Unless you take preventative action, walking ability declines with age and disuse and this can start a cascade of health problems. Walking promotes healthy aging. Here is how Walking Poles can help:
It Is a Better Aerobic Exercise
Walking uses your legs. Walking with poles gets the upper body involved. The more muscles involved the greater the caloric expenditure. Walking with poles shifts you from mildly intense to moderately intense exercise. Now get this; it does so without an increase in perceived exertion. You get a better workout without feeling more pain!
Reduce Joint Pain
Using poles gets the arms swinging, encourages more upright walking, and more heel-to-toe walking. Walking is more natural and efficient. It “undoes” some of the negative changes in gait that often happen with aging. Regaining a normal gait can reduce the negative health consequences of less efficient gaits.
Walking with poles reduces the impact of ground forces on the knees and hips. This is especially true when walking on uneven ground or downhill. Reduce pounding on the joints means less wear and tear on the joint. This is good preventive action since older joints are more subject to injury. This is especially good for people who are overweight or those with osteoarthritis.
Natural and efficient walking improves coordination and stability around the joints during walk. Muscles get stronger and reduce the shock to the joints. Better coordination enables a faster pace of walking with less effort. This means a better workout with less wear and tear on the joints.
Okay, walking with poles doesn’t directly improve the biological mechanisms involved in balance. They do give people more stability and greater confidence. The confidence to handle challenging terrains does stimulate and strengthen balance.
Helps People with Arthritis
Walking with arthritis of the knee or hips can cause pain and inflammation. Not Avoiding walking can lead to the inability to walk. Walking is good for arthritic joints; it keeps them in a higher functional state. Walking poles makes this possible.
Helps Overweight People Walk More
No wonder overweight or obese people avoid walking. First, it increases the pounding on the joints. For every extra pound of body weight, the joint forces increase by a factor of 6. Walking with poles helps.
Second, extra pounds can lead to walking with a wider stance and a less fluid gait. Walking with poles helps with the stride.
Walking with poles sets-up a nice progressive cycle. Poles enable more walking leading to greater strength and fitness. More walking helps with weight loss.
Buying Walking Poles
Skip the big box stores and online discount sites. Buy from a quality outdoor retailer who can help select the right model, help you fit the poles and give you tips on getting started.