Rain, hail or shine, I walk my dog twice a day. It’s his favourite thing…
Ever seen people walking with long poles and been intrigued? Meet Nordic Walking.
A blend of walking and skiing with health benefits for all ages and fitness levels— from those with serious health challenges like MS and Parkinson’s through to elite athletes—Nordic Walking is far more than just “walking with sticks”.
Nordic Walking turbo-charges your walk—turning it into a full-body workout—and in Canberra there’s a business to help you nail your technique and fall in love with the sport.
Founded in 2014 by Occupational Therapist and Fitness Instructor, Kristen Pratt, Capital Nordic Walking was created as a way for Kristen to spread the word about the benefits of Nordic Walking, having picked up the sport while working in Geneva with the World Health Organisation.
Since then, Capital Nordic Walking has taught over 2,000 people to Nordic walk and has three more instructors working across Canberra.
“The specially designed poles stay on an angle behind your body,” explains Kristen.
“They become extensions of your arms, so you are ‘walking on all fours’, enabling you to harness the huge power of your upper body to propel you along with each stride. You double the muscles actively used, get your heart pumping, and it’s much easier on joints!”
To make sure Capital Nordic Walking participants remain safe and well during COVID, Kristen quickly implemented a ‘poles apart’ strategy for their regular weekly group walks and reduced numbers in courses down to one person or two family members.
Luckily, says Kristen, Nordic walking can be done safely outdoors regardless of COVID restrictions, as there are no contact and no shared touchpoints.
Courses and one-on-one learning are available. Capital Nordic Walking coordinates a number of free weekly Nordic Walking groups across Canberra for graduates to get together, practice and hone their technique during a “walking-talking-workout!”