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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2012 December;171(6):675-82

language: English

Walking and Nordic walking. Comparative study

Schaar B. 1, Nonn J. M. 1, Moos-Thiele C. 1, Gruetzner A. 1, Platen P. 2

1 Institute of Health Promotion and Clinical Movement Science, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany;
2 Department of Sports Medicine and Sports Nutrition, Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany


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AIM: The aim of this study was to compare the short-term cardiopulmonary, metabolic and subjective demands of Walking and Nordic Walking.
METHODS: A total of 20 sport students of the German Sport University Cologne (13 male, 7 female; aged 26.30±1.95 years; BMI 22.29±1.60 kg/m²) participated. The tests were conducted on four different days. The subjects performed the UKK test and the 6 Minute test using the Walking and Nordic Walking techniques. The following parameters were measured during each test: distance covered (6 Minute test), time required (UKK test), lactate concentration, spirometric values (VO2, VCO2, RER), heart rate and the rate of perceived exertion (Borg).
RESULTS: The statistical analysis showed higher speeds in the 6 Minute test compared to the UKK test. As a result, a higher degree of cardiopulmonary and metabolic strain could be documented. During the UKK test, the degree of physical strain was more than twice as high as during the 6 Minute test. In both tests, higher speeds could be detected in the Walking technique compared to Nordic Walking. Overall, a moderate cardiopulmonary and metabolic strain could be observed in Walking and Nordic Walking.
CONCLUSION: It can be confirmed that Walking and Nordic Walking belong to the classic endurance sports and are suitable for use in preventive and rehabilitative programs. However an extensive methodological instruction in Nordic Walking should be given in order to make the training effective.

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