You do not need to purchase Nordic Walking Poles to attend my classes. Adjustable Nordic Walking Poles are available for use, free of charge, in all of my classes.
Nordic walking poles are not the same as trekking poles. They have a number differences which enable the Nordic Walking technique to be undertaken correctly. Trekking poles therefore cannot be used for Nordic Walking.
A Good quality pair of poles is recommended and, as with many other products, as a general rule you do “get what you pay for”. You can be confident that an established brand will have tested the component parts to ensure their safety, strength, reliability and superior life span. There are a range of prices across these brands such as Leki, Gabel, Excel etc.
For the best training results the Pole needs to be correct for an individual's height. You can use the following calculation to determine your correct pole length.
Your height (in cm) X 0.68 and then rounded down to the nearest 5 cm's.
The Basic Elements of the Pole
Can be adjustable or single piece/fixed length.
Adjustable Poles: These are the poles provided for use in my classes for the obvious reason that I can change the length to be appropriate for each client. These are as strong as the single-piece poles but offer flexibility. These tend to be more highly priced than a Single Piece pole of the same quality. As the pole shaft consists of two parts a slight degree of vibration can be experienced.
Single Length Poles: Ideal if you are buying a pair for yourself as there is no need to change the length for personal use. As stated above, these tend to be cheaper in price than an Adjustable pole of the same quality. There is also slightly reduced vibration as the shaft is one single length.
Wrist Straps & Handles:
The straps are specifically designed for Nordic Walking. They are left and right hand specific for comfort and control they are also strong enough to withstand push-through. The handles are ergonomically shaped to support the technique and provide a comfortable grip.
The Tips need to provide good grip on a range of surfaces and strong enough to withstand constant repeat contact with the ground. Tips are generally made from Carbide which is strong, doesn’t rust and is flexible so that it can bend without damaging the pole shafts.
Referred to by many names, these are removable rubber ‘paws’ (angled at 45 degrees) and cover the tip of the pole for walking on hard surfaces. Their purpose is to optimise push-off to support the Nordic Walking Technique, maintain traction with the hard surface and provide some shock absorption to reduce vibration through the pole. They also reduce noise preventing the metal tip click-clacking as it hits the hard ground.
Below are a few friendly little recommendations to ensure you have an enjoyable time Nordic Walking.
Appropriate Footwear – You are advised to wear comfortable footwear that has some grip, suitable for varying terrain such as sand, gravel, mud.
Flexible soled shoes that are breathable and waterproof are recommended, such as Waterproof trainers or flexible walking shoes (Flip-flops or Crocs are not suitable).
Appropriate Clothing - Due to the rapidly changing weather conditions our wonderful country displays. You are advised to wear appropriate clothing for changing weather conditions.
A waterproof jacket is recommended, along with layers of breathable clothing that can be removed/replaced as your own/surrounding temperature dictates.
You will be moving your arms and legs throughout the sessions so loose fitting clothes are recommended for your comfort.
Water/Rucksack - As you will be carrying poles you will not be able to carry anything in your hand. If you have it available a small/slim Rucksack or Drinking Belt would be useful.
Hot weather - Please ensure you have applied sunscreen when we have those sought-after sunny days. Bring a light hat to protect your head if you are sensitive to the heat/sun. Bring plenty of water, as you will sweat more when it’s hot and will therefore dehydrate more quickly. If you do bring a rucksack it is advisable to bring sunscreen with you so it can be re-applied as required.
Cold weather – As well as layers of warm clothing, bring gloves & a hat if the weather is cold. You will warm-up due to the cardiovascular nature of the class, but we are in Great Britain and on some days the 'fresh' breezes can keep the temperature down.
Having tissues to hand is always helpful too – whatever the weather!