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You decide to head to Europe on that river cruise you've always dreamed up. You’re having a great time until the boat stops for you to get off and go on an excursion. While everyone is just walking along easily you sadly can’t keep up. It makes you feel like you’re holding the group back.
You used to love outdoor activities such as hiking but as you age, your body just doesn't work like it used to. You really don’t want to give up what you love and you shouldn’t have to. With a York Nordic folding walking pole, you’ll be able to get some of your mobility back and keep up with any hiking or walking group with more confidence and stability.
Keep reading to find out how you may benefit from these walking poles and how to use poles the next time you go on an adventurous river excursion.
1. Benefits of Walking Poles
So, we've told you walking poles will give you a little more mobility but how? Here is why you'll be more confident and stable once you start using folding walking poles.
You'll Cover More Terrain
Walking poles provides your body with support when you walk. This support will help you get a balanced feel for the terrain that you're walking on. You'll find that this will allow you to travel a lot longer distances than you normally would because you'll be more balanced and confident using less energy.
While you may not be able to suddenly cover great distances or go twice as far as you normally would, you'll be able to venture a little longer with more confidence before you have to start heading back.
Uneven terrain can be a struggle even if you have a good pair of knees to help you out. If you're not balanced you risk falling and seriously injuring yourself. If you have walking poles however, it cuts down on risk to fall by quite a lot.
Walking poles feel like having "a friend to lean on" when you're walking so you'll be able to tackle this uneven ground even if it's wet and slippery thanks to the sharp tungsten steel tips and rubber walking tips which can be used on flatter terrain.
Take a Little Stress off Your Joints
Walking poles give you a few extra points of impact when you're walking. This takes some of the pressure off your back, hips, and knees so your body is under a little less stress. Your walk or hike will feel more like pleasant exercise than a chore.
Not only will you feel better during your excursion but you'll feel less tired from joint pain and muscle soreness when you wake up the morning after.
Go Uphill and Downhill Easier
Going uphill can be a struggle on your joints and legs even if you are strong. Walking poles will reduce the strain on your joints as much as 30 to 40% and help you tackle those hills a lot quicker and easier.
Going downhill can also make your legs and ankles ache after a long day. Walking poles help to absorb the impact that causes this ache. Not only will you be able to descend more smoothly with less impact, but you'll also have less medical and joint pain later on down the road.
Test Unstable Terrain
Unstable terrain can be unpredictable especially after a long day of travel. You may think that a rock or cobble stone is sturdy only to find yourself toppling to the ground when you step on them. Having walking poles allow you to test out uneven terrain that looks a little perilous before you step on it with your full weight.
2. How to Use a Walking Pole
You've bought York Nordic walking poles but you're not sure how to use it. The main things that you should keep in mind are how high you adjust the pole and what the best pole position is for walking.
How High Should it Be
How high or low you adjust your walking poles depends on if you're ascending or descending. If you're ascending or walking on flat terrain you should have it about elbow height so your arm is parallel to the ground as if you are carrying a cafeteria tray with coffee on it and you don't want to spill your coffee.
If you're descending you want the pole to be longer so a bit over elbow height. This will make your body a little bit more stable as you reach for ground that is lower than your feet. This will take some pressure off your poor knees.
Best Pole Position for Walking or Hiking
If you don't use your poles correctly when you're ascending you'll be complaining about sore arms the next day. If you have the pole extended too long you'll need to pull up with extra force and then you're putting unnecessary strain on your back and arms.
Instead, you want your poles to be at elbow height and coordinate your pole usage with your steps. Your right pole will strike the ground as your left foot steps. Don't put the pole too far ahead of your foot because you'll have to reach. You want the pole to be perpendicular to the ground or straight down into the ground as it touches the ground. This will maximize the support you get from the poles.
Keep in mind that the pole isn't meant for you to pull yourself forward. It's meant to support you and propel you in the direction that you want to go. This means that you should be pushing down on the pole rather than pulling.
Folding Walking Poles are Convenient for Travel
As you get older it's hard for you to do some of the fun outdoorsy things that you used to. Say yes to that European river cruise and take some folding walking poles which conveniently fit in your suitcase or backpack. Walk or trek with confidence and stability on all your river cruise excursions.
Your folding walking poles will help you by taking the stress off your knees, hips and back. So pick up a set of folding walking poles and start adventuring again.
Want to try York Nordic's folding walking poles we've talked about? Visit our store to see if it's just what you need for your next river boat excursion!