RSU Expert: Nordic Walking For Beginners
Everyone, regardless of age, needs exercise in the fresh air, especially now, during a time when more and more people are spending time at home working remotely. 'People are made for moving!' emphasises Assoc. Prof. and Nordic walking trainer Irēna Upeniece from the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Department of Sports and Nutrition. Here are Prof. Upeniece's best tips for Nordic walking for beginners.
Nordic walking is an effective and gentle type of movement. The length of the poles you use is crucial so as not to cause unnecessary health problems.
What should you keep in mind when choosing the right poles? 'They have to be chosen to match your height and physical fitness. The formula for determining the correct length is to take your height and subtract 60cm. There is another simple way to determine the correct length - put your hand through the loops and hold your hand against your stomach. If your thumb is at your navel, the sticks are the right length for you.'
You should also choose the right clothing. Something comfortable and neither too warm nor too cold. Wearing shoes meant for outdoor activities is preferable and wear gloves and a hat in cold weather.
Before you start, you must first straighten your back, relax your shoulders and pull them back a little. Slightly tighten your abdomen and glutes. Stretch up. Your body should be neither too tense, or too relaxed.
When you start walking, use the right technique: left foot - right hand, right foot - left hand. "Movement in the leg starts with the heel, and place your foot on the ground rolling towards the toes. Hold the pole's loops loosely, without tensing your hand. When the arm moves backwards with the pole, open up your palm,' says Upeniece, demonstrating the correct movements.