We have already planned some Nordic hikes on the territory… And for that, we had to put our sticks on! Back on my experience of this sport !
It is Claude and Michel, who set up a Nordic walking club in Luneray a few years ago, who introduced me to this new fashionable sport.
So what's this?
Nordic walking ?
Well, it’s a kind of cross-country skiing…without skis! Invented in the sixties in Finland by a certain Leena Jääkeläinen (God bless her…) inspired by the training of Finnish cross-country skiers, the idea of this sport made its way to become an officially recognized physical activity in 1997 under the name of “sauvakävly” or nordic walking. What does it mean in concrete terms? It consists in walking at a faster pace with the help of the famous sticks and therefore the arms (believe me, they have their use, we will see it below…)
On the equipment side, you need Nordic walking poles. I said Nordic walking, not hiking, because it is not the same thing at all. You can find them at various prices, from the entry level at about thirty euros to the competition equipment with the high price that goes with it…
The arms and legs...
Before anything else, you have to think about warming up. And yes, you don’t go Nordic walking just like that. So Claude briefed me well to prepare me for the journey. Then, you have to know how to walk like a Finn… Because in Nordic walking, you use your legs and your arms. And the way you place your poles is important. I admit that the first steps were difficult, but finally you get used to the movement quickly, and it quickly becomes natural.
We had walked on a part of the marked hiking loop “Le bois de Bracquemont” in Saâne-Saint-Just. A nice path through woods and village for 9 kms, available on our hiking map.
More physical than hiking, it solicits as much the arms as the legs, and believe me my little arms remembered it a few days… On the other hand, I had to catch my breath several times! Because Nordic walking is also quite cardio. But don’t worry, as in hiking, we stop from time to time, which allows us to enjoy the landscape, and its richness, like this superb wild orchid that I took the time to take a picture of. Just an advice in these moments: be careful with your sticks… and especially with your neighbors! The best is to put your equipment on the ground during the break, because it indicates that you are taking a break to the rest of the group, which can wait for you (when you go away for a pee break for example…), and secondly, it avoids stick accidents !
Ready to try it too?
In short, a great experience, both sporty and fun, that works the muscles while taking a breath of fresh air and enjoying the beautiful landscapes of our territory!