Poles are essential in this aerobic exercise. The technique of Nordic Walking doesn’t exist without them. They also provide safety during training.
- Poles lighten the stress on the joints, which is very important, especially for people with joint problems and older people.
- Poles help to develop not only leg muscles but also upper body muscles (arms, shoulders).
You absolutely need to know that NW poles aren’t the same as trekking poles. They are different and you need to be careful when shopping for them. Don’t buy trekking poles if you want to train by Nordic Walking. Trekking (mountain hiking) poles have special gloves and straps and are profiled in a different way. NW poles are a mixture of normal ski poles and trekking poles.
The poles don’t require maintenance of any kind. Just clean the tips of the poles after training because they easily get dirty. All you need is a cloth to wipe the tips, and you’re ready to exercise again.
Buy poles that are optimal for your height: they should reach your armpits, that’s a good height for a pole.
In this aerobic training it doesn’t matter what clothing you wear. The clothes have to be comfortable of course (they shouldn’t be too tight because they could limit your movement) and you should dress accordingly for the weather.
Things are a bit different when it comes to choosing shoes. Shoes have to be comfortable, light, stable and not slippery. Waterproof shoes are good because then you can train no matter the weather conditions. It’s best to buy shoes in an athletics or sports shop. A qualified salesperson should help you with choosing shoes to fit you best.
There are few accessories you should know about. You just have to remember that they should only help you and not become the most important thing of the training. Pole tips, pole cases, gloves and backpacks are the most common accessories.
But there are also some more interesting accessories:
- Water bottle. It’s very important to watch your fluid level. You cannot train effectively if you don’t have enough water in your system. Water canisters are usually a liter or half a liter, which is enough even for an hour-and-a- half hike.
- NW Belt. You can strap your water bottle, or items such as a camera, on a belt.
- Pedometer. This device shows the number of steps you take while exercising. It usually also has a stopwatch and calorie-counting function.