Is Nordic Walking Good for Weight Loss?

For those of us looking to lose weight, it can often be overwhelming sieving through all the different exercises and diets out there.

At the end of the day, weight loss is very personal and its all about finding a lifestyle and diet that works for you.

If you enjoy walking for fitness and enjoy the outdoors, Nordic walking potentially holds the key to help with weight loss goals.

Our beginners guide to Nordic walking delves into everything you need to know to get started and the unique benefits this style of walking offers.

Nordic Walking and Weight Loss

Burning Calories

Nordic walking helps with weight loss because it gets you moving. Just like any type of walking, your body is active and moving, which burns calories. Burning more calories than you consume is an effective way to start to achieve your weight loss goals.

Research suggests you can expect to burn roughly 400 calories per hour Nordic walking. If you’re walking in a more challenging area this is likely to increase. Genetics will impact your metabolism and thus the amount of calories you burn during Nordic walking. Similarly, the intensity you walk will also determine the amount of calories you’ll burn.

If you’re wondering whether you’re better off just walking, Nordic walking is believed to burn an extra 46% more calories than regular walking. Although any type of walking is good for you, that figure illustrates the effectiveness of the activity. If you want to get the most out of your time, Nordic walking packs a punch when it comes to delivering results quickly.

As long as you eat sensibly (a balanced diet is all you need) as well, you should be in a great place to hit weight loss goals and targets.

The longer you walk for and the more intense the walk is, the more calories you’ll burn. This means for those wanting to hit ambitious targets, you may want a walking training plan that includes high mileage.

Due to the upper body being involved and your body using more major muscles groups, your body also benefits more from post-workout calorie burn. In essence, your body continues to burn calories for longer once the workout has stopped. This is why weight training and resistance band exercises can be surprisingly effective for weight loss compared to just cardio exercises.

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Full Body Movement

The real benefit of Nordic walking over regular walking is the use of Nordic walking poles. These poles help engage the arms, shoulders and core, building and toning upper body muscles while you walk.

The result is that your walk turns into a full body workout.

By engaging the upper body, it helps utilise more major muscles groups and supports better posture as well as weight loss.

This means more calories are burned as your body is working harder. This means you don’t need to just walk for longer to see improvements – instead, by adding walking poles to your routine, you are adding an extra challenge for your body.

The activity of Nordic walking doesn’t feel as intense as something like running or swimming, but due to the whole body being involved, the calories will be burned at a rate that helps lose weight.

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Low Impact

Nordic walking is a low impact activity. The poles can actually help propel you forwards and take bodyweight off your ankles and knees.

This means injuries are prevented and less common than in other activities and sports. You’re spreading your weight over 4 points (feet and poles) instead of 2 (feet).

With fewer injuries and less rest time required, it means you can spend more time walking. And more time walking, means more calories burned and more weight lost.

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Getting Started

Nordic walking is a great activity for over 50s. It offers so many benefits and is easy to get started.

Our guide on handy Nordic walking equipment highlights everything you need to get started. From Nordic walking clothes to gloves and shoes, being prepared will mean you can make the most of your efforts and leverage the activity to reach your fitness goals.

Final Thoughts

It’s also important when discussing weight loss that when most of us say we want to lose weight, we actually mean we want to lose fat. Muscle actually weighs more than fat and most athletes would technically be considered “overweight” (even if they looked like top physical specimens).

For many of us, the goal is to lose fat and develop stronger muscles to better support our bodies.
Nordic walking is a fantastic overall activity that is not only great for burning fat but includes so many other benefits too (toning muscles, meeting new people, visiting new places, increasing flexibility, to name but a few), making it a hidden gem when it comes to outdoor activities.

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