A Rapid Review on Nordic Walking as a Novel Approach to Rehabilitation- Exercise or Sport?
Correspondence Address :
Dr. Vishnurajeshwar Vardhan,
Meghdoot Apartment, Sawangi (M), Maharashtra, India.
Nordic Walking (NW) is an advanced walking technique that combines walking with the use of poles, to build core as well as upper body conditioning. This review was documented to focus on the literature regarding the use of NW in rehabilitation. A thorough search of articles from databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Pedro, Cinhal, EBSCO) was conducted to identify randomised control trials done on NW. Ten randomised control trials were found and discussed in this review. The trials discussed the efficacy of NW on functional capacity, quality of life, gait patterns, balance strength, weight, ejection fraction, psychological parameters, and blood composition in various populations such as patients with Parkinson’s disease, elderly women, post menopausal women, lung transplants. The results of the study prove that NW can be used as a safe and efficient method of rehabilitating patients.
Aerobic training, Exercise tolerance, Physiotherapy, Power poles
Nordic Walking (NW) is being promoted worldwide by International Nordic Federation; founded in 2000. NW involves walking, using the poles, increases the use of muscles in addition to the speed of walking, both the factors contributing to an increase in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2) and lactate (1). NW involves use of specifically made poles which helps performing aerobic training outdoor. Nordic walking is done with power poles, which are made of light-weight aluminium and weigh around 440 grams a piece (2). The pole’s body is designed to compress when it first makes contact with the ground, then spring back to its original length during the push-off part of the walking stride (3). Furthermore, the body of the poles is designed to adapt to the user’s height. The pole’s tip is composed entirely of rubber and is meant to be shock-absorbing and is non slip. The power poles’ handles are anatomically engineered to accommodate one’s hand (4). Because of the use of the traditional NW poles, it improves the workout intensity of walking. When compared to walking without poles, it increases maximal oxygen consumption and heart rate by 20% on average in healthy people (5).
The most important benefit of NW is that, it takes less time in performing the same amount of conventional walking along with additional resistance training sessions (6). NW improves resting heart rate, blood pressure, exercise capacity, maximal oxygen consumption, and quality of life in patients with diabetes, obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Parkinson’s disease, among other conditions (7).
The aim of this review was to comprehensively describe, examine, and interpret the health advantages of NW generally, taking into account its impacts on functional ability, quality of life, and other health-related parameters.
The review was based on the articles from PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Pedro, Cinhal, and EBSCO. The available literature in English language on NW between 2018 and 2022 was analysed. The key terms used to find the articles were “Nordic Walking poles”, and “Nordic Walking”. Only the randomised control trials were included and systematic reviews and meta-analysis studies were excluded. A total of 52 articles met the criteria, out of which 10 research papers were finalised. Rest of the articles did not apply a proper NW technique and were not used in rehabilitation (Table/Fig 1) (8),(9),(10),(11),(12),(13),(14),(15),(16),(17).
NORDIC WALKING IN REHABILITATION
Nordic walking is being considered as a novel regime or technique in the world of rehabilitation due to its uniqueness and popularity. Studies have been done in the past few years to explore the effectiveness of NW in a wide variety of population involving coronary diseases, Parkinsonism, osteoarthritis. Researchers have been delved into various aspects such as functional capacity, cognitive function, quality of life, gait training, muscle strength etc. into which NW can be proven effective.
Evidences has shown that NW has imposed a positive effect on several aspects which are relevant for human bodily functioning such as heart rate, functional capacity, health-related and overall quality of life in wide variety of populations. The randomised control trials included in this review has compared the potential benefits of NW with that of various training programs on the grounds of responses of the body. The older adults are proven to be benefited excessively, when the studies were analysed, in terms of balance control, flexibility, strength, and movement coordination when compared to no intervention given, owing to the benefit of usage of poles, in turn, more usage of muscle mass (9). Additionally, positive effects has been seen in the mood of the patients, those having possible risks of depression (14). In patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), NW leads to improved patient’s physical and mental health when compared with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Further, enhanced exercise capacity lowers the risk of cardiovascular events (17).
A small number of trials has shown the effectiveness of NW in neurodegenerative disorder such as Parkinson’s disease. Patients are seen to be benefited in terms of quality of gait, control of balance and quality of life (12). Trials on obese younger adults has shown a strong motivational component to lose extra body weight and significantly boost functional and psychological aspects in them (8). NW is widely recognised in the literature as a safe, pragmatic, and easily accessible kind of endurance exercise training that has a variety of positive impacts on both healthy individuals and persons with a variety of disorders. Therefore, NW might be suggested to those who want to enhance their daily physical activity as part of primary or secondary prevention with a comprehensive cardiorespiratory training programme.
Nordic walking is being adapted as a new form of physical activity amongst various population. NW is proven to be an effective and interesting type of aerobic training approach used in rehabilitation. However, most researches are still required in respiratory conditions, related to rehabilitation. The 10 trials, compiled in the review, has shown beneficial effects of NW as a safe, effective, and feasible form of aerobic training in a large number of diseased population and the healthy ones too. However, further trails needs to be done in the population with respiratory conditions and cardiovascular conditions. Additionally, those who want to enhance their physical activity as a component of preventive might use NW as a training program.
Date of Submission: Jun 25, 2022
Date of Peer Review: Aug 10, 2022
Date of Acceptance: Aug 29, 2022
Date of Publishing: Oct 01, 2022
• Financial or Other Competing Interests: None
• Was Ethics Committee Approval obtained for this study? Yes
• Was informed consent obtained from the subjects involved in the study? Yes
• For any images presented appropriate consent has been obtained from the subjects. NA
PLAGIARISM CHECKING METHODS:
• Plagiarism X-checker: Jun 27, 2022
• Manual Googling: Aug 25, 2022
• iThenticate Software: Aug 27, 2022 (5%)
ETYMOLOGY: Author Origin
- Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science, thomsonreuters)
- Index Copernicus ICV 2017: 134.54
- Academic Search Complete Database
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
- Google Scholar
- HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme
- Indian Science Abstracts (ISA)
- Journal seek Database
- Popline (reproductive health literature)