Whilst many people look to toning shoes to get better exercise and toning value from walking, there is a purchase which can be made which offers far greater benefits to the body, yet is at a similar cost. Both target walking and offer a better way to get fit, to lose weight, and to tone the body. However whilst the best toning shoes on the market can help to get 10% more calories burnt, and up to 30% more toning to the lower body, walking poles will increase the rate at which calories are burnt by up to 45%, with oxygen consumption increased by up to 25% and the whole body put through the paces, to tone the upper body and lower body in the fastest time frame.
Whilst some people try to hide the fact that they are toning the lower body, with walking poles it is pretty difficult to do so. For those who find an inch of EVA foam under the feet a little too much, walking poles will not be the most attractive option. Also, in contrast to toning shoes, you can't really use them on a night out to get in an extra bit of toning time in, certainly not without attracting attention. However as toning shoes are coming under increasing scrutiny over their toning and weight loss claims, no-one doubts the effectiveness of walking poles to get the pulse racing, the muscles rippling and the lungs working at full capacity.
Walking poles increase the value from exercise by incorporating the upper body more into a walking workout program. When moving the arms and matching the stride with the poles, the body has to work considerably harder. However the extra effort can be turned up or down, depending on how intensely you wish to work out. This makes it perfect for all ages and all walks of life, offering a major boost to fitness, or a more gentle increase whilst stamina and strength is built up. With many people taking up jogging to get fit, Nordic walking offers a similarly intense workout, which is easier on the joints in the knees and ankles, as the poles take some of the strain.
Nordic walking uses specialised poles for walking, which are designed to maximise the efficiency of movement, and get the best benefits. Nordic walking requires a little practice to perfect the technique; however it is easy, and fun to learn. Leki walking poles come with a DVD to demonstrate the technique to get the maximum benefit, and to learn how to walk in the new way in total comfort. Leki walking poles are a high end brand, with many special features and a superior, strong construction. Designed to last for a lifetime, they offer exceptional value for money, and an ergonomic design for maximum comfort. Many of the models feature an adjustable design, to allow the user to get the right length, and to make adjustments for uphill and downhill walking. A quick release strap is easy to adjust and remove with one hand, and custom tips offer the maximum possible traction over the full range of surfaces.
The starting price for Leki walking poles is around $110, and whilst this may seem like quite a large initial outlay, it is comparable to a pair of toning shoes, except the poles will last for a lifestyle and offer much greater benefit and a whole lot more fun.
If you are interested in taking up Nordic walking for fitness, there are many walking clubs around the country which offer the chance to meet new people, socialise, and get an intense weekend workout. All you need is a pair of poles, some comfortable shoes for walking, and you will be on your way to feeling healthier, getting fitter, and looking great.