If you've ever been to a walking spot such as a mountain, area of countryside or forest, you will most likely have seen a group of walkers striding proudly along the path armed with their exercise walking poles.
Traditionally, this type of pole has always been for the purposes of making walking easier rather than explicitly for exercise. However, now that there are ones known as exercise walking poles, many people are using them purely for exercise and fitness, rather than reserving them for a trip to the great outdoors.
It's not uncommon nowadays to see a couple walking briskly down the street, armed with their exercise walking poles, in an urban environment.
It makes sense when you think about it. These poles were always designed to aid walking, so why keep them for single purpose uses? Think how many times we walk locally, and it's easy to find a much wider use for them. Keeping fit can be a lot less hassle with exercise walking poles.
They are not only pointed-tipped poles anymore either. A "spiked" pole might work fine on soft ground or sand, but you can't exactly use one of these on concrete, stone or other surfaces. Cue the rubber tipped poles from Exerstrider and other manufacturers of exercise walking poles.
It has been known for sometime that brisk walking, or speed walking, has many beneficial effects compared with regular walking. People who have bad knees, are heavily overweight, or have other reasons to be restricted from jogging for fitness can choose speed walking as a replacement. The heart rate still gets raised, calories still get burned, and fitness still gets increased.
It just makes sense then that something that aids speed walking should be welcomed.
As well as aiding normal walking, exercise walking poles also add their own dynamic to your routine. They exercise the arms, the shoulders and the upper back muscles by making your body go through a range of motions that you would otherwise not perform if your arms were swinging by your side.
These additional arm movements also add a level of intensity to your workout, which means you are going to be burning more calories.
Of course, lets not forget the original purpose of walking poles, added balance and stability. Great for walking on uneven ground, or for those in their later years, walking poles have stopped many a stumble from turning into a fall.
The main benefit I feel from them though, is taking some of the burden off my lower back when carrying something heavy. I do not have great posture either, so having a pole to keep my posture great and reduce the workload of my back means that I can complete a long walk without spending the next day wondering if I will ever stand up straight again.
Using a pole has long been a mainstay of the walking circuit, but more and more people are turning to exercise walking poles for everyday exercises and taking them along on any walk they might perform. They can get the most out of any walk, no matter whether it is long or short, and in a modern world where opportunities to exercise are often less, that is sometimes the difference.
For more information about exercise walking poles, check out Keenfit. I'm sure you'll love it!