[Yang Jong-gu’s health method for the age of 100] “Thanks to Nordic walking, I can easily climb Baekundae in Bukhansan Mountain even at the age of 73.”
For Ms. Nam Moon-sook (73), discovering Nordic walking three years ago was a major turning point in her older life. She had been hiking in the mountains since her early 50s. She liked Bukhansan Mountain, so she moved to nearby Samsong, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, and hiked every day, but her physical condition was not that good.
He said, “Her body ached here and there as she looked after all the children she sent away.” However, thanks to her Nordic walking, which she started by chance, she is now showing off her strong physical strength to the extent of leading women in their 40s and 50s up Bukhansan Mountain.
“Do you call this fate? As I was climbing Bukhansan Mountain, someone spoke to me and asked, ‘Why are you walking so weakly?’ At that time, I explained that Nordic walking will improve your posture and make you healthier, so I said, ‘I understand.’ I said, ‘I will definitely come back’, and then I joined right away and started. But when I think about it now, three years later, I was incredibly lucky to have discovered Nordic walking.”
Mr. Nam’s body was reborn under the guidance of Joo Yeon-seo (51), secretary general of the International Nordic Walking Association, who runs a Nordic walking class on Bukhansan Mountain.
Nordic walking is a walking method inspired by Nordic skiing, and is also called ‘pole walking.’ Nordic skiing, which developed in the Scandinavian countries of Northern Europe where most of the hills and plains are low, is divided into distance races that involve completing a long course across flats and hills, and Nordic walking developed into walking on flats and hills. Because you walk with poles, your posture improves and the amount of exercise doubles because you use the muscles of your entire body.
Mr. Nam attended an hour and a half class every Thursday and went Nordic walking around Mt. Bukhansan almost every day. Soon his back and knee pain disappeared. He said, “When I have work to do, I go to Bukhansan Mountain early or late and do Nordic walking.”
Mr. Nam’s posture became very straight. He said, “The moment he grabs the pole and tries to walk, his chest expands. If he doesn’t push his chest out, he won’t be able to use the pole well. “Because polo puts pressure on the ground, it distributes the weight and relieves the burden on the waist, hips, knees, and ankles.” Mr. Nam also increased his muscle mass.
When you walk, your thighs and calves move, and if you hold the pole and walk while pushing, you will use strength not only from your arm and shoulder muscles, but also from the large muscles of your upper body, such as the pectoralis major, scapulae, lats, and erector spinae. According to Director Joo, Nordic walking uses more than 90% of the muscles in the body, increasing overall muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass maximizes energy consumption, making it good for dieting.
At the hospital, Mr. Nam was told that he had a heart arrhythmia and was told to take various medicines. He said, ‘I can’t do this,’ and started hiking. He chose exercise over medicine. Around that time, he happened to read a book called ‘If you lie down you die, if you walk you live’, which made him go to the mountains.
Since he lived in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, he climbed the nearby Daemosan Mountain. Then, I climbed Bukhansan Mountain toward Gugi-dong and climbed Bibong, Hyangnobong, and Munsubong. He went hiking with 15 classmates from Gyeongbuk Girls’ High School. I climbed Mt. Bukhansan three times a week. After climbing mountains with his friends for nearly 20 years, a big change occurred when Nam fell in love with Nordic walking.