In 2005 Hoigaard's decided to be on the cutting edge and introduce the Twin Cities to Nordic Walking, the hot new fitness activity coming to the US from Europe. It seemed simple enough, add poles to your walk and turn it into a full body workout that is easy on the joints. The best thing about Nordic Walking is that it's for everyone! Whether you are a walker already, you're making a commitment to becoming more active, have physical limitations that make it difficult for you to walk without support, are recuperating from an injury or surgery, or want the perfect recovery workout for cross training, Nordic Walking is for you!
We did our first LEKI Nordic Walking Clinic for 42 women and 15 Fitness Trainers on Mother's Day weekend, 2006. In response to the enthusiasm from that group we began our Nordic Walking Tuesdays providing the opportunity to walk together and bring their friends to try the poles. Hoigaard's has enthusiastic Nordic Walking Instructors on staff and today, through weekly walks, corporate wellness presentations, community education classes and outdoor events we have introduced thousands of people to Nordic Walking.
Come on into the store today to try them out!
Nordic Walking is a fitness exercise. It takes the average walk and incorporates the upper body to result in a total body workout. Similar to the motion of a cross country skier, Nordic Walking poles are specially designed to enhance the walk by pushing off the poles during the walk.What are the benefits
There are many benefits to Nordic Walking:
- Increased caloric output
- Increased heart rate
- Better posture
- Reduced impact on joints
- Increased upper body strength
The Nordic Walking technique uses the pole to create resistance against the ground during your walk, resulting in an all-body workout. By using your upper body, you will work work harder, increasing the cardiovascular benefits and caloric demands of walking. This resistance, which can be increased or decreased by the amount of pressure applied, forces the body into better posture, which also allows for deeper breaths.
Using poles also reduces stress on your knees and lower joints and builds bone density. You walk taller with stability and balance, and reduce the pressure on your heels.
Who should Nordic Walk?
Nordic Walking is for everyone! Whether you are a sedentary person who has never exercised before, an avid athlete, or anything else in between, Nordic Walking is the perfect fit. Not many sports can boast this versatility! The reason that Nordic Walking is beneficial to so many people is the ability of the user to control the workout. The harder that you push against the ground, the more intense the workout. Someone that wants more activity in their life may find Nordic Walking appealing due to the convenience of the sport. Just walk out the door anywhere to do it - no gym membership required. All ages and ability levels are encouraged to try this great new activity!
What do these poles cost?
Nordic Walking poles range in price similar to a pair of running shoes, but last much, much longer. Hoigaard's features LEKI Nordic Walking poles ranging from about $99 to $199 depending on the model.
What to look for in a pole?
Nordic Walking poles are a specifically designed pole, with each component of the pole built for performance and comfort.
The straps are designed to distribute pressure to your hand and wrist much more comfortably than the traditional loop straps commonly found on ski poles or hiking/trekking poles.
The grips are built with a quick-release, allowing the strap to be easily removed. You'll use the quick-release anytime you want a drink of water or need to adjust your poles.
The shafts can be adjusted for length, allowing you to set the best length for performance and comfort. Better quality shafts are either partially or entirely made of carbon fiber. This material has two advantages: it weights less, allowing you greater control of the poles, and it absorbs shock and impact on the shoulder. A heavier all-aluminum pole does not absorb impact shock as well. Some heavier hiking/trekking poles have internal springs to lessen the impact on mountain trails, but these springs defeat the primary benefit of Nordic Walking poles - firm resistance against the ground.
The tips of the poles have an angled rubber tip specifically designed for firm traction against asphalt and concrete. These are removable to expose durable carbide tips for use for on loose surfaces such as dirt or gravel paths, on grass, or on slick ice and snow.
Hoigaard's offers open walks in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas throughout the spring, summer and fall as well as technique classes on a scheduled basis (check our events page for availability). We are always available to help you on an individual basis. Stop in any time! We'd love to introduce you to this great activity! For more information on Nordic Walking, please visit one of these sites: American Nordic Walking Association or LEKI.com.