Nordic Walking and Parkinson’s
In the last few years, research studies discussed health benefits of nordic walking for patients with Parkinson’s disease, including increased walking speed and endurance (Mov Disord. 2008 Nov 15;23(15):2239-43). Many clients express interest in trying nordic walking as a form of exercise, but nordic walking is NOT the same as walking with trekking/hiking poles.
Trekking poles are often sold at sporting good stores, but they are different than nordic walking poles in a few ways.
- Trekking poles are often used for balance on soft surfaces and have a metal point for pushing down into the ground, often held in front of you for balance. Nordic poles have a slanted rubber grip for push-off as your arm extends behind you when walking. Nordic walking is often performed on level ground.
- Trekking poles are often collapsible and height adjustable. Nordic walking poles can be purchased with a height-adjustable feature, but are typically purchased for your specific height.
- The grips on trekking poles are larger than a nordic pole grip, with a loop for a strap (similar to a ski pole), while nordic poles are often smaller, the strap is larger and has a velcro closure allowing for easy grip and control of the pole while walking.
Nordic walking is easy to learn, and there are numerous, short instructional videos on YouTube. Nordic Walking USA and the International Nordic Walking Foundation have very useful websites, offering information on purchasing poles and instruction in how to properly perform nordic walking.
Nordic Walking, parkinson's
21 Dec, 2014