Is a gentle total body workout, a desire for movement in nature and a lot more…
Nordic walking was developed at the beginning of the 20th century in Finnland. Over the years it has become a form of summer training for cross country skiers. Nordic walking as we know it today is the result of professional Finnish athletes, doctors and the sporting industry having worked together in the 1990s.
Mainly endurance and the cardiovascular system are trained just through walking. In addition, the arms and shoulders are also actively called upon. This leads to a strengthening of the arm-shoulder-chest muscles. Pressure on the back, knee and foot joints is relieved. Tight shoulder and neck muscles are eased and pain diminished as long as the correct Nordic walking technique is used.
Nordic walking is so effective because the movements are natural and almost all of the 650 muscles in the human body are used. All the important muscle groups are trained, similar to cross country skiing and with the four important fitness factors– stamina, agility, strength and coordination – an optimal healthy workout is offered. Nordic walking is for everyone, independent of age, sex, or level of fitness, from the beginner at sports, to someone getting back into sports or to the fitness enthusiast who would like to train to his or her limits.
The 4 basic features of the ALFA method with the 7 seteps are :
A = Aufrecht (straight/erect body positon)
L = Langer Arm (long arm)
F = Flacher Stock (flat stick/pole)
A = Angepasste Schrittlänge (adjusted step)
Walking erectly can change many things. With a straight arm and flat sticks, people consciously occupy more space and they feel stronger and more confident. The step size is the result of the three letters ALF, exactly that which people who want to move forward in want. If we consider the aspects of grasping and letting go in Nordic walking, then we also have further thoughts and ideas which keep our minds occupied
From this aspect nordic walking is far more than walking with sticks
A = Aufrechte Körperhaltung → straight/erect body positon
The aim is the natural straightening of the spine for back-friendly walking. Walking erect should also be a concern in our everyday lives, without sticks. It is the key factor in Nordic walking and a prerequisite for the optimal use of the sticks.
L = Langer Arm → long arm
Is used in both the swing phase as well as in the phase in which we walk past the stick. In the push phase our fingers leave the grip. Nordic walking means to walk and let go of problems that bother us, away from everyday stress…the willingness to let go is mirrored in this Nordic walking technique. Both sides of our brain are ideally connected through cross-coordinated gripping and letting go.
F = Flacher Stock → flat stick/pole
The stick should be held at a 55°-60° angle to the ground. Flat means in contrast to a shap, almost perpendicular 90° angle.
A = Angepasste Schrittlänge → adjusted step
One does not make long or short steps but adjusted steps – adjusted in the length in which one can go past the stick. Uphill and downhill have different step sizes than on flat terrain.