The objective of this study was to clarify the effectiveness of exercise on functional fitness for 2 different styles of Nordic walking (NW). Twenty-five community-dwelling middle-aged and elderly women (mean age: 61.8 ± 6.5 years) volunteered for the study. The subjects were divided into a diagonal-style NW (DIA) group (n = 13) who walked by pressing the poles against the ground diagonally backwards, and a defensive-style NW (DEF) group (n = 12) who used the poles pointing forward as if using assistive canes. In both groups, the exercise intervention consisted of supervised NW for 60 min/day, twice a week for 9 weeks. Subjects were encouraged to engage in non-supervised NW in their neighborhood in addition to the supervised sessions. They were then required to record the frequency and duration of such exercise in their record books. No significant difference was noted in recorded heart rate, %heart rate reserve (%HRR) and the number of steps (DIA group: 121 ± 8 bpm, 58.2 ± 2.8%HRR, 7,671 ± 408 steps and DEF group: 124 ± 13 bpm, 61.6 ± 9.2%HRR, 7,405 ± 269 steps) between the 2 supervised NW groups. There was also no significant difference in the frequency and duration of nonsupervised NW between the 2 groups. Exercise effectiveness was evaluated using functional fitness tests at preand post-intervention levels. Among various functional fitness tests, there was significant group effect in the chair stand (CS). Moreover, in terms of time, there were significant differences in the arm curl (AC), CS, sit & reach (SR), back scratch (BS), up & go (UG), and TW tests. The interaction was significant in the CS and UG tests. Following the intervention, the improvement in lower limb muscle strength index (CS) was greater in the DEF group than in the DIA group; the dynamic balance and agility indices (UG) were greater in the DIA group. Many of the measured variables showed a similar level of improvement while performing short-term NW. However, a significant difference in improvement was noted in some variables, and this is an issue that will require further study.