Benefits of Walking poles

 

  1. Benefits of using Walking and Trekking Poles
  2. Who could benefit from using trekking and walking poles?

 

1) Benefits of using Walking and Trekking Poles

The three main reasons for using trekking poles are that they offer Support and Stability, Reduced Effort and Propulsion.

Support and Stability: Walking with poles offers a permanent handrail providing extra support and balance particularly on uneven ground, steep ground or for those who need extra confidence, particularly at the end of a long days hiking. Once you get used to using poles you are much more secure on all rough terrain and they are great on snowy winter walks, although not to be used in place of an ice axe!

Reduced Effort: Using trekking poles help reduce effort to keep you going longer and scientific evidence indicates the reduction of impact on knee and hip joints. Using poles can reduce the stress placed on joints, ligaments and muscles. Walking with poles can spread the burden of weight carried and they can also benefit your posture while walking, improving breathing and reducing the feel of the effort, or ‘perceived exertion’. If you develop a good technique when using your poles, bringing the shoulder joint into play rather than just the elbows, this helps to reduce the impact on the elbows and spreads the load to bigger muscle groups; this in turn reduces your perception of how hard you are working so you can get on with enjoying your walk.

Propulsion: Using the poles to ‘push off’ from the ground as you move is a technique used to  increase your forward motion. This is used increasingly by fell runners, adventure racers and of course in Nordic Walking which mimics the action of cross-country skiers, bringing very nearly all of the body’s muscles into play, and delivering an extremely effective workout.

 

2) Who could benefit from using walking or trekking poles?

People who could benefit from the use of trekking poles include those who…

  • hike regularly for fitness and enjoyment;
  • walk distance on challenging terrain;
  • do hilly walks with a steep ascents/decent;
  • carry heavy backpacks;
  • have ankle, knee or hip problems;
  • want the confidence of a hand rail;
  • want to develop upper body strength;
  • want to use their whole body to move faster when walking or running

Its not an exhaustive list, tell us how using poles has benefited you?