Walking Poles Ramp Up Your Workout

Walking poles aren’t just for hiking, the elderly or those who need extra help with their balance. Adding walking poles to your daily jaunt is an excellent way to boost your calorie burn, and they may even help prevent chronic pain with aging.

Walking poles, also known as Nordic walking poles or sticks, originated in Scandinavia. Their popularity spread across Europe, and they’ve slowly but steadily made the jump across the Atlantic. Some walkers love them because they offer extra stability. That’s helpful for folks who are walking on uneven terrain or even those on paved paths who need more balance. But many walkers use poles as an easy way to turn their daily jaunts into full-body workouts.

A study by Prevention magazine found that walking poles can increase calorie-burn by an average of 15-20 percent and as much as 50 percent when compared with regular walking.

Walking with poles is a simple and effective exercise because it combines walking with an upper-body workout. Because of this combination, pole walkers benefit from using the chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders and abdominals with the leg muscles. With each step and swing of the pole, you’re doubling your ability to burn calories.

Another key benefit of using walking poles is that they may help to ward off chronic pain. In a study volunteers over the age of 60 with a history of chronic pain in their knees, hips or lower back were asked to try using walking poles for 12 weeks. At the end of the study period, participants experienced remarkable improvements in their pain levels. Even better, they were walking further each day than they had been without the sticks, with no increase in their exertion levels.

Walking poles help you to maintain good posture during your workout and they lessen the strain on joints.

They are low impact by nature, fun to use, and it keeps you outdoors, making it an ideal form of exercise for anyone from out-of-season skiers to those recovering from injuries.