Women’s HealthWork, finances and personal pressures take their toll on women’s health and well-being. One is four women reports being really stressed out. Not only are there work related pressures, but one study found that keeping the house clean and tidy (39 per cent) topped the list of self-imposed pressures for women. This was followed by spending quality time as a family (27 per cent) and completing DIY jobs (21 per cent).
Focusing On Women’s Health Is ImportantAs I get older, I am having to work harder and harder to stay healthy and fit. Like most men and women, balancing all of the roles and these challenging times, leaves very little for taking care of oneself, even though we know it is the most important thing that we can do. I am always looking for ideas on how to incorporate physical fitness in a way that is fun and interesting. A couple of years ago, I saw a great demonstration after a health and wellness keynote that I did for a company, that inspired me to try Nordic Pole Walking. I found it mentally and physically engaging and it seemed like it was something that would easily fit into my weekly routine.
Positive Impact Of Nordic Pole Walking on Women’s HealthI was surprised by the number of benefits that pole walking adds over and above just going for a regular walk. Nordic Walking started in Finland in the early 20th century as a summer training exercise for cross country skiers. Now, you can find Nordic pole walking clubs around Europe and it is taking hold in Canada and the US. Some of the benefits of Nordic Pole Walking are:
- you incorporate up to 90% of body muscles and only about 40-70% while walking without poles
- you increase your heart rate on average 10-15% more than normal walking
- up to 46% higher calorie expenditure (you can burn up to 450 calories per hour, much more than normal walking, which only burns approximately 280)
- there is reduced stress on your hips and knees through the support of the poles
- you improve your posture and balance
- upper body activity using the poles improves upper body mobility
- upper body activity using the poles reduces upper back, neck and shoulder pains
- it is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels
Inspiration To Try Something NewAfter this demonstration, I bought a set of poles, which were relatively inexpensive when compared to other fitness equipment costs or membership fees. I also liked the fact that they were retractable so that they could travel easily in their case. It took a couple of days to get feeling comfortable with how to walk without looking at your feet and poles, but now it is a second nature and you actually feel taller when walking, as they force you into a proper posture. After a couple of days, I took on the challenge of incorporating my high energy border collie into my walks. I had to retrain her as she didn’t typically walk in a straight line, but with a body harness she now walks directly in front and between the poles (most of the time).
Women’s Health And Corporate WellnessThe company who brought in the pole walkers to demonstrate how easy it was, did a great job of promoting this as a fitness activity for their employees, who covered a wide range of ages. I liked how the participants were fitted with the poles and walked around the building laughing at themselves and chatting with each other. They talked about forming walking clubs to make it a social activity during their lunch hour. And as an added benefit, the poles, though extremely affordable on their own, could also be claimed against their fitness credits for reimbursement.
One of the opportunities that companies have is to support women’s specific health and fitness challenges and goals.Click to tweet
Contact Beverly about hosting a women’s health and wellness workshop for your team. Learn strategies to encourage a calm, health and happy working environment!Beverly Can Help… Stress Smarts For Leaders
- understand and identify health issues and risks in your team
- develop an understanding and strategies for supporting your team