Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Right Brain / Left Brain Effect in Nordic Walking

My thanks to reader Susan Tenney for this interesting letter. Please contribute your thoughts and ideas via the comments button at the end of the article….Editor

"Nordic Walking seems to me to be a really good way to keep the body and mind stimulated in a balanced and co-ordinated manner. It reminds me of watching my son learn to cross crawl by using the opposite leg and hand combination. The child apparently stimulates the brain in such a way that balances the left and right brain and encourages optimal intellectual, creative and emotional development.

Of course our adult brains are not the same as a child’s brain but I cannot help but think that the right brain / left brain effect would be equally beneficial for grown-ups. I recently spoke about this to a chiropractor who is a long term XC skier. He chatted about the difference he sees between the XC skiers who use the old traditional (cross crawl) skiing technique and the XC skiers who uses the newer (skating) style technique.

The old way of doing XC skiing is to use the same basic (cross crawl) co-ordinated moves as Nordic Walking eg opposite leg / arm. The newer and apparently faster ‘skating’ style technique involves none of this ‘opposite pairs’ movement. The skier does a skating movement on the skis and pushes off with both poles at once. The chiropractor says that regardless of fitness level, the bodies of the XC skiers who use the ‘skating’ style technique’ do not have the natural balance and co-ordination of the old style XC skiers who use the cross crawl (as per Nordic Walking)technique".

Susan Tenney
Grass Valley, California, USA and Bern, Switzerland

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