Urban poling provides a full body workout that burns additional calories, increases your heart rate and oxygen consumption more than you would achieve by simply walking. Yet, you don’t feel as though you’re working any harder. In essence, you burn on average about 20 per cent more calories, work extra muscles and gain greater aerobic benefits. Some individuals burn as much as 46 per cent more calories than in regular walking but their perceived rate of exertion is still about the same. That means far greater results and far more benefits, with no extra effort! You simply exercise smarter to enjoy the many health and fitness benefits from this method of exercise. With urban poling, you are working your legs; you are experiencing a full range of motion that engages the abs, arms, shoulders, upper chest and back muscles. In terms of core strengthening, studies show 1,800 abdominal contractions per mile. The average person takes approximately 1,800 steps for every mile they walk. That is 900 steps with the right foot and 900 steps with the left foot. Add to that 900 times that you pole with your right arm and 900 times that you pole with your left arm. So for every mile you walk, you will be activating your right and left triceps muscles.
Urban poling, also called nordic walking, fitness walking, pole walking, or exerstriding was pioneered by Tom Rutlin in Wisconsin in 1985. Tom launched the first commercially available fitness walking poles called ‘Exerstriders’ in 1988. In the period 1994 – 1997, Marko Kantaneva developed his own creation in Finland and called it pole walking. It was developed as a summer training method for the Finnish cross-country skiing and winter biathlon teams. It has since spread from Finland to the rest of Europe and is now in North America making it a major fitness trend. In many European countries doctors have begun to prescribe Nordic walking courses for certain patients, and in Germany the health benefits are believed so great that health insurance pays for people to invest in Nordic walking instruction. Today, more than 10 million people fitness walk with specially designed poles as a regular form of exercise worldwide.
By simply using specially designed poles to involve the arms, which activates the upper body, walkers achieve a total body workout. The poles provide additional stability and help reduce stress in the knees and other joints. Bone density can be increased through this sort of resistance training, and posture also improves through use of the proper technique and arm motion. Urban poling may prove beneficial in a broad range of conditions, including arthritis, cardiac syndromes, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, obesity, osteoporosis, repetitive stress injury, depression and mood disorders.
Urban poling can be done by just about anybody, anytime, anywhere, from professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts to the elderly, the young, and families, regardless of fitness levels. Urban poling is a smart physical activity that combines fun and convenience. It is excellent for those who seek variety in their athletic training program and those that want to lose weight. Pole walking is particularly well suited for people who can no longer take the steady pounding of running or jogging or who have difficulty reaching their training heart rate by walking.
Urban poling can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol, and help to relieve back, shoulder and neck pain. After only a few weeks you will notice the difference. Urban poling will provide you with more relaxed muscles, and put you in better shape through combined cardio and strength training.