Finding the Perfect Stride: Nordic Walking and Jogging After 60

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My scenic jogging route, surrounded by rice paddies


This serene trail is where I indulge in Nordic walking. I used to jog here, too but switched my route after my knee took a hit.

They say that jogging on a paved road is kinder to the knees due to its even surface. I can vouch for this, as my knees have been faring well since I made the switch. But, a new hurdle has emerged – calf cramps! They sneak up on me out of nowhere.

I never faced this issue last year. Could it be the sprints I enthusiastically embraced earlier this year?

I am Getting Hooked on Sprinting

To steer clear of calf cramps, I’ve now mixed things up by including jog-walk intervals in my exercise routine. I jog for a stretch and switch to walking when my legs demand a break. I sometimes throw in backward jogging or walking to engage different muscle groups. Word has it, moving in reverse is like a shield for the knees.

I must say, these jog-walk intervals are a blessing. As long as I don’t dawdle during the walking phase, my heart rate stays comfortably in zone 2. Plus, it’s gentler on my legs.

However, there’s a catch. I can’t use poles, which means I can’t keep as upright as when I’m Nordic walking.

As both routines have their merits, I alternate between them. One week might see me swap between jogging and Nordic walking, while the next week might be dedicated to jog-walk intervals.

Here’s the takeaway: Age is not just a number when it comes to fitness. It’s vital to be mindful of injuries as we age. Tailoring fitness regimens to suit different age groups, especially for those over 60, is crucial.

I recall being enamored by zone 2 training last year. The golden number was 180 – completing 180 minutes per week by jogging for 45 minutes over four days. I attempted it, and it was doable, yet, it was no piece of cake. On the other hand, Nordic walking for 45 minutes, even five days a week, was like a breeze and didn’t leave me battered.

This makes me ponder – how many of my fellow over-60s can realistically take on the 180-minute challenge?

It’s mostly the young guns advocating this regimen. I’d be curious to see if they can keep pace with it when they cross the big 6-0.

Stay active, but don’t forget to listen to your body and adapt accordingly! 🏃‍♂️🚶‍♂️

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