Why I like to use walking poles

leki_polesOK. I know it looks strange, but here are a few reasons I like to use walking poles:

  1. If I don’t have a baby or a dog with me, it provides something to talk about with strangers.
  2. It add ten years to the usability of my knees (and ankles, hips, back, feet,…).
  3. Even in the short run, my knees don’t hurt so much after a long walk.
  4. I can fend off small animals.
  5. A stick can be handy for opening gates, picking up objects, making an impromptu tent, or hoisting a flag. See more reasons to carry a walking stick.
  6. I get upper body exercise while walking.
  7. I burn more calories, but don’t even feel that I’m exercising.
  8. I walk faster.
  9. I’m less likely to fall when crossing a stream and stepping on slippery, unstable, rounded rocks, or even just stepping on a wet leaf or going down a bumpy sidewalk.
  10. I can use the same sticks for x-country skiing.
  11. They remind me to get more exercise, and to be outside more, providing a partial escape from the computer screen.
  12. They’re reflective, which makes it much safer to walk at night, especially since they move rapidly in the normal walking motion.
  13. They make me feel that I’m in Finland again.
  14. Using them is similar to using a bicycle or roller blades in that walking is suddenly easier.
  15. Cars slow down and avoid me more. I’m not sure why. Do they think I’m disabled? that I might strike them with the poles? that I look larger? that I look strange? Whatever it is, I appreciate their response.
  16. They’re a big help going up a steep hill, because you can use your arms to push up.
  17. They provide a measure of safety going downhill.
  18. They’re handy for retrieving a frisbee stuck in a tree, a hat that fell in a stream, or a ball that rolled under a cabinet.
  19. When you’re tired of walking, you can lean on them to rest.
  20. And they’re especially useful for canoeing!

3 thoughts on “Why I like to use walking poles

  1. I don’t know. I use them for all purposes: cross-country skiing, fitness walking, casual walking, and hiking. They’re adjustable for length and have interchangeable tips and baskets for different surfaces.


  2. Hi Chip,

    Are those treking poles or Nordic walking? I took a Nordic walking intro at Champaign surplus, but haven’t invested in poles yet.


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