walking, and these will work a lot better than a pair of old ski poles.
  • One-piece Nordic Walking poles custom fit to your height (similar to ski poles) are safer, lighter and much more durable than twist-locking adjustable length/telescoping/collapsible poles.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Walking for Fitness