Although I can attest to the benefits of using nature’s original walking poles from a personal hiking experience I had this past summer (as seen in this photo), without a doubt, setting yourself up with the proper equipment that best suits your individual needs will be key to getting the most out of your urban poling experience.
Fortunately, the equipment required for this rewarding activity is quite minimal and need not be complicated. Apart from what most of us would already have on hand to enjoy a routine walk, such as appropriate
- clothing and footwear best suited to your chosen activity and environment,
If you do a quick search for Nordic or urban walking poles and the most optimal experience, the most invaluable information will be found at Urban Poling. Click on the link to see more!
Why Use Equipment?
1. The equipment available has been designed by a Physical Therapist, who’s goal at the core of the healthcare professional team makes including optimizing body mechanics and functional movement a key priority
2. The level of research involved in creating this product’s design, keeps
- and ergonomics in mind to suit a wide variety of populations, making its’ inclusivity very appealing.
4. The equipment is Designed in Canada!
What Urban Pole is Best for ME?
Although at Urban Poling there are several designs to choose from, there are two basic types of poles available based on your specific needs or ability:
- The Activator Poles (including Activator 2) for Rehabilitation, and
- The Urban Poles for Fitness
The Activator Poles are designed to:
- assist with balance,
- increasing safety and confidence which can eliminate some of the fear and
- add to the enjoyment of your walking routine.
- reduce pressure on your back and lower joints and
- transfer it into your upper body,
- allowing you to walk further, faster, or even pain free.
Activator poles are most suitable for use with:
- pre and post hip and knee replacement surgery
- conditions that affect your balance
- rehabilitation programs
- older adults
- before use is necessary,
- if you are already using, or
- if it has been recommended that you use a device for walking.
Guidance by your healthcare professional team is also necessary to determine if, and when the activator poles may be appropriate pre-surgery and post-surgery according to surgical protocols confirmed by your surgeon.
Types of Activator Poles:
Activator Pole specifics:
- For use with clients up to 6 ft/183 cm tall
- 200 lbs./91 kg pressure per pole capacity
- 250 lbs./113 kg maximum user capacity
- No straps, to minimize risk of wrist hyperextension and fall injuries that are commonly experienced with use of general hiking poles and ski poles
- Button lock system for ease of height adjustment and for more secure locking
- Capability to upgrade to urban pole capacity by changing tip from bell (stability=vertical) to boot (mobility=angled) making them highly versatile and cost-effective
- Carbide steel tip for sand, snow, and trail capabilities
- Core shape handle with shelf to off load, increase ease of grip for reduced grip strength and alternate holding patterns for various mobility issues involving the hands
- Indicated for: gait retraining, post-surgery recovery, balance and stability issues related to chronic conditions, walking device vs. fitness tool, clients with limited grip strength, older adults in retirement to LTC
- Designed for the same purpose as the Activator Poles but with increased load capacity
- For use with client up to 6 ft 4 in/195 cm tall
- 250 lbs./113 kg pressure per pole capacity
- 3 section button and flip locking system, making them not only stable, but more compact for convenience for those who travel
- 320 lb max user capacity, making them appropriate for use with weight management
Urban Poles are designed with fitness in mind for those who are looking for a more intense workout over regular walking.
Research indicates that using the urban poles can:
- burn up to 46% more calories and
- assist in toning your core
And like the activator poles, using them:
- takes pressure off your lower joints, including the hips, knees and spine, and
- transfers the force into your upper body, allowing for the use of 90 percent of your muscles at once.
This is especially good for your upper body muscles which are typically underused during regular walking. Although similar to the activator poles, the urban poles are can be used for indoor walking, they are versatile and made for outdoor activities such as hiking, winter walking & snowshoeing.
The key features that set the urban poles apart from the activator poles
- the telescoping vs. button locking mechanism for height adjustment, and
- the increased shock absorption features which make them great for higher impact activities.
And since most of us will be staying put in Saskatchewan this year, let’s get out there and make the most of our beautiful winter!
Need help in deciding whether this activity is right for you or for someone you love? Call us! We would love to help!
~ Elizabeth Stefanyshyn-Alonso, Physiotherapist
Reference: Urban Poling – Activator course for rehab professionals