Nordic walking is walking with poles. This helps to reduce joint strain and fatigue while also involving upper body muscles. Poles provide support and can help while crossing logs and rocks.

This activity is a total body workout, involving 90% of your body’s muscles; is low impact; and burns 40% more calories than walking alone.

Nordic walking has been used for decades by ski racers to maintain their fitness during the off-season. They bound up hills using the poles for additional thrust, while on the descent poles help reduce strain on the hips, ankles, and knees.

Nordic walking is very popular in Europe, and there are now certified Nordic walking “Masters,” teaching people the proper striding motion to get full benefit from the activity. Cross country skiers are already accustomed to the natural arm swing used with poles, and to putting backwards pressure on the poles to propel the body forward.

Nordic walking can be a great way to stay in shape for cross country skiing, and it’s the perfect way to increase the fitness benefits of walking, jogging, and running.

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