Nordic Walking in the Lake District – You’ll Be Hooked Once You Start
Nordic walking is one of the fastest growing exercise activities in the UK. Anyone can do it. It increases calorie burn by 50% compared with regular walking. Plus, Nordic Walking can be done anywhere, so it is not surprising to see classes and group walks popping up all-over. And with the Lake District being a walking mecca, this sport is fast taking pole position in the region.
Nicola of the Lake District’s Nic’s Nordic Walks is a former fell runner. Nic discovered Nordic Walking racing as a physically kinder sport that would actually help rather than worsen an ongoing back injury.
Nordic Walking is an almost full-body workout. In fact, 90% of muscles across the body are used and for the average fitness, no more than 1 hour at a time of this intensive calorie burning exercise is initially recommended. This is compared with regular walking, where only 3 major muscles are used in the legs and bum.
Likened with swimming, Nordic Walking has become popular amongst many groups of people. From injured sportsmen and women to fitness and outdoor enthusiasts seeking an aerobic fix and calorie burn whilst enjoying scenery and fresh air. Then there’s the not so fit looking for a sociable and fun activity to help motivate the maintenance of a healthy weight, keep blood pressure low and reduce stress. Nordic Walking is also used by suffers of chronic pain because long-term Nordic Walking is a successful treatment to muscular and joint aches and pains.
What is Nordic Walking?
In short, it is stride, poles and a unique technique which marks Nordic Walking out from regular walking.
You can learn to Nordic Walk successfully in a fast track session from Nic’s Nordic Walking , try a taster session or book a full course. Lakelovers Nordic Walking have partnered up with Nic’s to offer 4 hours intensive tuition over 2 sessions for £45.
Why Nordic Walking in the Lake District?
For many lovers of the Lake District, it may seem strange to have to attend a class to learn how to walk. But, learning the very specific technique of Nordic Walking can increase the distance you can trek and reduce pain after walking. This means you can explore more of this beautiful mountain and lake landscape.
For many, the fitness aspect of a hike up Loughrigg or pounding our way up Great Gable is certainly second to the views and pleasure gained from the scenery. But, filling our lungs with fresh air and getting the heart pumping certainly makes walking in the Lakes that bit more worthwhile.
For fit walkers it is the challenges that the Lake District has to offer that are the appeal. There’s England’s tallest mountain, Scafell along with Bowfell and Esk Pike that can be taken on from Langdale; the 7 of Wainwright’s Far Eastern Fell challenge, including the Kentmere Round; the Coniston Fells including the Old Man; or Ambleside’s Fairfield Horseshoe.
Nordic Walking adds to the health and exercise benefits of these Lakeland challenges. With Nordic style walking you will burn considerably more calories as well as enjoying an upper body workout as you swiftly glide along, in a cross-country skiing fashion. In fact, speed is one of the Nordic Walking World Cup competitions. How about a 10k scenic Nordic Walk in just over an hour? 1h 02m 09s is the Women’s Nordic Walking World Record time currently held by Hailing Jia of China, which is almost half the time it would take to walk this distance regularly.
Using the ergonomically designed poles, ‘planting’ them in the unusual fashion that is specific to this sport and deploying a longer stride, together means you are using your upper body as well as lower. This technique also engages your core, turning walking into an all-body workout, much like swimming.
For younger walkers who see trekking being an ongoing part of your life, the techniques of Nordic Walking can and should be used in everyday life as well as Lake District treks. Nordic Walking regularly will help prevent chronic injuries in the future.
For many, walking is a leisurely pursuit, where gait and posture are not really considered. But, just as we should learn to sit correctly at our desks. Learning to walk correctly is just as important. And, with so many miles covered on foot in the Lakes, it is the ideal place to start walking the Finnish way.
Cover New Lake District Challenges
Nordic Walking can open up some of the more challenging walks in the Lake District that you may normally think unachievable. How do you fancy bagging the famous 21km Kentmere Horseshoe or 24km Cumbria Way, Keswick to Caldbeck? Using the poles for balance and posture, taking strain off the back and reducing stress on joints, especially the knees, and extended your stride you will be able to cover distances at much greater speed and also walk for longer, so new goals become achievable.
The likes of the Grasmere Gallop or Windermere Way may have previously not been a consideration, but with the supportive aid of Nordic Walking poles and technique, you’ll be strides ahead and spending longer outdoors in the fells and lakes than before.
Easier and Faster
2017 was the second Nordic Walking World Cup-series, which was hosted in China where the sport is very popular. In Beijing’s Olympic Forest Park on a Friday morning you will see Nordic Walkers overtaking easy-paced joggers. Here’s the thing about Nordic Walking – it makes you walk much faster but with less effort! One Beijing Nordic Walker is reported saying: “The poles are like two extra legs” . . . “I walk easier and faster.”
And that is something we would like to find out more about.
Find out more about Lakelovers Nordic Walking with Nic.