Globe and Mail
June 20, 2011 | By Nadia
Take Walking Up a Notch
The activity exploded across Europe in the 1990s and has grown to the point where today more than 20 per cent of Finns and about 10-15 million Germans regularly pole walk.
“I’ve never been an athlete,” says Ms. Keene, who lives in Toronto and heads out pole walking five or six times a week. “I’ve always enjoyed walking but now, using the poles, I really get a workout. I’m in good shape. My doctor is impressed.”
Dr. Schwanbeck has been a pole walking advocate for more than 25 years. Aside from pole walking being a form of exercise ideal for people of any age, Dr. Schwanbeck says it also has medical benefits.
Anyone who suffers from diabetes, who’s overweight or has high blood pressure and has been encouraged by their physician to exercise, improves at much faster rates pole walking than by simple walking, says Dr. Schwanbeck.
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Use the standard rhythm and technique, but swing both arms forward at the same time planting the boot tips slightly behind the handles. Then, keeping your arms straight, press down on the base of the handles, walk between your poles and feel your arms extend past your thighs and behind your body.
–Barb Gormley, Director of Education