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The Benefits of Nordic Walking Poles

Yes, you can use Nordic Walking Poles while walking your dog. Some of the benefits are listed below.

For instructions on using Nordic Walking Poles while walking your dog, click here.

Nordic walking poles are all the rage in Europe, and for good reason. You get a full upper body workout when you use the poles, so your walk improves your overall fitness and increases the cardiovascular benefits of your workout at the same time.

As your arms, chest and abdominal muscles get their workout, you should notice an improvement in these areas without overexerting yourself and without doing any sit ups or pushups. Simply use the poles while you walk at the same speed you normally do and you multiply the fitness benefits of your walk. You will feel more tired when you get home because you're using more muscles, which will prove that you are getting more fitness benefit by using the poles.

If you can't see why the poles will exercise your upper body, do this experiment that I found on the website:

If you're reading this at your computer, take your hand off the mouse and lay both forearms on the desk in front of you. (You can do the same at the kitchen table, of course). Now push down on the desk with your right forearm, and then release. Do the same with your left forearm, and release. Repeat several times. Do you feel the muscles contracting in your chest and abdomen? Now consider using those muscles, in much the same way, every time you take a step when using your trekking poles.

If you're now in chronic pain from arthritis or joint problems, or if you are quite a bit overweight, the trekking poles may allow you to walk farther than you could without them. The poles take as much as 25% of the load off your legs, knees and feet and transfer the work to your upper body. The poles also help you stay balanced and give you a helpful push at the beginning of each step. Since they feel perfectly natural, they're easy to use, as well.

Note: At this point it's important to mention that some of the weight of your body will be transferred from your legs to your hands and forearms through the straps on the poles. This is a good thing for most users, but if you have arthritis in your hands, the trekking poles may not be useful to you. Try to find a store where you can try out the poles before making your purchase, and talk it over with your doctor.

It may be hard to believe that using two fiberglass poles can add so much to the fitness value of your exercise. However, over the years it has been proven that using walking poles correctly can give you some or all of the following benefits:

These poles, which are called hiking poles, trekking poles, walking poles, or Nordic poles, are basically two sticks that are used to support you as you walk. Unlike a single walking stick, the trekking poles come in pairs, and evenly distribute your weight without causing a lopsided gait or uneven muscle use. They spread part of the load from your legs to your upper body, which makes walking easier for many people, while also giving you a full-body workout.

Like crutches or canes, the trekking poles will reduce knee pain while walking, assist you when walking uphill, and make it easier to walk on soft ground. The additional exercise you receive on the top portion of your body will help to increase your total energy expenditure.

You certainly don't need to use trekking poles to get wonderful benefits from your walks with your dog, but I have included instructions in this book in case you decide to try them after your dog has been trained to walk quietly on a leash without pulling and tugging.

To see the walking poles in action, watch the videos on the website.