Why so many runners love their poles too!
January 19, 2016 | By Urban Poling
Over the past several years we’ve noticed an exciting trend: an increasing number of runners are embracing Nordic Walking (aka Urban Poling) as a means of cross training and staying fit – particularly over the winter months where ice and snow can make running unwieldy and challenging. For many running enthusiasts, especially those reluctant to move indoors and who wish to maintain an outdoor exercise routine, picking up a pair of poles and striding with confidence in all weather and conditions, makes great sense.
As you will see from the bios of our current UP Ambassadors, many are avid runners but also make time to enjoy poling as another form of active fun. http://urbanpoling.com/our-poling-ambassadors/ Many among our Urban Polers, who enjoy running, tell us they appreciate “UP” because it burns more calories than regular walking, challenges and engages more muscles in the body than walking without poles (core included), and provides a full body workout on par with swimming or cross country skiing.
A terrific article recently featured in Prevention Magazine compares the benefits of Running with Walking, noting similar caloric burn. “The great news: Walking and running had roughly the same effect on health when the same NUMBER of calories were burned. And not surprisingly, the more people ran or walked each week, the more their health benefits increased”. The key here is the statement around similar caloric burn as we are not comparing running to a leisurely stroll, but to a brisk walk in which one finds themselves slightly short of breath. Read full article.
Many of our clients were avid runners in the past but reached a point where their knees could no longer sustain the impact of running. Choosing to Nordic Walk has enabled many former runners to remain active, to burn more calories than with regular walking, and to maintain optimal levels of fitness. As Cheryl, an avid runner who was forced to retire from it but took up Urban Poling, said : “After four months of walking three or four times a week in all kinds of weather, I’ve lost almost 10 pounds, my arms are more toned, and I feel re-energized. I still miss running, and probably always will, but I no longer consider walking a wimpy substitute. With poles in hand, I feel pumped in a way I don’t without them”. See Canadian Living article: An introduction to urban poling.
So runners – what are you waiting for? Winter is here and it’s here to stay, but with your poles you can continue to enjoy all the beauty of the great outdoors while keeping up your fitness routine and best of all, having a little fun at the same time! For more info on setting yourself up for Winter Walking check out our 10 Essentials for Winter Walking Series: Scroll down for the section called: Keep on Urban Poling Year Round.
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