Canberra’s Capital Nordic Walking prides itself on providing top-quality Nordic Walking instruction for all clients. Nordic Walking is unique: it can provide benefits for everyone, all ages, those with medical problems to the super-fit.
The health benefits of Nordic Walking are proven to be significantly greater than regular walking, jogging, swimming and cycling. NW uses over 90% of the body’s muscles – way more than walking, running and cycling. More muscles mean higher heart rate and more calories burnt. Using the poles effectively strengthens the upper body (back, shoulders, arms and core muscles) significantly improving posture and lessening the load and strain on feet, ankles, knees, and hip joints and mobilizes neck and back.
Around the world, millions of Nordic Walkers are enjoying the immense health and fitness benefits that this new form of fitness walking provides. Originally developed from the summer training regime of cross-country skiers, Nordic Walking is one of the fastest-growing health and fitness activities in the world being used by individuals, personal trainers, health clubs, physiotherapists, doctors and health promoters because it is highly effective, affordable and fun.
Kristen Pratt, Founder of CWN, has been actively involved in health and fitness throughout her career. She is a qualified Occupational Therapist and certified Nordic Walking Instructor with Nordic Walking UK, the Nordic Academy and the International Nordic Walking Federation (Australia) (INWA). Kristen holds the following qualifications: B.App.Sc(OT), M.Ed.St, M.BA, M.IntDev’t, Cert III & IV in Fitness.

Kristen is committed to continually updating her knowledge. In 2014 Kristen completed an INWA certified ‘Nordic Walking for Parkinson’s disease course, in 2015 a Cert III in Personal Training and a Cert IV in Fitness in 2016. At the September 2015 World Nordic Walking Conference in Seville Kristen completed NW Workshops with the 5 World NW Masters, including a series of clinics with Tom Rutlin focused on the Exerstriding NW technique and its applications – particularly for people with mobility challenges. In May 2016 Kristen completed a 2-day workshop with Norman Doidge, M.D. on the latest developments in neuroplasticity, including the importance of walking for brain health. Exercise [also] reduces our risk of Parkinson’s and dementia, among other diseases. 

Q What is Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking is a low-impact total body exercise. It is a specific fitness technique and not simply walking with poles like trekking or hiking. Using the correct technique, which is similar to cross country skiing, Nordic Walking poles (which are different to hiking poles) are planted behind you in order to propel you along using the power of the upper body (back, arms and core) as well as the legs – making it easier to work quite hard. Nordic Walking uses the massive power from the entire upper body to turn a “2-wheel drive” activity, such as regular walking or running into a “4-wheel drive” activity engaging over 90% of the body’s skeletal muscles and burning over 40% more calories than regular walking. Nordic Walking can be enjoyed at many levels, at low, medium or high intensity. It combines the simplicity and accessibility of walking with core and upper body conditioning – resulting in a full body workout. And because Nordic Walking doesn’t feel like hard work you’ll be happy to walk further and for longer.

Q Isn't it just hiking?

Nordic Walking and Hiking are quite different to each other; the poles are designed differently; the purpose for using the poles is different - as are the technique and benefits. Hiking poles are designed to be used in an upright position in front of the body to reduce the load of the pack and to prevent falling over on rough terrain. Nordic walking poles are positioned on an angle behind the body to propel you forward, promote a healthy upright walking posture, activate the muscles in the back of the legs, core, back, shoulders and arms - promoting strengthen of over 90% of the body's muscles - this results in double the number of calories burnt than regular walking. Nordic Walking poles also provide stability for the walker and when used correctly can result in taking up to 10kg of load/strain off the feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back. Hiking poles are simple to use but do not provide the benefits of Nordic Walking. There are other types of walking poles such as BungyPumps which are not Nordic Walking poles. You can learn more about them in our FAQ page.

Who can do it?

Q Who can do it?

Nordic Walking is a safe and highly effective form of exercise for everyone. Anyone, any age, who can walk can Nordic Walk. Even dogs can do it!! For people who find walking difficult due to painful joints, poor balance or lack of energy Nordic Walking can assist them to walk more comfortably and safely. Research has found that the rate of perceived exertion in Nordic Walking is lower. This means that if you have reduced fitness or low energy - such as with Chronic Fatigue or when going through treatment for cancer, you can maintain the activity for longer without feeling exhausted. People with higher levels of fitness can continue the activity at a heart rate levels equal to running.

Q Where can you Nordic Walk?

Anywhere that you can and enjoy walking – you can Nordic Walk – urban street pathways, cycle-ways, sports fields, dirt roads, mountains, and beaches. Oh! And of course in the snow!!!

Q Are there groups of people who do Nordic Walking together?

A popular way to enjoy Nordic Walking is to join up with other people so that you can chat and enjoy your workout and the scenery together. Capital Nordic Walking will be offering regular monthly Group Nordic Walking sessions for experienced Nordic Walkers.

Capital Nordic Walking coordinates a number of regular group Nordic Walks and we also host a Closed FaceBook Page - Capital Nordic Walkers Connect where Canberra's Nordic Walkers can connect up and walk with each other

Q Can people with health conditions do Nordic Walking?

Nordic Walking has been proven to be very effective in assisting people with a range of health conditions. Nordic Walking is an effective rehabilitation measure that can be individually adapted to assist with injury-recovery, acute and chronic conditions including arthritis and other joint conditions, diabetes, and cardiovascular-related and neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and stroke. Weight Loss Benefits: Nordic Walking is an ideal activity choice for sustainable weight loss. The utilization of all major muscle groups results in greater calorie consumption and less perceived effort by the walker. Also, because Nordic Walking can be social, uses simple equipment and is done outside, it is an activity that people who struggle with gym-type environments often enjoy doing.

Chronic Disease Management: Nordic Walking is being used worldwide in the treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, neuromuscular and cardiovascular-related diseases. Importantly, Nordic Walking can be adapted to cater for patient’s individual needs and geared to achieve specific outcomes. Rehabilitation: Increasingly Nordic Walking is being prescribed by podiatrists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, Pilates therapists and other healthcare professionals as a highly effective rehabilitation measure.