Nordic walking improves quality of life and relieves depression - healing practice

What makes Nordic walking so healthy

Nordic walking improves so-called functional capacity, quality of life and depressive symptoms. When done correctly, Nordic walking not only stimulates upper body muscles and burns energy, but it is also associated with improved heart rate.

A study involving experts from the University of Ottawa examined the effects of high-intensity interval training, continuous moderate-to-intense intensity training, and Nordic walking over a 12-week period. The results were published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

Participants assigned to three training programs

The researchers first randomly assigned 130 people with coronary heart disease to one of three different programs. These included high-intensity interval training (HIIT), moderate-to-high intensity continuous training (MICT), and Nordic walking (NW). The programs each lasted a period of twelve weeks.

Using a so-called 6-minute walk test (6MWT), the participants' functional capacity was determined at the start of the study. This happened again at 12 and 26 weeks. It was followed by a 14-week medical observation phase. A total of 86 participants completed the study in week 26.

In addition, quality of life and severity of depression were determined by the team using various methods. The effects of the training programs were evaluated using linear repeated measures mixed models.

Nordic Walking part with strongest upgrades

The team saw significant improvements in distance walked during the study's 6-minute walk test. Improvements were also related to symptoms of depression and quality of life. Improvements in distance covered in six minutes with Nordic walking were greater than with HIIT or MICT.

In summary, the researchers reported that 12 weeks of HIIT, MICT, and Nordic walking all had positive and lasting effects on functional ability, quality of life, and symptoms of depression. Nordic walking has been observed to provide additional benefits by increasing functional capacity.

The noted beneficial effects of the 12-week training programs lasted through week 26, the team adds.

Regular physical activity is good for body and mind

In general, regular exercise and physical activity have a variety of health benefits. This is also confirmed by experts from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

According to the RKI, regular physical activity improves general well-being and physical, mental and social health. Furthermore, it also improves the cardiovascular system and increases the development of the musculoskeletal system.

Additionally, regular physical activity can also prevent the development of obesity, back pain, cardiovascular disease, and even some forms of cancer, according to the RKI. (as)

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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Tasuku Terada, Lisa M. Cotie, Heather Tulloch, Matheus Mistura, Sol Vidal-Almela, et al. : Sustained effects of different exercise modalities on physical and mental health in patients with coronary artery disease: a randomized clinical trial; in: Canadian Journal of Cardiology (published, CJC Rober Koch Institute: Physical Activity (as of August 17, 2020), RKI

Important Note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.