Active Living with Parkinson’s
Summarized by Dr. Agnes Coutinho MSc PhD
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, may 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. 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.”
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 health parameters which may include:
- Increased balance & stability
- Improved posture
- Increased core strength
- Increased walking tolerance
- Increased independence in activities
- Increased confidence
- Decreased stress, anxiety and depression
*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
“I have noticed an unbelievable change in my Parkinson’s clients – their confidence increases as soon as they have the poles in their hands, they walk taller and straighter and it has been a great tool for gait retraining in terms of increasing their stride and walking tolerance. The best part is that they started smiling during our sessions!”
Jessica Lewgood, Exercise Therapist
Harry McMurtry using ACTIVATOR Poles on his 500 Miles for Parkinson’s.
ACTIVATOR Poles were designed by a Canadian therapist with the following unique features for mobility.
- Ergonomic CoreGrip (patent pending) for weight-bearing and core strengthening
- Strapless to reduce the risk of injury
- Secure button locking system offers greater weight bearing capacity compared to turning lock systems
- Bell shaped tips for stability
- Carbide steel tips for winter walking
- 3 Anti-vibration features minimizing stress on joints.
With any new rehab or exercise program, consult your physician or therapist before use of the Activator Poles. If you currently use a cane, walker or would benefit from a device for walking, you may need additional exercise or rehab for core strengthening and balance prior to use of the Activator poles. This page describes the benefits of Activator poles for Parkinson’s, however, health care professionals should determine the suitability of the Activator poles for clients based on their own assessment results and professional judgement.Buy Now
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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