Walking For Health
WALKING FOR HEALTH
Walking for health is a smart exercise strategy for anyone interested in losing weight, improving circulation and other cardiovascular functions. It doesn’t require expensive health spa memberships - All it takes is a little discipline to set up a walking schedule and the will power to stay with that routine.
Walking coaches recommend walking partners as that adds a social interaction to your walking for health program. Two internet partners report that they worked out many of the details for their business while walking together on a walking/jogging/biking trail that extends for more than 60 miles - The Silver Comet Trail in GA.
People walking for health can be seen in a wide assortment of environments – parks, beaches, walking trails, neighborhoods. One Nordic walking expert climbs Stone Mountain (Atlanta GA) using her Nordic walking poles – and she is a healthy 58 years young!
Malls are favored by seniors, especially in regions where snow, icy conditions and freezing weather is a factor that could keep people from walking outdoors. In hot climates, the malls are air conditioned so you can walk in comfort!
Of course, anyone starting any exercise plan when they have a medical condition, they make sure to consult their health care advisor to make sure they are not going to aggravate an existing condition. For most people, walking for health improvement won’t be problematic.
Many companies encourage their employees to participate in exercise programs – many provide fitness centers and or have a campus with walking paths. Healthy employees are better employees. Companies with healthy employees report significant reduction in health care costs, lower absenteeism – and a boost in employee morale. That all translates into higher profits and better pay & benefit programs.
Whether you are just starting a walking for health program or if you are already a walking enthusiast, something you should check out is called “Nordic walking”. It started in Finland and is very popular in the Scandinavia and Germany with more than 8 million people involved – and rapidly gaining in popularity here in the United States.
The popularity in Europe began in those countries where cross country skiing is a popular sport. The idea for using ski-type poles to walk in the months when there was not any snow, so that a person could exercise arm and chest muscles as well as keeping their legs in shape, made obvious sense.
For seniors, the poles add another element of safety, stability and balance. The same logic applies to people who have lower joint issues with their feet, ankles, knees and hips. If you are recovering from knee or hip surgery, ask you doctor or physical therapist about using the Nordic poles as part of your physical therapy program. Turn your recovery into a walking for health program!
People who are fighting diabetes with diet and exercise – consider Nordic walking to make your exercise regimen more effective.
Most health care professionals will encourage their patients to start walking for health improvement – and using the Nordic poles makes walking safer and a much more effective exercise program.
The Benefits of Nordic Walking
The most effective cardiovascular workout!
Many doctors agree that Nordic walking is one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts because it works all major muscle groups in the body.
Recent studies by the Cooper Institute, Dallas, TX showed that Nordic walking burned more calories, increased oxygen consumption, and can be up to 46% more efficient than normal walking.
Nordic walking is also great for weight loss. By using the Nordic walking poles, you increase your heart rate on average 10-15% more than normal walking. This means you can burn well over 400 calories per hour, much more than normal walking, which only burns approximately 280. An additional energy consumption of 1500-2000 calories a week while doing physical activities reduces your risk of getting sick. You can achieve this by walking with your poles approximately 3 hours every week.
Nordic walking offers more health benefits than regular walking, jogging, biking or running.
Normal walking, even with a fast pace and good stride, only uses approximately 70% of the muscle mass in the body at any given time. Put some Nordic Walking poles in your hands, and with the proper technique, you will now be utilizing up to 90% of your body’s muscle while increasing your heart rate significantly.
American Nordic Walking Association
One new Nordic walker enthusiast
had surgery on both knees last year. He started Nordic walking in mid-January and in 2 1/2 months lost more than 30 pounds. "I know Nordic walking works!!!" says Schwerzler.
Nordic walking poles are offered in two types - telescopic poles and fixed length poles. The height of the user determines the length of the pole.
For people who travel, the telescopic poles fit into an overnight bag so they can be used when away from home.
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