Have you heard of Nordic Walking? Nope, neither have I until a patient came in raving about how incredible she felt since she started 8 week prior to the appointment, and about all the health benefit its boasted. She told me she had taken Nordic walking up as a way to get in a little bit more exercises as she retired recently. She had always found her back pain stopped her from getting into more intensive forms of exercising, but this, she found to be an ideal mix which never seemed to flare up her symptoms.
Now I think most people in my profession tend to get excited for their patients, in fact, I would say we get invested in our patients. We celebrate their highs, and sympathize with their lows. We want to get them better, so when they come in happy, healthy and raving about a new form of exercise we look into it. So what did I do? After finishing work that day I immediately googled “Nordic Walking UK”.
Nordic Walking boasts to be “an enhancement to ordinary walking”. In Nordic walking you use walking poles which not only propel you walking forward but also work to get your upper body involved. It originated in the 1930’s in Finland where off season cross country skiers used pole for walking to maintain their technique and fitness. Now it is an activity that can be done anywhere, and if you aren’t sure where to start you can reach out to instructors who specialize in this!
A systematic review showed that Nordic Walking can benefit:
- Resting heart rate
- Blood Pressure
- Exercise Capacity
- Maximal oxygen consumption
- Quality of Life in patients living with long term diseases
Want to give it a go? Here are some good resources:
https://livewellservices.cheshireeast.gov.uk/Services/359 (For those of you in Cheshire East)
https://chasenordicwalking.co.uk/ (For those of you in Staffordshire/West Midlands)