Well, well. We all know that Nordic working works your arms, legs, waist and butt, but did you know it also exercises your brain?!
Research suggests that the unilateral squeezing of your left and right hand stimulates brain activity in the opposite hemisphere of your brain. This can improve memory, memory recall and creativity.
The participants in the studies were asked to squeeze a ball. With Nordic walking you squeeze and release the pole handle, but the basic principle is the same.
The research complements empirical evidence that Nordic walking can greatly assist people with neurological conditions, such as strokes and Parkinsons disease. More needs to be done to explore the links and benefits in this field.
Of course squeezing and releasing the pole handle has other health benefits. It helps improve circulation – I particularly enjoy the fact that I no longer get numb fingers in winter – and is a great alternative to a stress ball.
So next time you’re out Nordic walking remember (I’m sure you will) the benefits of active hands!