Although there are many myths and false assumptions in working out, there are also some very real practices with numerous benefits for our minds and bodies. One of these is the so-called Nordic Walking. What is it, and what should you know before giving it a try? Check out the answers below!
What Is Nordic Walking
Nordic walking is a full-body version of fitness walking where you’re holding a pole in each hand to ensure you’re using all your upper and lower body muscles. As its name suggests, it originated from Finland. Today, both athletes and normal people practice it because of its many proven health benefits.
1. It’s Less About Speed, and More About Technique
Since you’ll be walking using poles, this will require your upper and lower body to move simultaneously. That way, you will be burning up to 46% more calories in comparison to regular walking. So, it’s important to focus on mastering the technique instead of trying to walk as fast as you can with the poles.
2. Everyone Can Benefit from It
The great thing about Nordic walking is that it can help both beginners and pros. No matter if you’re looking to burn some calories without doing cardio or need a smooth return-to-fitness regime, this practice is the solution. It’s easy on people with aching joints, backs, and necks, and it can greatly improve posture in a non-invasive way.
3. What’s the Proper Nordic Walking Technique
The most important thing in Nordic walking is understanding the difference between walking around with poles and getting an effective workout done. That difference is called technique. It’s important to practice beforehand:
- Start by walking naturally, relax your arms and shoulders.
- Grab the pole handles, but don’t squeeze them. Use the straps so you can relax your grip (much like with ski poles).
- Lean forward and try to land on the heel of your foot with each step, then roll through and push off on your toes.
- Release the pole after each strike, and keep your arms straight while you’re doing it (like in the picture above).
4. Aim for Longer Walks
Don’t try to rush your education into Nordic walking. Build your way up to longer walks, but start small until you master the technique and the movement begins to come naturally to you.
5. Getting the Right Poles Is Essential
There’s no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to walking poles. It’s important that your hand can grip the poles with your elbow at a 90-degree angle, so it’s a good idea to search for adjustable options. Finding a quick-release strap should also be a priority on your list.
When choosing a tent for a hike or a backpacking trip, there are several important factors to look into. The tent needs to be easy to pitch, light enough to carry without much issue, and very stable in snow and all other environments. It’s also important to have ease of access and enough space for one’s needs. Making sure that the tent is waterproof and that it breaths, even in humid areas, is a must. The following are 5 of the best-rated tents to check out in 2021!
1. Zpacks Free Duo Tents
This ultralight tent weighs only 30 ounces (not including the poles) and offers 26.25 square feet of space. The setup is simple and the tent is freestanding. Because no stakes are required to set it up, it can stand on any type of terrain. With two entrances, bug mesh, and storm doors, it provides great ventilation whenever needed.
2. Big Agnes Fly Creek 2
This is one of the best freestanding tents for individuals. It’s a single-hub pole structure tent that provides 28 square feet of interior space while weighing as little as 2 pounds and 4 ounces. The material Big Agnes is using for the Fly Creek in 2021 is an excellent solution-dyed fabric that’s UV-fade resistant. The tent has useful interior pockets and dry-brow entry for keeping one’s gear safe from the elements.
3. Zpacks Duplex
Sitting at just 1 pound and 2 ounces, this tent is ultralight and big enough for two hikers. Zpack trekking pole tents are well known for being durable and suitable for a summer-long trail. The single-wall DCF is waterproof and the floor doesn’t require a groundsheet. There are two vestibules for gear protection and a fully-enclosed bug mesh for the hikers.
4. MSR Hubba Hubba NX2
Great for a pair of hikers that want to maximize space, this tent has an interior of 29 square feet. It has two doors, two vestibules, and weighs 3 pounds and 14 ounces. Its main appeal is the design that allows for more foot, shoulder, and headroom. The materials used for the poles and the tent itself are heftier and quite durable, so the tent is very stable and waterproof.
5. Tarptent ProTrail Li
A popular among trekking pole tents, the Tarptent ProTrail Li stands at only 17.2 ounces of weight, including the stakes. It offers 21 square feet of room to the hiker and an 11.2 square foot vestibule. It’s a single-piece, A-frame shelter that’s easy to pitch and has a rugged bathtub floor. Its smart ventilation design is definitely a plus!