Nordic walking can really help with the prevention of falls as muscles become stronger, and the repetitive movements driving neuroplasticity can aid with maintaining function.
Nordic walking is a style of walking where you use a walking pole that has been specially designed for the purpose of helping you move forwards. This means that you use your arms as well as your legs and, as the poles ‘propel’ you, they help you to walk faster and more steadily than you may do normally. The poles when they are used properly, take the weight off the knees and joints in the lower body, which can make you feel lighter on your feet. The technique of using the poles, needs to be taught by a trained instructor. The movement is a similar way to walking unaided, but the arms swing from the shoulder, keeping the elbows straight. It is a bit like marching with opposite arms and legs moving in a stride.
Walking in itself is great for your overall health, improving your body’s use of the heart and lungs, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and helping blood sugar regulation. Nordic walking in particular can help you maintain a better posture and keep you more upright. At the same time, taking longer strides can gently stretch your limbs and keep your body rotated, which can help you loosen up and improve your coordination. If you feel that you tend to walk slower and take smaller steps, Nordic walking creates a steady beat to improve your pace. It can also make exercise fun and social when done in a group. Because of the focus on the correct gait technique, Nordic walking can really help with the prevention of falls as muscles become stronger, and the repetitive movements driving neuroplasticity can aid with maintaining function with Parkinson’s Disease. More information can be found here https://britishnordicwalking.org.uk/pages/nordic-walking-and-parkinson-s
Nordic walking is something that anyone can try and is suitable for all ages and abilities. The walks available range from wellness walks, Nordic walks to full explorer walks. There is something for all abilities.
It’s not the same as other styles of walking, such as trekking , rambling or hill walking, and you may need some training to get the technique right. You may also need to buy some equipment, including Nordic walking poles, the right footwear and appropriate clothing. Instructors can supply the poles, or you can buy a pair so that you can walk whenever you want to. You can try Nordic walking anywhere, such as a park or in the countryside. But it’s best that you get advice from a qualified instructor first. Jon at Walx on The Chase offer a free taster session to see if it’s right for you. You may then be able to join walking groups or practise yourself.