With gyms closed, or slowly reopening because of COVID-19, many are rediscovering the great outdoors, especially if your able to walk somewhere that isn’t crowded. Mask on or mask off, walking outdoors can also be a great stress reliever. This also might be the perfect time to add walking poles to your routine. In this picture, I am seen in Mongolia next to a glacier. I went there to explore one of their national parks. It was also a celebration trip with my girlfriend as we had both recently completed a master’s degree program. Because of several trails with steep drops and loose rock, walking poles were highly encouraged by the trip organizer. Most everyone that joined this trip brought theirs along.
However, are they “all that?” Simple answer is YES.
According to the Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/walking-poles/faq-20057943), walking poles, also known as trekking or hiking poles, have multiple benefits.
Here is what I’ve found true for me:
- They are a great upper body work out, especially for women. Swinging your arms intensifies the “burn” in your workout and helps you burn more calories while gripping the pole and pushing off with each step.
- My poles keep me balanced and stable. There have been many times on the trail, especially if I have a backpack on, where I’ve become a bit wobbly. The poles secured my steps and gave me proper posture.
- Walking poles also distribute your forward momentum. If you have an achy lower back or knees, these help with the potential strain.
- They could even improve your awareness of nature. Instead of always looking down, you’re mostly likely looking up and ahead.
If you are new to the idea, most outdoor or sporting goods stores can walk you through your options and price ranges.
Now, go out and #explore and happy #trekking