Many Canberrans enjoy leisurely strolls around the many lakes and parks to keep fit during social distancing.
However, Kristen Pratt, a qualified occupational therapist and founder of Capital Nordic Walking says walking is not enough.
She wants to see more people embrace Nordic Walking, and dispel common misconceptions about the exercise.
"Nordic walking is not just walking with sticks," Ms Pratt said.
"A lot of people think it's the same as hiking or that you have to use the poles because you can't walk."
Much like a cross training machine at the gym, Nordic Walking is based on the motions of cross country skiing.
Nordic walkers use poles to help move their body forward while walking.
This exercise can done on any kind of terrain from footpaths, to grass, to snow.
"When you are walking normally, or running or cycling, you're actually only using your leg muscles only using 40 per cent of your body,"
"When you are Nordic walking properly the poles become an extension of your arms."
"They enable you to harness the power of your whole upper body and start propelling you along."
Pratt says this makes you use more muscle groups in the body.
"You are using your back muscles, your core, your arms and shoulders to push you along as well," she said.
"Because you are using more muscles it's easier to get your heart rate up and use more calories"
Pratt says that beyond these benefits, Nordic walking is an accessible exercise that can provide support to older people and people with disabilities.
"It's the same principle as crutches. As you are walking along on poles you take up to 10 kilos of load off your ankles, knees, hips, lower back."
"A lot of people people with joint pain can walk a whole lot more easily with the poles with a lot less pain."
"[Nordic walking] can be for elite athletes doing cross training and cross country skiing."
"[It also can be for] people with really significant health challenges like Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis or arthritis where they require the assistance of the poles for balance."
Kristen Pratt says that knowing good technique and using the right sized poles is key to an effective Nordic walking workout.
While there is a very slim risk of injury, incorrectly sized poles can cause mild strain to the shoulders.
Pratt recommends being fitted for the poles before buying.
"Nordic walking is a lot more technical than people realise," she said.
Capital Nordic Walking usually teaches a group of about three students per group over three one hour sessions.
During COVID-19 it is running one-on-one sessions.
- To find out more about Nordic walking visit capitalnordicwalking.com.au.