By STEFAN ASCHAN, ABC News
You’ve thought about it. I know you have.
You’ve thought about getting older and your activity level. Perhaps regular physical activity used to be a big part of your life. For some of you, perhaps it wasn’t. Yet you are looking (or should be looking!) for activities that you enjoy — activities that help you burn more calories compared to your regular exercise regimen — that save time and don’t leave you in pain afterward.
Europe has been a front-runner into looking for solutions to this issue. Hence, it was not a surprise that poles — similar to those used in Nordic skiing — have been used in a walking program. This is how Nordic walking was born.
Not to say that this pastime necessarily had a healthy start. Early adherents to this type of exercise often experienced the perils of injury and incorrect form.
Why? Because the technology was not yet developed to take a pole from the ski slope onto a hard surface area. In particular, the impact transferred through the poles and into the wrists and shoulders caused injuries.
Poles Have Many Benefits for Workouts
Fast-forward to today, and we can see that walking with poles has evolved. Straps and rubber shoes have been developed and applied to the poles to decrease the impact. Various exercise techniques have been explored that maximize gains while minimizing the risks of injury.