Monday, February 11, 2008

Walk with Sticks?

In my research on exercise for the elderly, I came accross an article on Nordic Walking. The walking technique was developed in Finland ( hence Nordic) in the 1900's as training for cross country skiers. Walkers use poles to push off with each stride, and used properly, this walking gives a whole body workout. The poles help take weight off the weight-bearing joints and increase stability which is great for any age!

Nordic Walking is becoming more popular with seniors in the United States and poles can be purchased on line or at sporting goods stores everywhere. If you are talented enough to make your own poles, make sure the height is correct for your legs and stride, and be certain to install rubber tips that will grip any surface. Wrist straps can be made of velcro and you are good to go!

I'm going to see about a pair of sticks for me and my mother. I'll let you know how that goes.

1 comment:

ClaireWalter said...

No matter how handy a person is, making one's own Nordic Walking poles is probably a bad idea. Quality poles are precision made of sturdy aluminum or carbonfiber that won't bend or break when pressured. They have metal tips for use on unpaved surfaces, well-fitting rubber caps that go over them for use on pavement and special supportive straps. Buy them, don't try to make them.

I would also draw your attention to Exerstrider's Activator Medisport Edition, which utilizes the same type of "snap button/hole length adjustment" mechanism commonly used on canes and walkers. Physical therapists are familiar with it, and people with limited hand strength can manage it too. Other features familiar to Exerstrider users are the strapless/safety ergonomic grips (the only strapless poles on the market, as far as I know) and boot-shaped Cushiongrip rubber caps (plus an optional bell-shaped balance tip for people with balance issues). See for details.

Claire &