A walking stick or better known as a walking pole, can be used for health, protection, balance, safety, resting, or just plain “looking good” to everyone that sees you! So many interesting and unique benefits come from this simple “invention” of the use of a stick, or pole.
To answer the question of “What is a walking stick”, can be just a wee bit tricky. As noted above, it’s uses are quite diverse. However, most people choose a good walking stick, a.k.a. walking pole, for health reasons.
Benefits Of Using A Walking Pole
A brief summary of some benefits of this simple device are:
Anyone can use it. Regardless of your age or fitness, you can benefit for it’s usage.
Knotted muscles show up in the upper back, neck and even in many shoulder areas often caused from stress at home or at work.
When using the walking pole the correct way (and yes, there is a right and wrong way to use a properly constructed walking pole) it reduces the stress on the upper body.
The proper use of walking sticks/poles will actually improve your upper body mobility. More muscle will be used and therefore give a person a more erect posture. Slumping or round shoulders will be a thing of the past.
Mentally, many people do not like the word “exercise” or “workout” because it comes across as difficult. On the other hand, when using walking poles, it is perceived by most, as a more moderate exercise, even though you are using 90% of your entire body muscles!
Balance is a challenge for many that are getting up in years. Walking while using poles, can help to maintain balance. Especially is this true when walking on uneven surfaces such as an off road hiking trail.
Aches and pains in our lower extremities can be greatly reduced. Hips, knees, and ankles all take a tremendous amount of stress if we’ve not had a regular routine of walking. Walking poles can relieve much of it by giving us the much appreciated support.
Want to trim down? Just by using walking sticks/poles, which uses more upper body movements, can burn some 40 to 48% more calories than just walking without them.
Building up your wind, or cardiovascular, is another side benefit of walking with poles.
And, once more, remember that while using walking sticks/poles, we are using about 90% of all our body muscles. When we compare it to the 40% or less muscles that are used when not using walking poles, we begin to feel more fit almost “overnight.”
What About Surgery?
As a person ages, many times our joints begins to break down. Often times requiring a hip, knee or ankle replacement. The use of walking poles can once more, give us that needed extra support so we can get things moving again.
In fact, because of the many benefits of walking poles and it’s popularity, many large hospitals encourage the use of walking poles. Medical associations likewise, agree with many major hospitals in this regard also.
Seniors especially gain benefits from walking pole use.
For Those With Diabetes, OverWeight, High Blood Pressure
If we find ourselves suffering from any of the above, that is, high blood pressure, excess weight gain or diabetes, then take note of a few more benefits of using walking poles.
Many times our own personal physician will recommend different types of “exercises” for us. If you find yourself in that category, then the use of walking poles is “just what the doctor ordered” especially because of it’s low impact, and it’s many cardiovascular health benefits.
Why not try it and see for yourself?
You’ll almost immediately begin to note that with the use of walking poles, you have just transformed your entire body into a ‘walking machine’ by giving it a whole body workout.
A Word Of Caution
Keep in mind also, that if you’ve not used poles to walk with, do so only under the direction of your physician. If he or she agrees, then work into it gradually. Many times new ones will over due it the first time or two…begin to feel sore…and then just quit.
Feeling sore is a natural thing. Those muscles that have not been used are going to try and tell you to… “stop! It hurts!” So the only way to get them to stop hurting, is to gradually work into a regular pole walking routine. Soon they will begins to respond with “wow, I feel great! let’s keep doing this” or something similar.
You’ll know when that times arrives. 🙂
A Sense Of Overall Wellness And Well Being
Being a low-impact type of exercise, it promotes not only fitness and health but also an overall feeling of well being. Wouldn’t you agree that the time has come to really “get the juices flowing” again?
It has been proven that pole walking is deemed a catalyst to the promotion of rehabilitation along with much improved physical activities. Not only that, but it’s great fun!
Comparisons To Other Forms Of Exercise
Many thousands, if not, 10’s of thousands of people worldwide, enjoy jogging, running, bicycle riding or swimming for exercise. All of which work well.
But what exactly are the benefits as compared to pole walking? Am I building muscle? Am I burning calories? All excellent questions that need to be answered.
Let’s start first with calories being burned.
Using a stationary bicycle, we burn about 200 calories per hour. A quick paced walk is around 240 calories per hour. Jogging is a wee bit more at 280 calories per hour. Swimming, which has also been deemed and overall body exercise, burns around 330 calories per hour. A fast paced aerobics class can burn up to 440 calories per hour, which in itself, can be exhausting.
Pole walking which gives us a 90% total body workout, burns between a whopping 600 to 900 calories per hour!
So, not only are we burning more calories and using 90% whole-body muscles, but we also get to see beautiful new scenery, fresh air and enjoy conversations with friends that walk with us.
Thinking back on what we just covered, if we are even remotely considering a low-impact type of exercise, then why wait any longer? Why not look into pole walking? You may be pleasantly surprised with how many are actually doing this in your area.
Which ‘Stick’ Or ‘Pole’ Should I Use?
To answer the above will take more than just a name of a walking pole company. However, the Nordic Walking Pole has pretty much dominated the scene.
They are the company that actually made it popular around the globe. So to give them the only credit would be very easy to do but quite unfair to all the other great companies with walking poles.
But what should we know and how do we choose the correct one for us?
Written by : Tom McDaniel Share this site