10 Reasons to Love Urban Poling
April 1, 2015 | By Nadia
Curious about the walking pole workout? Urban poling (also known as Nordic walking)—think cross-country skiing without the skis—has toning, calorie-burning and posture benefits that have made it popular in Europe for decades and a new workout favourite in Canada. Just grab your poles and go—no need for a pricey spandex outfit or a fancy gym membership! Here are 10 more reasons to try urban poling.
- It whittles your waist—Your abs tighten each time you push off with your poles. That’s the equivalent of 1,000 abdominal contractions every kilometre or 1,800 each mile!
- Your knees and hips will thank you—The poles let you offload weight from your hips and knees into your upper body. You can walk further, faster or even pain-free.
- It revs up the calorie burning—Research proves it over and over again: urban poling burns up to 46% more calories than standard walking. Wow!
- It sculpts your arms and shoulders—Urban poling uses 90 percent of your muscles—especially those underused upper body muscles. Hello short sleeves!
- It helps balance your blood sugar—The full-body urban poling workout helps keep blood sugars in a healthy range.
- You’ll straighten up and feel more confident—Your upper back muscles (the ones that pull your shoulders back) tighten each time you plant your poles and press down on the ergonomic handles.
- It’s a fun social workout—Invite your friends, your parents & your kids to enjoy all the health benefits with you.
- It’s an amazing stress buster—The smooth rhythmic action provides a distraction from everyday concerns and lifts your mood.
- You can adjust the intensity—Urban poling is an energizing activity that can be enjoyed by people of any age and athletic ability. Just press on the ergonomic handles with more or less intensity to modify your pace.
- It’s a great running alternative—Hit the trails or your neighbourhood sidewalks on your own or with a gang of friends. Urban poling offers the same year-round fresh-air experience as running—but without jarring and jostling your joints.
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