Walking poles are a great addition to a low-intensity exercise routine. Walking poles can help improve posture and balance, reduce joint pain, and improve mood and confidence.
This activity can be extremely beneficial for active seniors, arthritic users, patients with cardiac health concerns, people living with diabetes, Parkinson's disease and more. Learn more about the benefits of walking poles and how they could improve your daily exercise routine.
The History of Walking Poles
Nordic walking is fitness walking with specially designed poles. For decades hikers and backpackers used their one-piece ski poles long before trekking and Nordic walking poles came onto the scene.
Ski racers deprived of snow have always used one-piece ski poles for ski walking and hill bounding. The first poles specially designed and marketed to fitness walkers were produced by Exerstrider of the USA in 1988.
What are Walking Poles?
Nordic walking compared to regular walking involves using full body muscles to force the pole downward with each stride. Therefore, a simple task such as walking can activate multiple muscle groups, including:
- Latissimus dorsi muscle
- Core muscles
This kind of walking increases your heart rate at any given pace and has been estimated to produce 46% increase in energy consumption, over conventional walking. These specialized poles are designed for an efficient walking stride, to be weight bearing on all surfaces and to target core strengthening.
10 Powerful Benefits of Using Walking Poles.
1. Work Out Your Core.
Your abs tighten each time you push off with your poles. That’s the equivalent of 1,000 abdominal contractions every kilometre or 1,800 each mile!
- Promotes good posture, stability and balance
- Increases walking speed and distance
- Promotes increased core strength and functional independence
2. Gentle on the Joints.
Your knees and hips will thank you. The poles let you offload weight from your hips and knees into your upper body. You can walk further, faster or even pain-free.
- Reduces impact on knee & hip joints
- Fall prevention
- Increased gait speed
3. Burn Calories Quickly.
It revs up the calorie burning. Research proves it over and over again: urban poling burns up to 46% more calories than standard walking. Wow!
- Exercises 90% of your muscles & reduces stress on lower joints
- Burns up to 47% more calories over walking without poles
4. Tone the Upper Body.
It sculpts your arms and shoulders. Urban poling uses 90 percent of your muscles—especially those underused upper body muscles. Hello short sleeves!
- Promotes upper extremity mobility and strength
- Increases blood flow throughout the entire body
5. Keep Blood Sugar Balanced.
It helps balance your blood sugar. The full-body urban poling workout helps keep blood sugars in a healthy range.
- Promotes healthy blood glucose management
- Promotes healthy weight loss
- Reduces pain caused by insufficient blood flow during exercise
6. Improve Posture.
You’ll straighten up and feel more confident—Your upper back muscles (the ones that pull your shoulders back) tighten each time you plant your poles and press down on the ergonomic handles.
- Promotes good posture
- Promotes greater walking tolerance
- Increases core strengthening
7. Enjoy a Social Workout.
It’s a fun social workout. Invite your friends, your parents and your kids to enjoy all the health benefits with you.
- Improves self-esteem and overall feeling of well being
- Promotes social interaction
8. Reduce Tension and Stress.
It’s an amazing stress buster. The smooth rhythmic action provides a distraction from everyday concerns and lifts your mood.
- Reduces anxiety, stress and depression
- Helps counteract fatigue and increase energy levels
- Helps with pain management
9. Choose Your Intensity.
You can adjust the intensity. Urban poling is an energizing activity that can be enjoyed by people of any age and athletic ability. Just press on the ergonomic handles with more or less intensity to modify your pace.
- Promotes good posture, stability and balance
- Promotes greater exercise tolerance
- Improves functional independence and confidence
10. Get Outdoors.
It’s a great running alternative. Hit the trails or your neighbourhood sidewalks on your own or with a gang of friends. Urban poling offers the same year-round fresh-air experience as running—but without jarring and jostling your joints.
Explore The Walking Pole Selection
Healthcare Solutions carry a variety of walking poles that are specially designed to enhance your walking workout, increase stability, improve circulation, burn calories, and more.
Urban Poling Activator Series
Health benefits summarized by:
Dr. Agnes Coutinho,
BKin, PhD Endocrinology
- Urban Poling. Health Benefits. Retrieved from: http://urbanpoling.com/health-benefits/
- Urban Poling. Introduction to Urban Poling. Retrieved from: http://urbanpoling.com/intro-to-urban-poling/