I just got back to my desk after slipping out for an hour of fun and adventurous butt-kicking (my own). Whenever I have had a little too much fun or strayed away from my healthy lifestyle, I don’t fret about it, I take care of it right away (really, I do!). So this morning, after a weekend of catching up with girlfriends, eating and drinking a tad too much, I took to the hills – Nordic Walking Poles in hand.
Nordic skiers are among the fittest athletes on the planet and walking poles are a cross training tool used by competitive Nordic skiers to stay in shape in the off-season. Here are some workout ideas for you using the poles (paired with running shoes or snowshoes).
Start Slow to Go Fast!
I start out slowly, with a warm up that consists of walking while using my poles as kind of a barbell for upright rows, overhead presses, and lateral raises (about 25 reps per). Then, I’ll strap my poles on and walk/jog for about 5-8 minutes. This gets my upper and lower body moving in harmony – using the poles as an extension of me – propelling me forward.
Today, I simply did hill intervals for intense cardio and internal cleansing via the lymphatic system. However, you can create just about any kind of workout you want. See below for ideas.
• Basic Training—Walk/Jog Cardio RPE 7-8 for 30+ minutes
• Incline Challenge—5-8 Intervals @ RPE 8.5-9.5
• Destination Exercises—Walk/jog to an inspiring spot and do 5-10 bodyweight & gravity exercises
• Flexibility–Post Workout—Stretches
• Double poles
• Diagonal strides
• Bounding, hopping, skipping, jumping
The Benefits of Nordic Walking and Using Poles
Terrific for All ages and abilities—walking with poles is simply an extension of walking or running:
• You’ll blast 20-40% more energy than walking without poles
• Recruit more muscle fiber—Tone back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, core (abs, spine)
• Better posture naturally—Back, neck, shoulders, spine
• Elimination of joint pain—Takes tension out of joints (esp. knees downhill—poles are like having 2 extra legs!)
• Activity that’s fun, social and gets you outdoors!
• Always warm up—prevent sprains and strains
• Avoid tripping—look at least 10-15 feet ahead
• Don’t slip! Avoid stepping on wet roots, ice, and oil patches
• Check equipment