A Nordic walk in Japan
Happiness can be a hard thing for people to measure and rank. But when they do, many of the Nordic countries are at the top of the list. The same goes for health, according to a recent publication. But how can these statistics benefit the Japanese population, who already have a life expectancy way beyond average? Maybe it’s just a walk in the park.
Nordic Walking is a way of walking with specially designed poles. The basics of the walk were inspired from skiers, trekkers and backpackers. It was first formally defined with the publication of Hiihdon lajiosa (English: “Off season cross-country skiing training”) by a Finnish physical education teacher in 1979.
Compared to regular walking, Nordic Walking involves applying force to two poles with each step you take. That way the entire body is used with greater intensity and receives fitness building simulation that is not present in regular walking.
At first the activity was called Sauvakävely, which translates to “pole walking”. This was later changed to Nordic Walking, which is now the term used worldwide.
If walking is exercising and exercising is happiness, then 8 million Nordic Walkers is a great start.
A little more info
- In 2000 the INWA (International Nordic Walking Association) was founded along with educational programmes and instructor networks for Nordic Walking. Many countries adopted the fitness method. This is their official website.
- In Japan there are Nordic Walking Clubs where more than 8 million people practise the walk every day.
- Read about the healthiest countries in the world.
- The Nordic countries are the happiest in the world, and there are many theories about why that is.