One of the best ones is cross-country skiing and I would be perfectly happy to do it nearly all of the time. Unfortunately, at least here in northern Virginia we at best get enough snow to ski just a few days out of the year. With the advent of global warming the situation in that regard seems to be getting steadily worse, rather than better.
I have done quite a bit of hiking, running, cycling and for a great upper body workout, also kayaking.
The problem with all of the above – although they are all fantastic activities – is the fact that the first three can provide a great lower body exercise and the last a super upper body workout, but neither is able to exercise up to 90 percent of the body’s muscles, the way that cross-country skiing and Nordic walking do.
I have seen quite a few women runners, walkers and hikers, who are genetically blessed by having great, shapely legs, without a doubt maintained and enhanced by exercise.
Unfortunately, particularly after a certain age they often also show a certain – how should I say it?- lack of definition in the upper body, specifically in the area of the upper arms.
This is kind of sad in view of their great and very attractive lower body fitness. Flabby, overly thick upper arms should belong only on people, who are overweight and sedentary, not on someone, who regularly runs, hikes, or walks.
The solution of course is grabbing some weights, or heading for the gym, or…taking up Nordic walking.
Personally, I much prefer going outside and breathing fresh air while I exercise, to working out in a stuffy gym.
Also, you should realize that while Nordic walking for just one hour, you cycle your arms, abs, chest, back, butt and legs anywhere from 5,000, to 7,000 times, depending on your cadence.
Try doing 6,000 reps with even a relatively light 10-pound dumbell! No way, Jose!
If you are looking for a toned and fit body, rather than a bulked-up one, this kind of repetition is just the ticket. While performing such a high number of reps with weights, or exercise machines is practically impossible, Nordic walking for an hour is actually relatively easy, often very pleasant, painless and very, very effective.