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Benefits of Walking Poles

Benefits of Walking Poles (Nordic Walking)

and why everyone wants them

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History

          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 and still do use their 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 is it? 

Nordic walking compared to regular walking involves using almost full body muscles to force the pole down with each stride. Therefore, a simple task such as walking now activates more muscles, including: your chest, latissimus dorsi muscle, triceps, shoulder, abdominals, spinal and other core muscles. This 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. 

Why should I do it?

The "rythm" created by this exercise improves circulation is all parts of the body, as the hands are above the heart and over time heart rates are reduced. Due to the improved posture, balance, reduction of painful joints, improved mood and confidence: this activity can be extremely beneficial for active seniors, arthritic users, patients with cardiac health concerns, people living with diabetes, Parkinsons disease and more. 

Here are 10 more reasons to try urban poling.

  1. It whittles your waist—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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. It sculpts your arms and shoulders—Urban poling uses 90 percent of your muscles—especially those underused upper body muscles. Hello short sleeves!
  5. It helps balance your blood sugar—The full-body urban poling workout helps keep blood sugars in a healthy range.
  6. 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.
  7. It’s a fun social workout—Invite your friends, your parents & your kids to enjoy all the health benefits with you.
  8. It’s an amazing stress buster—The smooth rhythmic action provides a distraction from everyday concerns and lifts your mood.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Source: http://urbanpoling.com/intro-to-urban-poling/

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Health Benefits

For Rehab: Activator Poles

Benefits

Appropriate Exercise with Key Features Designed for Rehab

  • Bell shaped tips for stability
  • Large ergonomic handle with wide base for weight bearing and stability
  • Strapless for injury prevention
  • Secure locking system for greater weight bearing support (200 lbs per pole)
  • Anti-vibration features

Hip & Knee Pre/Post Surgery

  • Reduces impact on knee & hip joints
    Fall prevention
    Increased gait speed

Parkinson’s, MS, ABI, CVA

  • Promotes good posture, stability and balance
  • Increases walking speed and distance
  • Promotes increased core strength and functional independence

Arthritis

  • Reduces impact on knee & hip joints
  • Promotes upper extremity mobility and strength
  • Increases walking speed and distance

Vestibular Conditions

  • Promotes good posture, stability and balance
  • Promotes greater exercise tolerance
  • Improves functional independence and confidence

Post Spinal Stenosis Surgery

  • Promotes good posture
  • Promotes greater walking tolerance
  • Increases core strengthening

Respiratory Conditions

  • Promotes good posture
  • Promotes greater walking tolerance
  • Promotes functional independence

Fibromyalgia

  • Increases ROM
  • Improves walking tolerance
  • Improves quality of life

 

Health benefits summarized by:
Dr. Agnes Coutinho,
BKin, PhD Endocrinology

 

For Fitness: Series 300, Adventure Poles

Excellent Fitness Activity

  • Exercises 90% of your muscles & reduces stress on lower joints
  • Burns up to 47% more calories over walking without poles
  • Works your core muscles: walking, snowshoeing or climbing mountains

Key Features Designed for Fitness

  • Boot shaped tips for speed & increasing cardiovascular workout
  • Large ergonomic handle with wide base for core strengthening & resistance training
  • Strapless for injury prevention
  • Anti-vibration features
  • Secure twist locking system

Healthy Heart

  • Promotes healthy blood cholesterol
  • Promotes lower resting hearth rate and blood pressure
  • Promotes increased peak exercising heart rate

Diabetes

  • Promotes healthy blood glucose management
  • Promotes healthy weight loss
  • Reduces pain caused by insufficient blood flow during exercise

Pre/Postnatal Fitness

  • Promotes blood glucose management (lowers risk of gestational diabetes)
  • Promotes healthy weight management and postnatal weight loss
  • Reduces pain caused by insufficient blood flow during exercise

Injuries

  • Reduces impact off lower extremities muscles
  • Improves posture
  • Promotes a normal walking pattern during recovery

Mental Health

  • Improves self-esteem and overall feeling of well being
  • Promotes social interaction
  • Reduces anxiety, stress and depression

Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

  • Helps counteract fatigue and increase energy levels
  • Helps with pain management
  • Promotes muscular endurance, upper body mobility and strength

Health benefits summarized by:
Dr. Agnes Coutinho,
BKin, PhD Endocrinology

- Source: http://urbanpoling.com/health-benefits/