Nordic walking was originally a summer training regime for cross-country skiers. It's based on using specially designed walking poles in a way that harnesses the power of the upper body to propel you forward as you walk. It is now a recognised way to turn a walk into whole-body exercise that can be done by anybody, anywhere.
Nordic walking is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Classes range from gentle walks for people with health concerns, to workout walks, which are a great way to improve fitness, lose weight and tone the whole body. You'll need a pair of Nordic walking poles, walking shoes and appropriate clothing.
You move in a similar way to ordinary walking and swing your arms from your shoulder with your elbows straight – think of a soldier marching. To get the full benefits and avoid injury, you could start with lessons to get the basic technique. Nordic walking can lower your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. Nordic walking, like any other form of exercise, can also be used as part of an exercise programme to lose weight.