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Walking is a highly recommended exercise for those of lymphedema of either the lower or upper extremities. A newer variation on this activity, known Nordic Walking, had its origin in Finland in 1997, and is rapidly becoming popular all over the world and can be enjoyed in summer and winter. Nordic walking has special benefits for those with lymphedema and is a very enjoyable activity to share with a group.
WHAT IS NORDIC WALKING?
Nordic Walking is fitness walking with specially designed Nordic Walking poles that offers an efficient, aerobic, and easy way to improve your physical condition irrespective of age, sex, or physical condition.
Nordic Walking combines the positive training effects of running combined with the advantages of cross-country skiing. This exercise, which uses a form of modified ski poles, was originated by cross country skiers as a way of exercising during the summer.
The use of the poles and the specific hold-relax technique of the forearm muscles turns out to be very benficial for people in general and lymphedema patients in particular.
Compared with regular walking, Nordic Walking puts less strain on the body and the rate of perceived exertion is the same as walking without the poles. However, there are numerous benefits as shown on this list:
SPECIAL LYMPHEDEMA BENEFITS
For those with lymphedema of either the arms or legs, Nordic Walking provides these special benefits:
In addition to the physical benefits, Nordic Walking is an excellent social outdoor activity for all ages and any fitness level; however, it is important to perform the Nordic Walking using the proper techniques and walking with poles that are properly fitted.
Nordic Walking classes, and walking clubs, are forming across America. Joining such a group is an excellent way to get started and to enjoy the company of others while exercising.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alma Harrewijn PT, CLT-LANA is a lymphedema therapist, a member of the Lymph Notes Advisory Board, and a co-author of the book "Living Well with Lymphedema."
© LymphNotes.com 2013. This information does not replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.
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