Looking for an easy new way to exercise? Give Nordic Walking a try. Nordic Walking, or Fitness Walking, is a fun and easy way to increase your calorie burn on a casual walk. Not only are you walking but you also get an upper body workout by using the poles. Nordic Walking is usually done on paved, mostly flat paths.
If you have access to more hiking trails, you might try Trekking. Trekking is defined as hiking varied terrain using poles. This activity has many benefits ranging from safety to health.
Benefits of Nordic Walking
Improved balance and stability, especially on uneven terrain or when carrying heavy loads.
Reduced stress on the lower body. This means a reduced impact on knees therefore saving energy.
Improved breathing and walking rhythm allowing for a better use of energy.
Choosing Nordic Walking Poles
Like Trekking poles, most Nordic Walking poles are quite similar. Here are some differences:
There are not many differences in Nordic poles except for the grip material. You can choose a cork or rubber grip.
The new trend in Nordic walking is using the trigger strap system which is a strap that stays on your hand even when you take your hand off your pole. If you do not like this system, choose a traditional strap.
Nordic Walking with Lindsey Vonn
What you need to know before buying trekking poles:
Most poles are very similar in terms of basic design and features. Some common features are listed below:
All Trekking Poles are lightweight and made of strong aluminum alloy.
Most Trekking Poles have 3 telescoping sections. Users can thus customize the length of the pole for their own height and/or different terrain. This also allows poles to fit into a small space when not in use.
Poles have a straight ski pole type grip. These are usually made of durable, grippy, and shock absorbing rubber.
Look for an adjustable wrist loop. Wrist straps can save strain on the wrists and help with the transfer of energy.
Pole baskets are designed to stop the pole from sinking into soft ground or mud. Like the tips, the baskets are replaceable.
Choosing Trekking Poles
Although most poles are similiar, there are specific ways to choose one over another:
One pole or two? Choose one pole if you are traveling easy terrain with no load. If, however, you are traveling through varied terrain or carrying a load, you will want the support and stability of two poles.
What length to buy? Most poles fit anyone. Choose a pole which can be adjusted slightly longer than you need. With your elbow at a 90 degree angle, measure from your hand to the ground. Trekking poles usually have a length range in the description.
Anti Shock or not? Anti Shock means the pole will absorb shock through small springs. This can help reduce strain on wrists. If you have weak or sensitive wrists, choose poles with Anti Shock.
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