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 (V E), oxygen consumption (VO2) 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). VE VO2 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 VO2 (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.
- Energy cost
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physiology (medical)