VIDEO: Three myths about Nordic walking
June 2, 2016 | By Lisa Workman
Are you hesitant to walk with a set of poles? Fear not. It might all come down to the
stories you are telling yourself about what walking with poles is all about. Let’s uncover
three common stories, or shall we say myths about Nordic walking.
Myth #1: Walking with poles is for older adults, people with mobility issues and/or
The history of Nordic walking stems from athletes! Cross country skiers were transfixed
on being able to use poles while training during summer months. Their answer – add
poles to walking and running. This allowed them to continue to use the upper body while
the snow was gone. People from all demographics, even children, benefit from using
poles while walking. There is neither an age restriction nor reason why someone isn’t
suitable to walk with poles. Urban Poling offers a variety of types of poles that fit
different needs. So no excuse to try!
Myth #2: You must be walking on rugged terrain or hiking to use poles.
The beauty of using Nordic walking poles, specifically Urban Poles, is that they have a
rubber boot on the tip. This allows you to walk on essentially any surface while still
gaining benefits. If you do run into some rough terrain, the carbide metal tip is perfect to
help plant the pole and propel yourself forward. Poles are not just for the mountains but
for every terrain imaginable!
Myth #3: I’m going to look silly walking with poles.
Recall the time you first saw a cyclist wearing a helmet? Yet, today almost everyone you
see is wearing one while riding a bike. Safety aside, our society shifted in the way we
thought about this type of sporting equipment. Over the ten years Urban Poling has
been in Canada, there are a growing number of people out walking with poles. Join us
by being part of the earlier adopters and pick up a set of Urban Poles! One day walking
with poles will be just as natural looking as cyclists with helmets!
Simply put, we can tell ourselves various stories about Nordic walking. Take a look at
your own assumptions and see if what you are telling yourself is true. We would hate to
be our own worst enemy when it comes to physical activity. Reword your stories by
telling yourself the positive benefits with walking with poles!
Lisa WorkmanM.A., B.P.E., CSEP-CEP, EIMC Level 2, AFLCA Trainer, Urban Poling Instructor. Lisa has been active in the exercise profession for over 15 years as a certified exercise physiologist, fitness centre manager, fitness writer and presenter, and group exercise instructor. She is the creator of The Why I Move Project and whyimove.com. In 2015, Lisa was named Life Fitness’s Global Personal Trainer to Watch Top Ten Finalist and was the sole Canadian representation at the international event. Lisa was the 2012 recipient of the Alberta Certified Exercise Physiologist Recognition Award and the 2010-2011 recipient of the University of Alberta’s Campus Recreation Building Block Award. She sits on the editorial advisory board for the Alberta Centre for Active Living WellSpring publication, the Alberta Centre for Active Living Research Advisory Committee and the Nourish Move Thrive Advisory Group.
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