Nordic Walking Poles for Fitness
Best Walking Spots Near Barnegat 67 Senior Residences in Ocean County, NJ
Nordic Walking Poles are perhaps the greatest trend in physical fitness sweeping the globe. Indeed, they are the fastest growing fitness activity in Germany, Finland and other European countries over the last 7 years—and the US is not far behind. This much appeal is not surprising, either. These poles are an easy tool to incorporate into something that many people already engage in regularly – that is, walking - while adding an impressive amount of extra benefit to your fitness levels.
Nordic walking poles are great for those who already love to walk and want to up the ante by getting even more of a workout. They are also a great option for those who are looking for a new, engaging way to keep in shape. The Nordic walking poles are especially appealing for seniors, since they provide balance and support to the unstable walker, while also helping to keep folks in great shape in a low-impact way that is easy on delicate joints. They also provide a social element when used with others - an aspect that is appealing to many people.
Indeed, walking groups are popping up all over in various communities and senior residences. Ocean County, NJ is full of great parks and wilderness areas so you can also get involved in some walking poles for fitness. We’ll give you a few choice tips on spectacular walking spots near Barnegat 67, but first, let’s look at why Nordic walking poles are such an attractive new fitness trend.
Nordic Walking Poles: What are they?
Nordic walking poles are thin poles which are carried in each hand while walking. In a similar technique to the one used for cross-country skiing, a walker uses the poles to help propel himself forward by planting the stick and pushing forward. The poles help you to exercise your upper body, giving you a full body work out, while also offering balance and support.
Nordic walking poles have wrist straps with thumb loops which uniquely allow you to open your hand fully during propulsion. They are usually made with carbon or aluminum, depending on what sort of walking you’ll be doing. A higher aluminum composition is preferred for rougher trails and hiking over rocky terrain since they will break a fall (hiking poles are usually made with aluminum, for example). Carbon, on the other hand, is lighter and absorbs vibrations more—thus lessening the impact on joints and bones—and tends to be preferred by senior walkers who plan to stick to traditional, simple paths.
The poles are popular because, aside from providing a full body workout, they also offer extra support for older adults or anyone with a physical limitation or injury. By using the poles, your weight is spread out, alleviating pressure on delicate hip and knee joints. They also reduce load-bearing weight on the spine. For these reasons and more, the Nordic poles are a great innovation to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle for residents at Barnegat 67 Senior residences in Ocean County, NJ.
Let’s explore why the Nordic walking sticks are so good for your health.
What Are the Health Benefits of Nordic Walking Poles?
When you use Nordic walking poles, you’re giving yourself a full body workout. When you use the poles for walking—known as either Nordic walking or pole walking—you apply force to the poles with each and every step. Not only are you able to take longer strides thanks to the plant-and-propel action with the poles, but this action naturally engages the muscles in your arms, abs, chest, spine, and other core muscles. Your legs are obviously already involved as well, making walking a full body workout.
Let’s go into more detail:
When you walk with sticks, you engage all the body’s major muscle groups at once. These include the abdominal and pelvic muscles, back, biceps, triceps, buttocks, pectorals, and thighs. All of these muscle groups are being used and becoming stronger every time you take a walk with the Nordic poles.
In addition to improving muscular strength, the sticks help to build cardiovascular endurance as well, since the more you engage major muscle groups, the more you will be pushing your cardiovascular system. You can build your endurance naturally by increasing your speed and the voracity with which you walk over time.
The poles also help you with balance, since they strengthen the upper and lower body simultaneously. They also help you to walk with a straighter, more upright posture, thus protecting the spine from excessive pressure. As noted above, the poles also help to distribute weight, thus protecting your ankles, knees, and hips as well.
The poles also act as stabilizers for those who are unsteady, and thus can make a great support for those who want to go out walking but feel uncomfortable doing so.
In addition to reasons already discussed, using walking sticks has proven to have a huge impact on lowing BMI (body mass index) as compared to walking without the sticks. In fact, studies show that people use up to 40% more energy when using the poles as opposed to walking without them.
Nordic walking is beneficial for the health, and not just because it works the muscles and cardiovascular system and helps you to stay trim! It is also often enjoyed as a social activity. In addition to creating accountability—helping one another stay committed to physical fitness—participating in Nordic walking groups can keeps you socially engaged and can boost the mood. And that’s not all!
Nordic walking also gets you outside! Nordic walking is primarily enjoyed in the great outdoors and acts as a great incentive to enjoy some fresh air, scenery, and wildlife. If you’re sold on the walking sticks and want to give them a try, keep reading to check out some of the best outdoor walking spots near Barnegat 67 Senior Residences in Ocean County, NJ!
7 Beautiful Walking Locations Near Barnegat 67
· Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
It’s always fun to soak up some sea air with a good walk along the boardwalk to visit the Barnegat Lighthouse. This little state park includes a cement pathway along the water where you can put your Nordic walking poles to use. You may even see seals resting on the rocks! There is also a wooded trail worth exploring.
· Double Trouble State Park
If you want to get into the woods and walk in a lovely wilderness, go to Double Trouble State Park. With a 1.5 mile nature trail loop that criss-crosses Cedar Creek, you’ll be immersed in the beautiful Pine Barrens ecosystem. Double Trouble State Park also includes a historic village and a cranberry farm—enjoy the picturesque cranberry bog as you complete your workout.
· Eno’s Pond County Park
This little preserve offers well groomed walking trails for your Nordic walking stick adventures. There is ample wildlife—look out for the turtles and herons!—easily observed from the observation decks over the pond.
· Manahawkin Lake Park III
The Manahawkin Lake Park offers a wonderful walking path around the lake. Keep an eye out for sunbathing turtles, and after getting your walking work out, you may want to take advantage of the little beach, which is popular for swimming!
· Island Beach State Park
If you’re craving ocean and beach for your Nordic pole walking work out, check out Island Beach State Park. You could walk the length of this 10-mile barrier island, taking in the fishermen, the swimmers, and the beach loungers. Maybe you can even dive into the ocean after working up a sweat!
· Wells Mills County Park
Not far from Barnegat 67 senior residences in Ocean County, NJ, Wells Mills County Park offers some longer trails for those who want to really get out there. With over 900 acres, this is the largest park in Ocean County and has many miles of trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Wells Mills has pine and oak forests, creeks, and a big lake to enjoy on your next Nordic walking adventure.
· Cloverdale Farm County Park
A restored cranberry farm, Cloverdale Farm County Park is adored for the quiet, quaint trails, cranberry bog, and happy wildlife. Offering long and short walks, this beloved county park will give you plenty of choices.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the great walking spots near your senior residences. Ocean County, NJ is full of beautiful wildernesses and parks where you can enjoy your new Nordic walking stick fitness routine. In fact, the wonderful thing about the Nordic walking poles is that you can enjoy them everywhere you go walking—even right outside your front door and through the neighborhood or downtown. Wherever you can walk, you can strap on your poles and get a fantastic workout. So don’t be shy—get out and get fit!