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Walking with Poles
Photo: Alexander Rochau
If walking is your exercise of choice, here’s a way to make your exercise more vigorous and varied—walking with poles.

Nordic walking is like cross-country skiing. You maintain a basic marching rhythm: swinging your right foot forward as you plant the pole with the left arm then your left foot swings forward and the right arm plants its pole. How will it benefit you?
  • Burns about 40 percent more calories, according to researchers at the Cooper Institute in Dallas.
  • Raises the heart rate more than simple walking, yet volunteers perceived it as a less strenuous workout.
  • Provides upper-body exercise; strengthening back and shoulder muscles, torso, and arms, and helps build upper-body bone density.
  • Allows you to walk faster, but puts less stress on knees and reduces impact on legs.
Any sporting-good store carrying hiking equipment should have poles. Most come with a basic instruction booklet.

UC Berkeley Wellness Letter

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, May/June 2008. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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