Nordic walking is becoming more and more popular in Kharkiv with the opportunities for the activity being developed.
These sultry summer days in forest zones and parks of Kharkiv one may often meet groups of people walking with special poles.
The experts say the Nordic walking devotees’ ranks have increased considerably recently. According to the 31-year-old psychologist and coach Natalia Kolesnik, currently, there are hundreds of members at Nordic walking clubs and more than ten certified coaches in Kharkiv, where several years ago people did not even hear about the activity. Kolesnik fell for this practice last year, studied German technique at Kyiv’s school this year and got the certificate in Izium in July.
The popularity of the sports in Kharkiv might be explained by many factors, says Natalia Kolesnik. First of all, she notes that the number of places, which are good and comfortable for fitness walking is growing. There are many suitable shady paths in Sarzhyn Yar, in Aleksiivka and Horky parks, near the rivers and in the gardens, where people get fit during this August scorcher.
Also, the sport is quite affordable as the cost of gear is moderate, about $10 to $15, and it would serve for a year of exercises. It does not require special vigor or physical abilities and is good for both active relaxation and fitness training. The beginner can walk two-three km daily for pleasure and the athletes easily make more than ten km per hour twice a week for endurance training.
Nordic walkers take part in professional competitions: in April and May of 2017 Kharkiv walkers joined the city marathons.
However, the biggest advantage of the sport is a promotion of healthy lifestyle and letting people stay active. This practice prevents some diseases and even helps rehabilitate after a heart attack or a stroke as it makes blood vessels stronger and stimulates muscles. Also, Natalia Kolesnik highlights the anti-stress efficiency of the practice.
“I think the best thing in Nordic walking is that it fights stress and depression by changing your walking habits and ’emotional stereotypes.’ Also walking in green and quiet forests is really healing,” says the coach.
Note: Nordic walking is a health-promoting physical activity performed with specially designed walking poles similar to ski poles. First, it was formally defined in 1979. The first poles specially designed and marketed to fitness walkers were produced in the USA in 1988.
Text: Olena Sokolynska
Photo: Natalia Kolesnik