Technology is now part of our daily life. From mobile phones to smartwatches, from “Ok Google” to Alexa, many of our daily actions have been influenced by digitization and the spread of increasingly interactive tools.
Are we really sure we need every tool on the market? Are we able to interpret the data provided by the smartwatch and other tools?
How reliable is the data provided by wearable devices?
Wearable tools perform mathematical calculations to infer the movements we make using a few sensors inside a watch or smartphone. It is clear that the reliability of this data depends on how far we are from the conditions assumed by the designers.
Monitoring Nordic Walking training: what are the most important data?
Those who practice Nordic Walking know what we are talking about. Nordic Walking is a walking technique with specific poles. The handle has a particular shape and has a strap that wraps around the palm of the hand.
The Nordic Walking technique basically is the alternation of upper and lower limbs. The poles follow this alternation, contributing to the upper body workout. The result is a rapid gait, an upright posture and the involvement of 90% of the muscles of the whole body, with a calorie consumption between 30-40% higher than that of walking without poles.
So what are the parameters to monitor to understand if you are training in the correct way?
The Nordic Walking technique requires that the poles actively contribute to the forward propulsion of the body. To do this, they must be used inclined to the ground, so that the thrust is directed in the direction of travel, not upwards.
For this reason, it is very important to monitor the inclination of the pole with respect to the ground during the push, in the exact moment in which they are placed on the ground and in the exact moment in which they are lifted. The analysis of these angles allows us to understand the effectiveness of the technique and, with separate monitoring of arms, also the relative symmetry.
When we walk, we keep a certain pace. Our pace can tell us many things. Even in Nordic Walking, tempo and rhythm have their importance.
For example, the time spent pushing each pole against the ground is a good indicator of upper-body involvement. If the push time approaches half the time required to take a full step with each leg, it means that we are using the upper part of the body correctly; if it is much less than half, it means that we are not using the upper body at all.
The Nordic Walking technique is characterized by the opening and closing of the hand. It is a physiological action because, once the level of the pelvis has been passed, the hand can no longer remain closed, as the wrist joint would not allow it. So, the hand is opened to entrust the final part of the push to the strap connected to the handle.
Therefore, being able to see if we have actually opened the hand during the push provides us with important data on the involvement of the upper body.
Nordic Walking monitoring tools
If, even before finishing reading this article, you started searching on Google for “devices to monitor Nordic Walking training”, you realize that there is only one tool on the market capable of doing it.
The Gabel e-poles is the only digital system in the world for monitoring the Nordic Walking technique. Born from the collaboration with national and international universities and research centers, it is the only tool capable of monitoring the parameters we talked about.
It is also the only one able to provide all these data separately, acquiring them directly from the movement of the left arm and right arm without extrapolating it with mathematical formulas on hypothetical bases.
The e-poles record data relating to angular and temporal parameters of the motor activity performed, as well as a series of evaluation indices. Each result is recorded and can be consulted through the e-poles App for iOS and Android.
About physical parts of digital Nordic Walking poles, we have Snake Carbon tubes, a Multilock adjustment system, a Nordic Dual Cork handle in real cork and two different types of tips.