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Nordic Walking and Cancer

Research has shown that exercise is a safe and effective way to counteract many of the negative physical and emotional effects of cancer and its treatment. Exercise may be one of the best things people with cancer can do alongside their standard cancer treatments as it can reduce and even prevent some of the common side effects of cancer and cancer treatments.

Nordic Walking is a low impact, whole-body exercise which gets you out into nature and is very sociable.

Nordic Walking has shown particular benefits for people following treatment for breast cancer.

We offer classes and walks for people of all ages and fitness level.

How does exercise help cancer?

Studies comparing people with cancer who participate in quality exercise program against those who don’t exercise found that those who did exercise have significantly:

  • less fatigue
  • lower levels of mental distress
  • better physical functioning
  • superior quality of life

Early Menopause Following Surgery for Cancer?

Nordic Walking has shown to have great benefits for menopausal women. Read more

We run a SITTER2FITTER programme to get women enjoying exercise more who are menopausal, including those who have gone into early menopause due to surgery for cancer.  

The Research

Nordic Walking & Breast Cancer

Many studies have been carried out looking specifically how Nordic walking can benefit women with breast cancer. It is seen to be beneficial for improving common breast cancer symptoms including upper body and core strength, lymphedema, physical fitness and the perception of swelling and pain. It also has positive effects on managing pain and depression associated with breast cancer.

Nordic Walking was also found to counteract side effects related to breast cancer treatment such as postural problems, and shoulder and arm mobility more effectively than regular walking. There is evidence to show that the grip, squeeze action of Nordic Walking can reduce swelling in the arm of patients with lymphedema.

Stick Together: A Nordic Walking Group Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors Journal of Psychosocial Oncology · March 2015 DOI: 10.1080/07347332.2015.1020465 · Source: PubMed

The effects of pole walking on arm lymphedema and cardiovascular fitness in women treated for breast cancer: a pilot and feasibility study Carlotta Jönsson , RPT, MSc &Karin Johansson , RPT Pages 236-242 | Published online: 31 Oct 2013 Accessed 28 July2022

More Benefits of Nordic Waking

All walking is excellent for everyone; however, research demonstrates that Nordic Walking has several additional benefits.

Significant increase in oxygen consumption by 20% compared to normal walking, with increased calorie expenditure and heart rate compared to normal walking.  Perceived exertion did not change with Nordic walking and the increase in cardiovascular expenditure. (Church et al 2002, Kocur et al 2009, Schiffer et al 2009)

Walking distance and speed have also been shown to be increased with Nordic walking by up to 30%. (Oakley et al, 2008, Breyer et al, 2010 and Mannerkorpi et al 2010)

Nordic walking was 106% more efficient than normal walking in improving gait speed among the elderly. (Figueiredo et al 2013)

Nordic walking provided a larger improvement in upper body strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility in older adults compared to normal walking and band-based resistance exercises. (Takeshima et al 2013)

Nordic walking significantly improved walking distance in clients with intermittent claudication. (Spafford, C., Oakley, C., Beard, J.D. 2014)

Nordic walking was superior to standard cardiac rehabilitation care in improving functional capacity and other important outcomes in patients with heart failure. (Keast et al 2013)

Health benefits of Nordic walking: a systematic review Tschentscher M, Niederseer D, Niebauer J. Am J Prev Med 2013 Jan;44(1):76-84.

The impact of Nordic walking on bone properties in postmenopausal women with pre-diabetes and non-alcohol fatty liver disease Xiaming Du, Chao Zhang, Xiangqi Zhang, Zhen Qi , Sulin Cheng and Shenglong Le.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. July 16, 2021

Nordic walking and its clinical benefits in different disorders Shailendra KapoorPage 1676 | Published online: 25 Jan 2013 Accessed 28 July 2022

Long-term effects of high-intensity interval training, moderate-to-vigorous intensity continuous training and Nordic walking on physical and mental health in patients with coronary artery disease T. Terada. Accessed July 28 2022

Nordic walking compared to conventional walking and band-based resistance exercise on fitness in older adults. Takeshima N, Islam MM, Rogers ME, Rogers NL, Sengoku N, Koizumi D, et al. Effects of J Sports Sci Med 2013;12(3):422-30.

Nordic walking increases distal radius bone mineral content in young women Takeru Kato, Toru Tomioka, Takenori Yamashita, Hidehiro Yamamoto, Yasuhiro Sugajima, and Norikazu Ohnishi. Journal of sports Science and Medicine. Pub. Online May 01, 2020

Want to know more?

Our classes and walks for people with CONDITION are lead by our instructor, Joanne, who is a retired nurse, with a passion for helping people like you get the best from your exercise programme.

To find out more about what we can offer you call or email Joanne:

TEL:  +353876936903