One is four women reports being really stressed out. Work, finances and personal pressures take their toll on our mental and physical well-being. One recent study found that keeping the house clean and tidy (39 per cent) topped the list of self-imposed pressures for women. Followed by spending quality time as a family (27 per cent) and completing DIY jobs (21 per cent).
As 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 that we play leaves very little time 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 few months 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.
I 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
After 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).
The 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 their employee’s health and fitness challenges and goals.Click to tweet
This company values its employees and looked for an opportunity to reach out at a larger meeting and present information that they thought would continue to promote health and wellness within their group.
What is something new that you can present to your teams?
How can you continue to reach out and support your teams’ health and fitness goals?
Do you need someone to work with your leaders on developing a supportive culture?
If so, Beverly Can Provide This Training. Please feel free to call and discuss the details at: 705-786-0437
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