April is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month – Learn the Benefits of the ACTIVATOR program!

April 15, 2015 | By Nadia

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As this is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month we wanted to share with everyone the many benefits that the Urban Poling ACTIVATOR program offers.  Health professionals are recommending the ACTIVATOR™ poles for Parkinson’s clients as research studies clearly show walking with poles is an effective, safe and enjoyable physical activity*. Physical activity, such as walking with poles, can improve motor skills, balance and gait quality, as well as protect and enhance brain function**. Clients with Parkinson’s and participants of Parkinson’s-specialized programs agree, and report that, using the ACTIVATOR™ poles promotes greater independence and improves quality of life. Our ACTIVATOR poles have even helped our customers achieve the SuperWalk.

I was steered to use the Activators by my Parkinson’s physiotherapist and I am very pleased that she did. My gait has improved and I have reduced my time to complete my walks by some 30-50%, so now I am focusing on going greater distance. My therapist has remarked that I am no longer shuffling.
– Keith

Research Benefits

Evidence based studies on Parkinson’s clearly identify poling, with the proper training, as a healthy mode of physical activity suited for improving quality of life. Walking poles offer proven beneficial effects on general key heath parameters, including:

  • Increased balance & stability
  • Improved posture
  • Increase in core strength
  • Increase in walking tolerance
  • Increases independence in activities
  • Increased confidence
  • Decreased stress, anxiety and depression

References: *Nordic walking improves mobility in Parkinson’s disease (van Eijkeren et al 2008)
Impact of physical exercise on reaction time in patients with Parkinson’s disease-data from the Berlin BIG Study. (Ebersbach et al 2014)
**PubMed published research relating to Nordic walking and Parkinson’s

Please watch this video to see the benefits for yourself!

 Also, take the time to visit Active Living with Parkinson’s for more information.

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Nadia

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Going downhill

For moderately steep slopes, simply decrease the pressure on the base of the handles or drag your poles behind you. For steep slopes, keep your poles upright and in front and out to the side slightly, so if you do fall you won’t land on your poles. Bend your knees and elbows, and slow down any momentum. For long descents, it may be helpful to lengthen the poles.
Barb Gormley, Director of Education

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