We are often asked why include a warm-up at the start of our Nordic walking classes and walks and a series of stretches at the end. Let’s be honest it would be quicker to just get on and do our walk and head home, however warm ups and stretches are essential elements to any exercise routine and here is why.
Warming up our joints and muscles prepares us for activity.
A proper warm up:
gradually increases the heart rate
prepares you mentally for exercise
increases blood flow to joints and muscles.
mobilises & lubricates the joints ready for walking
During your lessons we will show you simple warm up exercises. We are in the process of creating videos of these but in the meantime we have borrowed some videos for you to try. Choose at least one warm up exercise for each area of the body.
Warm Up Exercises
Back & Neck
Hips & Thighs
Ankles & Knees
At the end of a walk it is important to do some static stretching. Before stretching cool down by walking at a slower pace to allow your heart rate to return to normal. Stretching can be very relaxing, both physically and mentally. Stretching is most effective when you are in a relaxed and comfortable position. Take deep, slow breaths. There will be some mild tension while stretching, but don’t ever let it be painful. A little discomfort is ok, but pain is not. Hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds after a short walk. Increase this to 30 seconds after longer walks. Choose at least one stretch for each area of the body.
Benefits of static stretching:
- gives relief from cramping,
- improves the range of movement in the joints
- decreases the risk for injury
- decrease in delayed-onset muscle soreness. (DOMS)