Sunday, November 19, 2017

Trekking Poles FAQ: Are Hiking Poles for Everyone?

No, but… Using poles provides many benefits for people who like to walk or hike.  Optimal use of poles encourages better posture, endurance, confidence and gaitUsing the upper body muscles helps to preserve joints all over the body.

In the literally thousands of people I’ve encountered over the last 15 years, I’ve met a handful that really were not pole people.  One lady was so uncoordinated, that she was terrified.  It was a bad fit.   People that have progressed to a walker often can no longer benefit.   A hiking buddy of mine (who loves to talk) trips on poles when he uses them.  Best for him to not have poles.

Sometimes people have to ease into learning new skills like using poles – or any new thing (think orthotics).   Here’s a very recent example:  One lady was given this prescription:  Use your new poles for only three to five minutes, 2 or 3 times a day.  Consistency/Frequency with very low intensity & duration.   She then went out for an hour with a friend and overdid it.  She damaged her fragile shoulder and hated her poles.   She admitted she was out too long, was distracted and did not focus on her form.   She called her poles “toxic.”   I silently shook my head in frustration at her admitted and blatant violation of her body.  She blamed the poles even while admitting her ridiculous and (as it turned out) dangerous behavior.   Rather than gently and progressively lubricating the shoulder joint and slowly building muscles that support the shoulder, she ended up back at the doctor’s office in severe pain.

Poles COULD have helped her in many ways, but she did not listen to either her body or her trainer.   Regular readers of this blog know that I like to focus on the positive.  So I end this post with happier thoughts.

“To be interested in the changing seasons
is a happier state of mind
than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”  ~ George Santayana

“Giving people self-confidence
is by far the most important thing that I can do.
Because then they will act.”  ~ Jack Welch

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  1. […] poles, they clearly help to improve your comfort, stability and most importantly your safety. The Benefits Of Hiking With Trekking Poles Trekking poles are a very useful tool for those who enjoy…poles do give you a greater sense of comfort, they allow you to maintain a natural posture even if […]



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