I was going to title this blog post “Walking With Ski Poles”, but then I Googled “walking with ski poles” and the first result was a Wikipedia page that helped me discover that the name for this bizarre activity is “Nordic walking”.
I’ve noticed people walking with ski poles before, but ever since Lotus the Greyhound came into my life and we’ve been going for lots of walks around Vancouver, I’ve really noticed a lot of these so-called Nordic walkers, particularly around the seawall.
From the Wikipedia entry on Nordic walking:
Compared to regular walking, Nordic walking (also called pole 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, lats, triceps, biceps, shoulder, abdominals, spinal and other core muscles. Nordic walking can produce up to a 46% increase in energy consumption compared to walking without poles. It also has been demonstrated to increase upper body muscle endurance by 38% in just twelve weeks.
That reads like it was written by a company that manufactures Nordic walking poles, so take it with a grain of salt. But what I’ve noticed about these Nordic pole walkers is that it looks like they enjoy the hell out of nordic pole walking, and they don’t seem to remotely care that they look ridiculous power walking around the seawall with goddamn ski poles. So if you don’t care about looking like a fool in public, and you’re looking for an accessible outdoor activity (that’s apparently an effective total-body workout) that you can do for fun and fitness, check out Nordic walking.