Hiking poles have evolved over the last few years. They used to be awkward to travel with and you didn’t see too many hikers in the States using them on trails. But these days poles are lightweight, collapsible, and easy to pack in a suitcase. While the Transportation Security Administration says “no” to them being carried on your flight, you can put them in your checked luggage. And, while hiking if you’re dragging them instead of using them to properly propel you forward, you can fold them up or collapse them down and stick them in your pack or hand carry them with ease.
Here are few quick benefits of using Hiking Poles from Rancho La Puerta’s nurse and teacher of proper technique, Barbara Abrahams:
- Reduce stress and pressure. By properly using hiking poles you can lessen the stress on your knees and ankles while climbing and descending your favorite trail. Properly adjusting pole height helps stabilizes foot strike, and keeps your chest lifted while protecting your lower back.
- Total body involvement. Using poles to help propel you up a trail engages and strengthens your arms and shoulders. Hiking is traditionally thought of as an exercise that uses only the lower body. With poles, you work the upper body too, allowing you to get full body workout.
- Cardiovascular benefits. Increased energy expenditure leads to the strengthening of the cardiovascular system over time. Like most good cardio workouts, hiking with poles engages more of your body and keeps you more upright and helps build endurance.
And a couple more benefits… Confidence builder and time outdoors. Poles may help you be a more confident hiker. With added stability and distributing the workload over more of your body, you may enjoy hiking longer. Who doesn’t yearn for a little more time outdoors?