If you’re looking for a workout that burns more calories in less time, Nordic walking may just be the thing for you. Nordic walking is the exercise done on modified ski poles that can be done the whole year round, and not just when it’s snowing.
Nordic walking evolved from another type of exercise more commonly known as ski-striding, which was an off-season activity that enabled people to become more accustomed to the skis. This was first popularized as a year-round activity in Finland by cross-country skiers for off-season training — known to be the most fit athletes in the world. It was from this place where Nordic walking was aptly coined — although in Finland, this sport is referred to as sauvakävely, or “pole walking”. Although initially this fitness regimen did not spread quickly — with it first being promoted in 1980 until the first official Nordic walker ski poles were introduced to the public in 1997 — it has soon become the fastest growing recreational fitness sports in the world. By the end of 2005, the estimated number of Nordic walkers has been pegged at a whopping 5 million people.