Where are the Hills?

So before re-posting fitness articles I like to see if I can verify the data and see if the headline holds up to scrutiny. Many of them seem to over-promise and under-deliver when you review the actual information or article, but we like catchy headlines, don’t we?

The Cooper Institute study on Nordic Walking has indicated approximately 20% increase calorie burn when using Nordic Walking poles in comparison with regular walking. This study abstract indicates the activity was performed on a flat track.

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has published a study indicating up to 67% increase in energy expenditure! Although this study indicates that this was a “vigorous technique” and also involved hills.

How many calories do I really burn while Nordic Walking?

So, I typically state “20-40% more than regular walking” when I give my presentations, in part because the majority of my organized walks are on flat surfaces and the majority of my walkers are in a more moderate range of intensity. It is also difficult to gauge an individual participants level of effort in the upper body “push” phase just by observation.

A good way to measure your level of effort is using the Talk-Test Method: 

The talk test is a simple way to measure relative intensity. In general, if you’re doing moderate-intensity activity you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. If you’re doing vigorous-intensity activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

I’d love to do more of the challenging, hilly walks, but where do I find hills to really kick this up a notch?

In the Chicago and North Shore area, where do you find hills?

backlit hill
 photo: Lauren Coleman

 

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