Having read my story so far, you may be asking “Why use walking sticks?” Below, you’ll find my answers.
- I prefer being outside in the fresh air for my exercise;
- Gym membership is expensive on a fixed income;
- Walking sticks represent a small financial investment;
- My walking habit is great, but I needed to add some upper body activity;
- I have a knee that sometimes complains.
For these reasons, I’ve decided ladies walking sticks are for me.
Last week while walking a well-used trail around the harbour on a glorious Sunday morning, I noticed several other walkers using sticks. Knowing that I wanted to write this article, I decided to begin my research by asking my question: “Why are you using walking sticks?” They were happy to share their reasons.
- While walking without them, I tend to slouch over and get back pain. When I use the sticks, I maintain a straight back, without pain. I want to continue walking for as long as I can. ( This was an elderly man who was walking with his younger wife)
- I can walk faster with confidence. I never need fear losing my balance and falling when there is uneven ground. We get a better work-out this way. (This was a couple in their 60’s)
I found more reasons based on scientific research. Following are the most important reasons.
Why Use Walking Sticks?
- Psychological health and stress relief that comes from being out in the fresh air, on a great trail in your favourite landscape (beach, park, forest trail) Great conversations with a positive walking companion always helps.
- Weight management. Research has shown that adding the upper body movement burns 20-30% more calories.
- Cardiovascular health. Great oxygen intake and an increase of an 8-10 point increase in heart rate.
- Posture maintenance. Back and abdominal muscles are engaged and strengthened. It also takes a bit of strain off lower joints, especially knees.
- Fall prevention. We can maintain adequate walking speed while ensuring that we feel secure on our feet.
I Found Four Useful Sites
Here are some sites that provide research results if you want to know more from the science perspective:
If I have convinced you to give it a try. Here’s how to get started.
What You Need
- An interesting walking companion that provides a mutual social obligation;
- Or a walking group meetup;
- Walking shoes that fit well and provide good support;
- Sunglasses to screen out damaging UV rays;
- Sunhat and sunscreen to prevent sunstroke;
- Scarf and gloves when you walk in winter;
- Rain jacket to ensure that you walk regardless of weather;
- A planned destination. Mixing it up will keep it interesting;
- A walking schedule. Consistency is very important – A minimum of three times per week for at least an hour.
- And OF COURSE YOUR WALKING STICKS!
Please share your fitness experiences in the comments section here. I would love to add to the lists above. And if you found something useful here, be sure to share it with your network using the links below.