Advertisement

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 108, Issue 6, pp 1141–1151 | Cite as

Physiological and perceptual responses to Nordic walking in obese middle-aged women in comparison with the normal walk

  • H. Figard-FabreEmail author
  • N. Fabre
  • A. Leonardi
  • F. Schena
Original Article

Abstract

This study aimed to compare physiological and perceptual responses to Nordic walking (NW) in obese women to those of walking (W), and to assess if these responses were modified by a learning period of NW technique. Eleven middle-aged obese women completed exercise trials (5 min each) at 4 km/h, inclinations of −5, 0 and +5%, with and without poles. Ventilation \( \left( {\mathop V\limits^{.}}_{\text{E} } \right), \) oxygen consumption \((\dot{V}_{{{\text{O}}_{{\text{2}}}}})\) energy cost (EC), heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and cycle length were measured before and after a 4-week learning period (12 sessions). \({\mathop V\limits^{.}}_{\text{E} } ,\dot{V}_{{{\text{O}}_{{\text{2}}}}} , \) EC, HR and cycle length were significantly higher (P < 0.001) during NW trials than W trials. RPE was significantly diminished (pole × inclination interaction, P = 0.031) when using NW poles compared to W uphill. Significant pole × inclination interactions were observed for \(\dot{V}_{{{\text{O}}_{{\text{2}}}}} \) (P = 0.022) and EC (P = 0.022), whereas significant pole × time interaction was found for EC (P = 0.043) and RPE (P = 0.039). Our results confirmed that use of NW poles increased physiological responses at a given speed but decreased RPE in comparison with W during inclined level. Moreover, this is the first study showing that a learning period of NW technique permitted to enhance the difference between EC with NW poles versus the W condition and to decrease the RPE when using NW poles. Thus, although it requires a specific learning of the technique, the NW might be considered like an attractive physical activity with an important public health application.

Keywords

Obesity Walking Poles Energy cost Technique 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge Tiina Arrankoski and Tuomo Kettunen, two international NW coaches of the INWA, for their practical advice during the elaboration of the NW lessons; Dr Franco M. Impellizzeri for providing helpful comments on the statistical part of this article; Rina Culora for the linguistic revision of the manuscript; and the subjects who volunteered to participate in this investigation.

