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Active Living for Seniors and Nordic Walking

Healthcare professionals working with older adults are routinely prescribing walking, as part of rehabilitation and overall health and wellness programs. There are over 100 research studies identifying health benefits of adding specialized poles to any walking routine. Due to the improved balance, posture, reduce impact off painful joints and improved mood and confidence health, this accessible and affordable activity, urban poling, and especially the use of Urban Poling‘s unique ACTIVATOR™ poles, has become a popular choice for persons requiring help with stability and balance, as well as for older or perhaps less active adults. The ACTIVATOR™ poles are the only ones like it available on the market which have been co-designed by an occupational therapist for maximum safety, comfort and effectiveness, as well as reducing the factors related to falls.Dr. Agnes Coutinho

Research Benefits

Evidence based research relating to older adults clearly identify poling, with the proper training, as a healthy activity suited for improving quality of life. Proven benefits include:

  • Increase balance & stability
  • Increase in mobility
  • Improve posture
  • Reduce impact off lower extremity joints
  • Improve gait speed
  • Improve strength (poling can engage up to 90% of your muscles)
  • Increase confidence

Short-term and long-term effects of Nordic Walking training on balance, functional mobility, muscle strength and aerobic endurance among Hungarian community-living older people: a feasibility study. Balance, functional mobility and aerobic endurance significantly improved in the Nordic walking group.  This study showed that Nordic Walking is a simple, well–tolerated and effective physical activity for older people in Hungary.1

Effect Of Walking Poles On Dynamic Gait Stability on the Elderly. Texas Women’s University study, which concluded that walking poles provided increased gait stability at both preferred and fast speed.2

Effects of Nordic walking compared to conventional walking and band-based resistance exercise on fitness in older adults. While all modes of exercise improved various components of fitness, Nordic walking provided the best well-rounded benefits by improving upper-body strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. Therefore, Nordic walking is recommended as an effective and efficient mode of concurrent exercise to improve overall functional fitness in older adults.3

The effects of pole walking on health in adults: A systematic Review. The effects of pole walking (PW) on cardiorespiratory fitness were most extensively studied. The most frequently examined psychosocial measure was quality of life. All studies reported at least one beneficial effect of PW compared with the control group. The results of this systematic review indicate that PW  programs have some beneficial effects on both physical and psychosocial health in adults with and without clinical conditions.4


Diana Oliver is a dynamic business professional with a extensive background in marketing, sales and fitness. She has a passion for promoting the many health benefits of Urban Poling, which stems from her personal experience. Diana combined Urban Poling with other positive lifestyle choices to regain a healthy weight and improve her cardiovascular health following two strenuous pregnancies. Her positive recovery has instilled a drive to help change the face of health care in Canada.  In 2012, she became a certified urban poling instructor and taught classes in her own Pilates business.  In 2014, became a partner in Urban Poling Inc.

References

(1) Viraq et al., 2014

(2) Kwon, Silver, Ryu, Yoon, Newton & Shim, 2006 (unpublished)

(3) Takeshima et al., 2013

(4) Fritschi et al., 2012.

The information in this article is not intended to replace existing rehabilitation programs. The testimonials are those of independent therapists and are not a guarantee of results. The consumer should not rely solely on this publication but should also consult their physician or therapist. Urban Poling Inc. and its employees and representatives do not accept any liability for the information contained in this publication or any damages.

MFN Contributing Author