By Nordic Walking Watford at
The key to making exercise work is to change the pace in order to provide different exercise benefits. Our bodies are amazing at ADAPTING to the exercise that we do so in order to see continuous improvement in fitness terms, we need to mix up our walking pace.
You will see lots of guidance that mention BRISK walking so I thought I would help you understand why it is important and how we make it simple.
You will have heard the term intervals or even H.I.T.T circuits which are great ways to add the increased intensity that is so vital for your health.
Why walk briskly?
Making sure we up the pace on occasion will provide the following benefits:
What is BRISK?
‘Brisk’ means different things to different people: brisk for one person could be gentle for another. For the general population (average walker) there are two typical measures to quantify brisk walking:-
If you are a naturally faster walker, you may need to focus on steps per minute AND miles per hour. If miles per hour is too challenging (or too difficult to measure) you may want to focus on steps per minute.
Brisk walking can also be more easily determined by how it makes you feel so if the two measures above aren’t helpful to you, focus on how you feel. Brisk walking should make you slightly out of breath so that you can hold a conversation but not belt out Bohemian Rhapsody!
You can download a very simple but effective app called ACTIVE 10. The Active 10 app records every minute of walking you do (anonymously). Just pop your phone in your pocket and away you go!
How can slow-walking improve your fitness? Well, slowing down your walking pace, gives you an opportunity to focus on the finer points of your Nordic Walking technique – for example, engaging your core or really rolling through the foot with each step.
Surprisingly, walking slowly burns more calories than fast walking. Why? When you walk slowly, you lose the efficiency of already being in motion towards your next step. This makes your muscles work a little harder with each step.
Walking slowly also allows us more time to connect with and appreciate both our surroundings and those we are walking with. And whilst this doesn’t improve your physical fitness in the truest sense, it will enable a more holistic sense of wellbeing.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR PACE
As well as our existing variety of different pace walks, we have some more specific sessions which are designed to help you work on pace.
ARMCHAIR TO ACTIVE
Our unique 6-week progressive programme takes you from INACTIVE to ACTIVE by gradually and gently increasing pace and distance. A balance of instructor-led sessions, self-guided training walks, as well as factsheets and motivational hints and tips. Our next course starts on FRIDAY 4TH FEBRUARY – BOOK HERE:
WORKING UP TO ADVENTURE
This PUSH THE PACE walk is designed to help prepare you for moving up from our GEAR 1 to GEAR 2 WALKS – it will help to give you the confidence to take the next step in improving your fitness. Focusing on improving technique and the gear system, the walk will be broken down into 3 distinct sections and begin with a short section paced at 20 min/mile. The middle section will move to a GEAR 2 pace of 17-18 min/mile and the last section will be a PUSH THE PACE of 18-19 min/mile. Our next session is on FRIDAY 4TH FEBRUARY – BOOK HERE:
WEDNESDAY WELLBEING GEAR 1+
The perfect walk if you are looking to move from Gear 1 to Gear 2 walks gradually. A sociable, gentle to moderate pace walk of between 2 to 3 miles moving at a pace of 19-20+ min/mile. Mostly a Gear 1 and Gear 2 walk.
BOOK HERE : https://nordicwalking.co.uk/find-walks/229851
WORKING UP TO WORKOUT
This PUSH THE PACE walk is designed to help prepare you for moving up from our ADVENTURE walks to WORKOUT pace – it will help to give you the confidence to take the next step in improving your fitness. Focusing on improving technique and the gear system, the walk will be broken down into 3 distinct sections and begin with a short section paced at 17-18 min/mile. The middle section will move to a WORKOUT pace of 15-16 min/mile and the last section will be a PUSH THE PACE of 16-17 min/mile. Our next session TBC.
PUSH THE PACE ADVENTURE WALKS
Once a month some of the regular GEAR 2 walks are changed to PUSH THE PACE aiming to cover approximately 3.5 miles in an hour with a pace of 16-17 min/mile. Mostly Gear 2 with some sustained bursts of gear 3 where appropriate and on mixed terrain.
So take a look at our walks this week and MIX IT UP!
Lead Instructor and Business Owner
NORDIC WALKNG WATFORD