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Best Bets Daily: Monday

Walk Like a Scandinavian

Posted January 24, 2005
If you're already so over the 20-minute wait for the elliptical trainer at the gym, take your workout outside. Even if you're not a runner, you can get an (almost) equally rigorous workout with a popular Finnish activity called Nordic walking, a combination of fast walking and cross-country skiing. Unlike most fitness trends, the equipment required is super-compact and relatively inexpensive—all you need are these Swix Nordic Walking Poles from L.L. Bean and a pair of sneakers. Just stick your hands in the attached demi-gloves, then start walking, moving the poles in sync with your legs (a skill it takes about two minutes to master). You can do Nordic walking on any terrain and in any weather. The genius part: you'll burn 40 percent more calories than with regular walking, but your perceived exertion rate (how hard you think you're exercising) stays the same.

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