References

  1. Baatile J, Langbein WE, Weaver F, Maloney C, Jost MB (2000) Effect of exercise on perceived quality of life of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. J Rehabil Res Dev 37:529–534PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bautista-Castano I, Molina-Cabrillana J, Montoya-Alonso JA, Serra-Majem L (2004) Variables predictive of adherence to diet and physical activity recommendations in the treatment of obesity and overweight, in a group of Spanish subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 28:697–705CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Billat VL, Lepretre PM, Heugas AM, Koralsztein JP (2004) Energetics of middle-distance running performances in male and female junior using track measurements. Jpn J Physiol 54:125–135CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Borg G (1970) Perceived exertion as an indicator of somatic stress. Scand J Rehabil Med 2:92–98PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Church TS, Earnest CP, Morss GM (2002) Field testing of physiological responses associated with Nordic walking. Res Q Exerc Sport 73:296–300PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Coggon D, Reading I, Croft P, McLaren M, Barrett D, Cooper C (2001) Knee osteoarthritis and obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 25:622–627CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Collins EG, Langbein WE, Orebaugh C, Bammert C, Hanson K, Reda D, Edwards LC, Littooy FN (2005) Cardiovascular training effect associated with polestriding exercise in patients with peripheral arterial disease. J Cardiovasc Nurs 20:177–185CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Durnin JV, Womersley J (1974) Body fat assessed from total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness: measurements on 481 men and women aged from 16 to 72 years. Br J Nutr 32:77–97CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Hansen L, Henriksen M, Larsen P, Alkjaer T (2008) Nordic walking does not reduce the loading of the knee joint. Scand J Med Sci Sports 18:436–441PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hue O, Simoneau M, Marcotte J, Berrigan F, Dore J, Marceau P, Marceau S, Tremblay A, Teasdale N (2007) Body weight is a strong predictor of postural stability. Gait Posture 26:32–38CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. INWA Nordic Walking Portal (2009) http://inwa-nordicwalking.com/. Accessed 1 Sept 2009
  12. Jacobson BH, Caldwell B, Kulling FA (1997) Comparison of hiking stick use on lateral stability while balancing with and without a load. Percept Mot Skills 85:347–350CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Jacobson BH, Wright T, Dugan B (2000) Load carriage energy expenditure with and without hiking poles during inclined walking. Int J Sports Med 21:356–359CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Knight CA, Caldwell GE (2000) Muscular and metabolic costs of uphill backpacking: are hiking poles beneficial? Med Sci Sports Exerc 32:2093–2101CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Kukkonen-Harjula K, Hiilloskorpi H, Manttari A, Pasanen M, Parkkari J, Suni J, Fogelholm M, Laukkanen R (2007) Self-guided brisk walking training with or without poles: a randomized-controlled trial in middle-aged women. Scand J Med Sci Sports 17:316–323PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Malatesta D, Vismara L, Menegoni F, Galli M, Romei M, Capodaglio P (2009) Mechanical external work and recovery at preferred walking speed in obese subjects. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41:426–434PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Mattsson E, Larsson UE, Rossner S (1997) Is walking for exercise too exhausting for obese women? Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 21:380–386CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Morss GM, Church TS, Earnest CP, Jordan AN (2001) Field test comparing the metabolic cost of normal walking versus Nordic walking. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33:S23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Owens SG, al-Ahmed A, Moffatt RJ (1989) Physiological effects of walking and running with hand-held weights. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 29:384–387PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Perrey S, Fabre N (2008) Exertion during uphill, level and downhill walking with and without hiking poles. J Sports Sci Med 7:32–38Google Scholar
  21. Porcari JP, Ebbeling CB, Ward A, Freedson PS, Rippe JM (1989) Walking for exercise testing and training. Sports Med 8:189–200CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Porcari JP, Hendrickson TL, Walter PR, Terry L, Walsko G (1997) The physiological responses to walking with and without Power Poles on treadmill exercise. Res Q Exerc Sport 68:161–166PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Rodgers CD, VanHeest JL, Schachter CL (1995) Energy expenditure during submaximal walking with Exerstriders. Med Sci Sports Exerc 27:607–611PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Samson MM, Crowe A, de Vreede PL, Dessens JA, Duursma SA, Verhaar HJ (2001) Differences in gait parameters at a preferred walking speed in healthy subjects due to age, height and body weight. Aging (Milano) 13:16–21Google Scholar
  25. Saunders MJ, Hipp GR, Wenos DL, Deaton ML (2008) Trekking poles increase physiological responses to hiking without increased perceived exertion. J Strength Cond Res 22:1468–1474PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Sprod LK, Drum SN, Bentz AT, Carter SD, Schneider CM (2005) The effects of walking poles on shoulder function in breast cancer survivors. Integr Cancer Ther 4:287–293CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Stief F, Kleindienst FI, Wiemeyer J, Wedel F, Campe S, Krabbe B (2008) Inverse dynamic analysis of the lower extremities during Nordic walking, walking, and running. J Appl Biomech 24:351–359PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Strombeck BE, Theander E, Jacobsson LT (2007) Effects of exercise on aerobic capacity and fatigue in women with primary Sjogren’s syndrome. Rheumatology (Oxford) 46:868–871CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Suija K, Pechter U, Kalda R, Tahepold H, Maaroos J, Maaroos HI (2009) Physical activity of depressed patients and their motivation to exercise: Nordic walking in family practice. Int J Rehabil Res 32:132–138CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. van Eijkeren FJ, Reijmers RS, Kleinveld MJ, Minten A, Bruggen JP, Bloem BR (2008) Nordic walking improves mobility in Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord 23:2239–2243CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Willson J, Torry MR, Decker MJ, Kernozek T, Steadman JR (2001) Effects of walking poles on lower extremity gait mechanics. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33:142–147CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Figard-Fabre
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. Fabre
    • 1
  • A. Leonardi
    • 1
  • F. Schena
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.CeBiSM, Center of Bioengineering and Motor ScienceUniversity of TrentoRovereto (TN)Italy
  2. 2.Faculty of Exercise and Sport ScienceUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly

Personalised recommendations