Walking poles are a great addition to your daily walk or hike. Not only do they increase the number of calories you burn, but they also help improve posture by activating the upper body and core. The mechanism of Nordic walking (walking with poles) encourages reciprocal arm swing as well, which is when you swing each arm in tandem with the opposite leg. This is important for maintaining balance and stability while walking.
How to use walking poles (on flat ground):
When you’re first starting off with walking poles, it’s best to begin on flat ground. Make sure to use the wrist straps to secure the poles to your arms. To properly utilize walking poles, walk upright with your eyes towards the horizon to emphasize breathing and posture. Swing your arms the way you usually would while walking (opposite arm and leg moving in tandem) and let the poles follow your wrist. The angle of the pole to the ground should be about 45 degrees. Grip the poles and use them to push off the ground for a boost. Start slowly to practice and pick up the pace when you feel more comfortable with the motion.
Walking poles can be beneficial for everyone, but especially for seniors, those with arthritis, cardiac health issues, or diabetes.