For as long as I can remember, the forest has always been my “happy place.” There’s just something about getting out on the trails and being close to nature that never fails to de-stress and invigorate me.
Whether it’s a mid-summer walk, a snowshoe excursion through peaceful snow covered trails or a fall hike to enjoy the beautiful colour of the changing leaves, I can always feel my tension melting away as I move along.
Many studies have proven the benefits of walking for people of all ages. In fact, it’s been said that walking more is the single best thing Canadians can do to improve their health. Walking can strengthen your bones and muscles, help with maintaining a healthy weight, reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes and improve your balance and coordination. Not only is it good for your physical health it can also do wonders for your mental well-being.
Going for walks or hikes together as a family has been something we’ve done with our kids since they were very young. It’s one of my favourite activities to do, and never ceases to improve everyone’s mood (even grumpy tweens!)
Several months ago, I discovered Nordic Walking, which is walking while using poles that look a lot like cross country ski poles. I’ve been taking my Urban Poling walking poles, which are ergonomically designed specifically to target major core muscles, on most of my walks and hikes. Walking with poles offers even more health benefits than regular walking, because they engage your upper body and core muscles into your workout.
Compared to regular walking, Nordic Walking offers many health benefits, including:
- Engages 90% of the muscles in your body, compared to 40%
- Burns up to 46% more calories
- Reduces lower joint impact
- Provides a 25% increase in cardiovascular activity
Although they are not currently available in child sizes, poles from Urban Poling are adjustable to fit user’s heights between 4’2″ to 6’2″ making them suitable for many tweens and teens to use as well.
Nordic walking is a budget friendly way to stay active, and it’s a safe, low impact activity that can be enjoyed almost anywhere, all year long. I’ve used my walking poles on walks and hikes in all kinds of weather and conditions, snowshoed with them in the winter, and I’ll continue to use them this summer to help get the most benefit out of my walks.
Want to give Nordic walking a try? Here’s your chance…
Tweenhood is giving away two prizes of Nordic walking poles, courtesy of Urban Poling. Each prize consists of 2 sets of Urban Poling walking poles – one for you and one for you to share with someone else – and is valued at $200.
Enter below for your chance to win, and be sure to tell us who you would share your prize with if you win. Giveaway starts April 21st and ends May 15th, 2016 at 11:00 pm EST.
Disclosure: I received nordic walking poles from Urban Poling as part of their ambassadorship program. All opinions are 100% my own.
About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)