Could Hiking Poles Help You?
The sun is shining and the birds are chirping down here in South Carolina. It feels like a
great time to get outside and soak up some vitamin D while filling your lungs with fresh air. How can you get the most out of your time outside while being safe and confident you’ll be able to navigate any uneven terrain? Have you tried hiking poles? Contrary to popular belief hiking poles are not a “crutch” and they’re not just for hiking. The use of hiking poles can actually increase your aerobic output as well as increase arm swing in both arms which we know is something we need to focus on when living with Parkinson’s Disease. One study reported an increase in HR 18% and increase in energy expenditure 22% while the perceived rate of exertion reported by participants was about the same as regular walking. So in summary, you get more out of your walk without feeling like you did more…sounds pretty good to me. Increased stability is just an added benefit of hiking poles. By increasing your points of contact and holding your poles slightly wider than your feet you increase your base of support and therefore your overall stability. Another great thing about hiking poles is their convenience; most poles are collapsable and can easily be tucked into your car or bag. They also have a wrist strap to allow for easy use of your hands when needed as well as providing an ergonomic benefit to improve your downward force on the poles without wearing on arthritic or tired hands.
Hiking poles can be found at most outdoor stores and have suggested sizes based on your height. If you are unsure if hiking poles will benefit you or if you’re using them correctly (ie. fit and technique) schedule a FREE Discovery Visit here at Dedicated Therapy and we’ll size them up and let you know if hiking poles are the best tool for you.
Now go get outside!