|My first urban test of the Activator poles|
If you're not familiar with Nordic poles--they're also called trekking poles or exerstriding poles--they're much like cross country ski poles, but with rubber tips that fit over the metal points so they can be used on pavement in the city too. Using two poles, rather than one cane, means better posture & balance. Putting some weight on my arms takes enough pressure off my hip (apparently about 30%) that I can walk without pain.
I liked being able to walk faster too--using my cane limits my speed a lot, I find. I think having the poles means I'll be able to do some light hiking again. Probably not anything like the several hours of steep terrain like the Stawamus Chief or the Grouse Grind that I used to do, but the kids are a bit young for that anyway. I'm hoping my abilities will match theirs, at least for a little while.
|A soggy hike along Lower Lynn Creek: the spikes came in handy|
I got the Activator poles just a few days after ordering & tried them out on a short walk that day. I can definitely go at a good walking pace now, which is nice. In the next few weeks I tried them out a couple more times & I'm really starting to love them. I've been able to walk on the seawall for an hour, & go on a short hike in the woods with hardly any pain at all. The cane tips are great on pavement & when on trails that are more steep or muddy, I pop off the tips to use the metal spikes underneath. I felt really stable with the poles climbing up & down a steep muddy slope.
I found that the first times I used the poles my arm & shoulder muscles really got a workout, so I was sore the next day. However, it was good pain--muscle stiffness from the exercise--not bad pain, like from the arthritis. The third time I used the poles I didn't notice any muscle stiffness at all afterward.
Overall, I'm really glad I got my Urban Poling Nordic poles. I definitely recommend them if you're looking at getting some, particularly if you have arthritis. They're $99, though you may be able to find at coupon code online to save $10 or so.
Disclaimer: I purchased the Urban Poling Nordic poles myself & was not compensated in any way for writing this post.
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