JUN 23, 2022 9:00 AM PDT

Nordic Walking Improves Life for Heart Disease Patients

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

A new study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology has shown that Nordic walking improves the functional capacity of coronary heart disease patients compared to other types of training.

Nordic walking is a popular form of exercise that incorporates Nordic poles into walking to burn more calories and create a full-body exercise experience. It is one of several forms of exercise, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate-to-vigorous intensity continuous training (MICT), that have been shown to improve symptoms in heart disease patients. In this study, patients with coronary artery disease were randomized into a 12-week exercise program of either Nordic walking, HITT, or MICT. Then, they were observed for a 14-week period following the exercise programs. Measurements were taken at the start of the study, at week 12, and at week 26. These measurements included a test of functional capacity, a quality-of-life assessment, and an assessment of depression severity.

In all three groups, functional capacity, quality of life, and depression symptoms significantly improved between the beginning of the study and the end of the study at week 26. However, the Nordic walking group saw greater benefits than the other two groups with a larger increase in functional capacity. This was the first study to compare the sustained effects of exercise programs that can easily be incorporated into daily life.

Exercise is essential for achieving and maintaining heart health, and it is especially important for patients with coronary artery disease. Nordic walking is an accessible option for most people, and the addition of Nordic poles to regular walking can increase calories burned, improve posture and balance, and engage upper body muscles.

Sources: Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Harvard Health, Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
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