Calorie consumption& nordic walking: what you should know

Calorie consumption & Nordic walking: what you should know

Very many people do sports primarily to lose weight. For this reason, they often choose a certain sport not because of the fun factor, but use the calorie consumption as the ultimate yardstick. It is not uncommon for them to come across the sport of Nordic Walking during their research. Maybe you are also one of these people and that’s why you have landed here?

In this article I will show you why you burn relatively many calories with Nordic Walking, how to calculate and increase your consumption, and why I still don’t think much of calorie counting in sports.

1. Fact: The calorie consumption of Nordic Walking is high

Two pairs of Nordic Walking poles waiting to be used

Image source: Juris Kraulis/

In terms of calorie consumption, Nordic Walking has a great advantage over many other sports. By using the Nordic Walking poles about 90 percent of the muscles of your body are set in motion. More muscle movement basically also means a higher energy metabolism.

Of course, the intensity of the movement also plays an important role. If you only walk with your poles, you will inevitably burn fewer calories than someone who walks briskly. Needless to say, the length of the session and proper technique also play a role in caloric expenditure.

2. How to calculate the calories burned while Nordic Walking

I’ll be honest: I don’t think much of calorie calculators. Use 100 calorie calculators and you will get 100 different results with the same data.

But if you only use the calculator to get a rough guideline, you can of course do that. A calorie calculator that seems quite solid to me is for example the one from Fitrechner.

2.1 Example: calories burned after 1 hour of Nordic walking

Let’s take an example of a 35-year-old man who is 1.80 meters tall and weighs 80 kilograms. According to the above calorie calculator, this man consumes a total of 475 calories, if he does Nordic Walking for 1 hour.

By the way, a woman of the same age, who is 1.70 meters tall and weighs 65 kilograms would 372 calories consume.

2.2 Alternative to the calculator: Fitness tracker

Fitness trackers also offer useful statistics for Nordic Walking

Image source: Dragon Images/

Modern fitness trackers allow a relatively accurate and individual measurement of your calorie consumption. It doesn’t matter if you are doing sports or just sitting in the office.

The fitness tracker measures every movement, every heartbeat and stores this data for later analysis. It is especially important that the fitness tracker can measure the heart rate of the wearer.

The combination of the following data allows you to draw fairly accurate conclusions about your actual calorie consumption:

  • Age
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Number of steps
  • Heart rate

Alternatively, you can of course use a high-quality heart rate monitor in combination with a chest strap to measure your heart rate. Here, the wearing comfort leaves much to be desired, but you really only wear such accessories during sports. And not permanently – as it is the case with fitness trackers.

3. How to increase calorie consumption

How to increase your calorie consumption during Nordic Walking

As I have already shown you, Nordic Walking is basically a sport that allows you to burn a lot of calories per time. However, I would like to show you a few more adjusting screws that you can use to increase your consumption even more:

  • Speed
    It is only logical from a physical point of view: The faster you walk, the more energy you consume.
  • Longer tours
    Of course, you can also stick to your speed and walk longer instead.
  • Exercise more often
    More frequent Nordic walking tours are also a possibility.
  • Walking uphill
    Hilly routes, where you often run uphill and downhill, also increase calorie consumption.
  • Build muscles
    The bigger your muscles are, the more calories you burn – even if you don’t move at the moment. In addition to Nordic Walking, I recommend weight training for muscle building.
  • Weights
    I personally don’t think much of it, however some athletes swear by weight cuffs or weight vests. If you weigh more, you will of course burn more calories during exercise.

But be careful: All the above mentioned adjustments can become a boomerang. Make sure that you still enjoy your workout (and that you perform the technique correctly). Otherwise it can happen quickly that you no longer have the energy to continue. Then the calorie consumption would be zero.

4. My opinion: Calorie consumption is overrated

Fun is a greater motivator than calorie consumption in Nordic Walking

Image source: Robert Kneschke/

Let’s be honest: Actually, the calorie consumption does not play such a big role in sports. The most important thing is that you get out into the fresh air and get a good workout.

I can understand lovers of tables and statistics. It can be an extremely satisfying feeling to keep a record of calories burned while exercising. Especially if you want to lose weight.

You should always keep in mind that the calorie consumption can never be determined completely exactly. Consequently, such statistics are always only approximate values.

4.1 What is much more important: Enjoyment of the exercise

Fact: You will stop doing a sport very quickly if you don’t enjoy it. At least if you don’t have the discipline of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The pure calorie consumption in the long run is not a sufficient motivating factor.

In my opinion, it is therefore most important that you have fun with the respective sport.

5. Conclusion: Calorie consumption during Nordic Walking

The calorie consumption for Nordic Walking is high and can be increased even more with some tricks. However, the fun factor should always be more important to you than the calorie consumption in order to stick to it for a long time.

My name is Thomas and I have been practicing Nordic Walking for more than 5 years. You have questions or want to give criticism or feedback? Just contact me via the contact form.

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