Friday, September 25, 2009

Nordic Walking and 2009 World Heart Day

In 2007 the World Heart Federation and EXEL Sports Oy teamed up to encourage heart disease prevention. And this year Nordic Walking is one of several healthy activities planned for World Heart Day – Sept. 27th, 2009.

Nordic Walking is playing an important role in helping many individuals around the world to burn more calories then regular walking. Not only does Nordic Walking burn more calories than regular walking, perfect length poles and the correct technique the poles can help to radically reduce the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Durable one-piece Nordic Walking Poles that are sized correctly are also proving to safely improve balance, stability, gait and walking posture for those with balance and stability issues.

For 2009 The World Heart Federation is placing additional emphasis on increasing awareness for the many benefits of workplace healthy habits. A workplace that encourages healthy habits really can reduce heart reduce and stroke. To find out more about workplace wellness programs please go to:

From a 2007 press release highlighting the teaming up of the World Heart Federation and EXEL Sports Oy:

Heart disease and stroke is the world’s largest killer, claiming 17.5 million lives a year. Eighty per cent of these lives are from populations in low and middle income countries, many amongst people of working age. A healthy diet and quitting smoking can prevent heart attacks and stroke. Regular physical exercise is also vitally important as it reduces the risk of stroke by over 25% and the risk of coronary heart disease by over 40% . Currently, 60 to 85% of women worldwide, for example, are not physically active enough to gain health benefits.

Physical inactivity contributes significantly to obesity, diabetes and hypertension. The heart is a muscle which needs regular exercise to keep it pumping blood efficiently with every heart beat. Regular activity and its impact on associated risk factors helps to slow down the narrowing of the arteries to the heart and brain, encourages the body to use up excess stored fat, can help to reduce high blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels (by increasing the high density lipid (HDL) level) and maintains normal blood glucose levels.

Nordic Walking was first used as a summer training method by cross-country skiers in Finland. It was then developed into a fitness exercise with specific training equipment in co-operation with the Finnish sports equipment manufacturer Exel Sports Oy, researchers in sports medicine, and other fitness professionals. Nordic Walking is an enhancement of regular walking using specifically designed poles to engage the upper body during fitness walking and to create a complete body workout. It is natural, safe and effective physical activity suitable for all. Nordic Walking increases heart rate by 5-17 beats per minute (in normal walking, heart rate is 130 beats/minute and in Nordic Walking, 147 beats per minute, an increase of 13%) and energy consumption by an average of 20% compared with ordinary walking without poles. Nordic Walking was first launched in Finland in 1997. It has rapidly increased in popularity and today Nordic Walking is one of the fastest growing outdoor fitness sports.

World Heart Day is run by the World Heart Federation’s member organizations in over 100 countries. Communities - from families to schools, social groups, workplaces and religious circles - can encourage smoke-free environments, regular physical activity and health food choices. As well as Nordic Walking events, other World Heart Day activities will include health checks, organized walks, runs and fitness sessions, public talks, stage shows, scientific forums, exhibitions, concerts, carnivals, and sports tournaments. Visit

About Exel Nordic Walking Poles:

Exel Sports Oy, based in Finland, is one of the leading producer of composite high-end products such as poles for Nordic Walking, cross-country skiing, alpine, trekking and sports accessories. The #1 retailer of EXEL Nordic Walking Poles in the USA is SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System. EXEL is committed to providing durable one-piece ski poles and Nordic Walking Poles – that prove to be safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap twist-locking adjustable length/telescoping/collapsible poles. Nordic Walking Poles from SKIWALKING.COM and the American Nordic Walking System are currently being used in Cardiac Rehabilitation Centers and utilized at numerous Healthy Heart Day Programs.

About the World Heart Federation:

The World Heart Federation is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva Switzerland dedicated to the prevention and control of heart disease and stroke, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. It is comprised of 195 member societies of cardiology and heart foundations from over 100 countries covering the regions of Asia-Pacific, Europe, East Mediterranean, the Americas and Africa.

No comments: