When Mira suggested training together, I was honestly a little bit afraid. I practice sports regularly, but I was sure I could never keep up with a triathlete like Mira who qualified at Xterra World Championship.
I felt very reassured when Mira told me that the training would entail Nordic walking through our amazing forest in Plzen. But I wondered how a simple walk could be part of a triathlon preparation.
I like to practice other sports besides the ones involved in a triathlon. I play tennis, ski and go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, and I like climbing mountains, and in-line skating. I really like Nordic walking especially in autumn and winter time. I just love the morning light, the peace on the trail and the winter air on my face. Nordic walking for me is not only a way of doing something different, but also an alternative from a running training session. Replacing running with intensive Nordic walking is very useful because it doesn’t strain my joints as much. Listening to your body to prevent injuries is also a very important part of the training.
Benefits of Nordic Walking
There are so many benefits to be had by practicing Nordic Walking! It contributes to increasing the oxygen available to your entire organism. It improves the cardio-vascular system while toning your muscles and strengthening your bones.
Nordic walking is a moderate sport that involves your entire body. It can be practiced by anyone, even less sporty types, to stay in shape and reap all the benefits, both physical and psychological afforded by open-air activities: increased well-being, better quality of life, improved safety, the chance to commune with nature and meet people, maintain a healthy weight and improve circulation.
Principal benefits of Nordic walking for a lower-limb amputee
Some of the benefits of Nordic walking are particularly useful for a anyone wearing a lower-limb prosthesis.
The stress on the locomotor system is lightened by about 30% compared to normal walking and the load is more balanced among the various muscle groups. This allows the user of a lower-limb prosthesis to avoid straining muscles and joints and the pain caused by putting excessive weight on the residual limb.
The poles help with balance and offer support and safety, even on rough terrain, thus reducing the likelihood of falls.
Nordic walking is great for improving strength, resistance, mobility and posture. Posture is extremely important for lower-limb amputees, who sometimes tend to distribute their weight unevenly, resulting in compromised postural carriage. In addition, Nordic walking strengthens the various muscle groups of the arms, the legs and the trunk that support the body and help maintain proper positions and a more steady pace.