Compared to regular walking, Nordic walking involves applying force to the poles with each stride. Nordic walkers use more of their entire body (with greater intensity) and receive fitness building stimulation not present in normal walking for the chest, latissimus dorsi muscle, triceps, biceps, shoulder, abdominals, spinal and other core muscles that may result in significant increases in heart rate at a given pace. Nordic walking has been estimated as producing up to a 46% increase in energy consumption, compared to walking without poles.
According to the findings of the research, conducted by the group scientists from various universities*, both Nordic walking and conventional walking are beneficial for older adults. However, Nordic walking provides additional benefits in muscular strength compared to conventional walking, making it suitable for improving aerobic capacity and muscular strength as well as other components of functional fitness in a short period of time. The key points stated by the study authors are: Nordic walking, conventional walking, and resistance training are beneficial for older adults. •Nordic walking and conventional walking both improve cardio-respiratory fitness while resistance training does not. •Nordic walking provides additional benefits in upper-body muscular strength compared to conventional walking. •Nordic walking is an effective and efficient mode of exercise to improve overall fitness in older adults.