Urban Poling History & 10 Reasons to Love Us
April 29, 2015 | By Nadia
It’s been an incredible journey. The idea to design and distribute walking poles came from my Swedish neighbour who tooted this as one of the secret of the healthy Sweds! I saw an amazing opportunity to bring a fitness activity to ignite a change in the health and wellness of Canadians that transcended many of the barriers to why people don’t exercise. As well, with my background as OT and the abundance of research on walking poles, I also felt this would be a tool that could revolutionize how therapist facilitate walking and exercise. Like many new businesses, Urban Poling started in a basement of my North Vancouver home with the help of family and friends. While there have been many highs and lows, what really kept us going was the overwhelming support and inspiration from our fitness instructors, pioneering therapists and the correspondence that we received from so many people on how the poles had changed their lives. What I didn’t expect was how deeply I was affected by Urban Poling. The poles have spurred me on, from being a walker to better health through Urban Poling, snowshoeing and hiking to specular places including Pacific Crest Trail and Patagonia as well as being given the opportunity to travel across our fantastic country teaching our training programs. Now in our 10th year, we are incredibly proud to be a 100% Canadian owned by two women, Mandy & Diana. Diana Oliver has been a powerhouse in growing the company to include a Toronto office, over 3,000 certified instructors, 250+ media stories, national retailers with the ACTIVATOR poles being prescribed in most major hospitals across Canada. Thank you for being a key role in our business adventure and we will continue to raise the bar through innovation and design and provide the best poles and training for our customers!
- You’re number one—Pick up the phone or drop us an email. We’re based in Vancouver and Toronto and we’re available to answer all your questions.
- We’re a Canadian company—We were one of the first companies to introduce Nordic walking to Canadians. We’ve built the company from the ground up through word of mouth and by presenting education sessions across the country.
- We stand behind our products— If you’re not satisfied with the quality of any Urban Poling product, return it for a full refund.
- We understand your health and fitness concerns—Urban Poling managing director Mandy Shintani is an occupational therapist, and many of our certified instructors are physiotherapists, occupational therapists and fitness professionals. If you have arthritis, a joint replacement, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, etc., we understand your challenges.
- We’re community minded—We donate our time and poles to worthy organizations, such as the Canadian Diabetes Association, the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association, the Cardiac Health Foundation, SuperWalks, Coldest Night of the Year, World Partnership Walk and Walk of Life.
- Urban Poling-certified instructors are everywhere—You’ll find our 3,000+ enthusiastic instructors across the country, from Victoria to Ottawa to Kensington, P.E.I. and just about everywhere in between.
- We’re innovators—We’re constantly improving our products to make urban poling more fun and effective.
- We walk the talk—Urban poling helped straighten out our managing director Mandy Shintani’s slouchy posture & helped her climb the mountains of Patagonia and played a significant role in managing director Diana Oliver’s post-pregnancy weight loss.
- We care about the environment—We encourage people to get moving with walking instead of driving. We work with organizations such as Canada Walks and Green Communities Canada, and we ship our products with minimal packaging.
- We love what we do—Our products are the result of more than a decade of urban poling workouts and adventures. When we’re not helping customers, you’ll find us poling around the neighbourhood, up Whistler mountain or on the Pacific Crest Trail!
The most important aspect of Nordic walking is to just enjoy yourself. After a while, the technique will become second nature and you will feel confident, efficient, and ready to take on the world!
– Mandy Shintani, OT