Active Living with Diabetes

Summarized by Dr. Agnes Coutinho PhD

Regular physical activity helps to regulate blood glucose and increase insulin sensitivity. The more muscles that are used during exercise, the greater will be the benefits. This makes Urban Poling one of the best forms of fitness, as it provides a full body workout and has the potential to burn up to 46% more calories, while providing both cardiovascular and strength training. Research shows that an activity such as urban poling has the potential to slow the progression of type 2 diabetes and even prevent onset.  Urban poling may also be a great option for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as it is a safe mode of exercise which may reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

I have type 2 diabetes, and have found it very difficult to lose weight, and to control my blood sugar levels. Now I am finally having some success. My blood sugar levels are not completely under control, but getting there. I have lost 9 pounds and losing inches in my clothing. Purchasing the Urban Poles is one of the best decisions I have made. I used to really dislike walking, but using the poles have added a whole new dimension and are a very strong motivator”.

Research Benefits

Walking poles offer proven beneficial effects on general key health parameters, including:

  • Supports Healthy Weight Management
  • Reduces Abdominal Obesity
  • Facilitates healthy blood glucose management
  • Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Tschentscher, M. et al. (2013). Health Benefits of Nordic Walking A Systematic Review. Am J Prev Med
Korsten-Reck, U. (2010). Physical activity in pregnancy and in breast-feeding period in obese mothers. Z Geburtshilfe Neonatol.  For more research on general health benefits

For many years I struggled to find time and motivation to become more active. In my 50’s I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and then in my early 60’s I was told I have kidney disease. Despite the 2 diagnosis, I now find myself for the first time enjoying regular physical activity! How? Urban poling! My daughter introduced me to the Activator poles.  Despite problems with balance and other challenges, I have been walking with my husband and feeling confident, happier and stronger. Over the summer we participated in the 5km Toronto Challenge Walk – something I could not have ever imagined

Learn about our walkUp with Diabetes for Community Leaders.



Why Health Professionals recommend Urban Poles


Urban Poles are built for fitness with these unique features:

  • Ergonomic handles developed for core strengthening
  • Strapless for injury prevention
  • Boot shape tips propel you forward to increase your workout
  • 3 Anti-vibration features minimizing stress on joints
  • Spirit Poles – 3% donated to Canadian Diabetes Association & National Aboriginal Diabetes Association
  • ACTIVATOR poles are being prescribed for clients who have balance issues

Please remember any physical activity will affect your blood glucose and may affect your response to medication. If you have diabetes already, please speak to your health care practitioner before starting any new activity.  Consult your physician or therapist before using the poles if you currently use a cane or walker, have any medical condition which affects your balance, stability, grip strength, vision, depth perception, judgement or co-ordination, or if you are currently recovering from injury or surgery.

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Going uphill

Keep your poles more upright and in front of you. Lean forward slightly, and use the poles to help push you up the hill. If necessary, bend your elbows, but remember to transition back to the straight arm technique at the top of the hill
Barb Gormley, Director of Education

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