The Benefits of Nordic Walking for Those Living with Fibro and Chronic Pain

teal line drawing of lotus flower

If you’re looking for a safe, fun way to get active while getting outside, then Nordic walking is ideal. Nordic walking is a full-body workout that appeals to all ages and fitness levels. It actually originated as a way to train for skiing during the summer. It’s essentially hiking with poles which help to enhance your experience.

Good demo for how to correctly use trekking poles (used for hiking) and nordic walking poles (used for exercise).

Nordic walking can be done anywhere in the countryside, the local park, from the mountains to the beach, and even in urban areas. Why not discover some hidden gems near you? It’s a great way to meet people and there are many groups online that organize walks. And the bonus side of this, it is supportive walking (to help with balance issues), arms are a part of the process (so it’s all over strengthening and off-loads pressure on the hips), and you can go at your own pace and distance (slowly gaining strength and cardio) Here are some more benefits of Nordic walking:

Ideal for neck, shoulder and back problems


Nordic walking has many physical benefits. It’s good exercise and uses 90% of the skeletal muscles. If you have problems in that area it could be very beneficial. Always speak to a back doctor for an expert opinion before you take on any new hobbies or sports. The poles also help to reduce pressure on your knees and joints, while at the same time burning almost 50% more calories than regular walking.

Physical Therapists talk about how and why walking benefits for back pain.

Improves mental wellbeing

Getting in touch with nature is important for many aspects of emotional and physical healing. The fresh air, the scenery, and the enjoyable exercise all contribute to improving your mental wellbeing. Research has shown that humans react positively to being in nature; our brains even function differently. By using the poles, you can also walk in all the seasons. Nordic walking is a great way to get out of the city and away from the stress of your everyday life.

Accessible to all ages and fitness levels

Nordic walking is accessible to all ages and fitness levels. Athletes do it for training, but it’s also appealing to seniors and anyone with lower levels of fitness. Those living with Fibromyalgia know that exercise is important and walking is a gentle form of cardio is wonderful. However, using the Nordic poles can add that extra physical support which can’t hurt. It’s a very versatile sport and it mainly depends on where you do it. If you’re new to the concept, here is a beginner’s guide to Nordic walking with more tips and advice. 

Why it’s especially good for those living with chronic pain

Minimal equipment needed

All you need for Nordic walking is a good backpack or water pack, a sun hat, some good hiking shoes, and a set of poles. One of the great things about this activity is that you don’t need to break the bank buying all the equipment. Here are some of the best walking poles of 2020 to give you an idea.

The poles play an important role. They not only support your joints but they also enhance the workout. The poles help to propel you along which means you move faster without realizing it with less force placed on your hips. 

Social benefits

There are many social benefits of Nordic walking. You can arrange a hike with friends or family or even your dog. In this time of COVID-19, walking is one of the safest ways to be with others while social distancing. It’s also a great way to meet people are there are plenty of hiking groups online. You just have to search in your neighborhood. Nordic walking is a wonderful way to discover the amazing landscape near you, or alternatively you could even organize a walking vacation.

And….you can use the poles for supported stretching and strength training!

  • Arm and shoulder stretches
  • Hip stretches
  • Leg stretches
  • Supported balancing

With so many health and social benefits, it’s not surprising Nordic walking is among the fastest-growing fitness trends around the globe. If you want to explore more of the outdoors and get the movement you need in a safe, gentle to your body, why not try it out?

5 thoughts on “The Benefits of Nordic Walking for Those Living with Fibro and Chronic Pain

  • August 9, 2020 at 9:07 pm
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    I haven’t heard of Nordic walking – until now! I’ve been trying to walk more and I love this idea! The poles would provide some support and stability for some hiking – and using them to help stretch is a terrific idea.

    Reply
  • August 11, 2020 at 11:43 am
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    Hi Katie! This looks like such fun! I cannot wait to get the opportunity to walk through nature and maybe give this Nordic walking ago. Will see if there is a group in Mumbai who does this. Thank you for sharing this because I really had no idea something like this existed.

    Reply
    • August 11, 2020 at 11:54 am
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      I really loved the talk by the woman for the Arthritis Foundation. this is a new idea to me as well, and it looks like a great way to get exercise and be social at the same time.

      Reply
  • August 11, 2020 at 3:57 pm
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    I’ve never heard of Nordic walking before. It sounds like an interesting idea. I love walking, but walking on cement kills my legs.

    Reply
    • August 11, 2020 at 4:07 pm
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      Walking anywhere causes me pain. I’ve tried proper posture and stretching; they help, but I still end up with pain in hips, piriformis, and thighs. I think I’ll try this to see if it helps. When I hike, I do use hiking poles and they help, so I think this should work well.

      Reply

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