Nordic walking can be divided into two styles of walking using the activator poles. The traditional Nordic walking or Activator walking.
Activator walking involves using the activator poles in a different style to aid walking focusing more on rehabilitation. Nordic walking’s focus is more fitness. In some cases with acute injuries to the lower leg or post surgical conditions like total hip/knee replacements you can start out using the Activator pole technique and progress to Nordic walking as you progress in your rehabilitation process.
At Back in Strength we teach both walking styles using the adaptable Activator poles that can be adjusted and used for both styles of walking. We do have poles in stock that we use during our walking sessions if you are trialing pole walking for the first time. At the beginning of the session the physiotherapist will set up the poles for your individual use.
Why does Nordic walking use poles?
There has been 270+ studies done to show that Nordic Walking using poles benefits the following conditions:
- Osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.
- Older adults suffering from diabetes.
- Parkinsons and post Stroke.
- Cardiac Health.
- Mental Health.
- Post breast CA rehabilitation.
- Weight management.
- Post musculoskeletal injuries.
The effects of using the poles during Nordic/Activator walking is:
- Increased Balance.
- Normalises your gait pattern.
- Assists with a more upright posture.
- Assists with fall prevention.
- Reduces impact to the lower leg.
- Improves core stability.
- Improves psycho-social measures.
The differences between the Nordic and Activator walking methods:
- The initial set-up of the poles for walking is different.
- The Nordic walking pole has a boot shaped tip attached and the Activator walking pole has a bell shaped tip.
- With Nordic walking use of the poles will propel the user forward while the Activator pole method gives the user more upright stabilization.
- The goal for Nordic walking is fitness while the goal for Activator walking is stability and balance using the poles as a walking aid.
- With Activator walking the poles stay in front of the hip and are kept in a vertical position while with Nordic walking the pole is kept in a backwards slant position and does go past the hip.
- The pace of the Nordic walking is brisk while the Activator walking is at a slower pace.
We would love to show you how effective the pole walking techniques are. We run walking groups for Nordic walking coaching and Activator walking coaching. Please ring our front office for more information on how to join our group.