Urban Poling – the “take anywhere” workout

July 12, 2016 | By Madeline Camire-Cameron

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Wondering how you’ll stay active and fit on vacation this summer? Just add poles!

Whether you’re discovering a bustling city, trekking through a national park, or hiking a coastal trail, exploring with a set of our poles in hand will extend your stamina and ensure you get a great workout along the way.

Urban poling, also known as Nordic walking, has been popular in Europe for decades, and is quickly gaining ground as a do-anywhere workout in North America. “It’s all about turning walking into a full-body workout,” says FITPRO Ambassador, Catherine Cameron, noting that it’s an ideal activity for people of all ages and fitness levels. Nordic walking works over 90% of the muscles in your body—think cross-country skiing without the snow.

Nordic walking offers innumerable health benefits that include:

  • Heart health: Nordic walking provides a 25% increase in cardiovascular activity over regular walking. Your body has to work harder to pump blood and oxygen when using poles, and as a result, your heart and lungs get stronger and healthier.
  • Burning more calories: With this full body workout, your muscle tone will increase, which will increase your resting metabolism. You can burn up to 46% more calories just by adding poles.
  • Better posture: Take advantage of your vacation and the time away from your desk. Every mile you Nordic walk, your abdominal muscles contract approximately 1800 times, strengthening your core and promoting better posture.
  • Increased walking speed: Nordic walking builds muscle and improves core strength and stability which can translate into a brisker pace. Click here for a terrific Nordic Walking program.
  • Improve mood: Exercise enables your brain to produce more endorphins, enhancing your overall health and decreasing stress. Sport and exercise psychologist, J. Kip Matthews, Ph.D., explains, “The less active we become, the more challenged we are when dealing with stress.”
  • Improve confidence: Those who exercise regularly typically report higher levels of self-esteem and confidence.

Challenge yourself and your traveling companions to workout with poles in as many destinations as possible – and be sure to share your pics with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

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Madeline Camire-Cameron

Madeline Camire-Cameron

A compelling writer, a social media whiz, and with an eye for design, Maddie is the recipient of a university scholarship based on her academic achievement and is studying journalism while working part-time with Urban Poling and part-time in a Toronto law office. Her eventual goal is law school! She’s also an avid runner, has taught jazz and hip-hop to children, and loves to travel.
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Going downhill

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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