Nordic Walking poles an easy sell for those with balance problems
A friend who is in her mid-50s developed a rapidly progressing neuromuscular condition and in shockingly few months went from being an avid hiker and skier to relying at least on a cane and occasionally a walker. When she came over last night, I let her try a pair of Nordic Walking poles and lent them to her to take home. Today she wrote to me, “I just Nordic walked to the bathroom and back. Definitely gives extra stability. Every little bit helps. So big thanks!!”
I suggested that she look into Boomyah poles (she is using mine right now) and also Exerstrider brand poles, perhaps the Activator Medisport with or without bell-shaped rubber balance tips. She works with a physical therapist and also must maneuver in and out of her car, so adjustable poles make tactical sense.
She is my second direct convert to using Nordic Walking poles for balance. The first was a neighbor who just celebrated her 86th birthday. She had fallen a few times in the house and was ordered to walk more. With poles, she feels more confident, and when she can be coaxed off her lounge chair, she now walks with her Boomyahs, which she caught at their introductory sale pricing.
Neither my friend nor my neighbor will evever adopt any version of Nordic Walking tehnique, but both can benefit immensesly. Whenever someone with balance problems tries a pair of poles, s/he is ready to buy a pair. Those without such issues are often harder to persuade, even when they have used demo or rental poles or even bought their own. I have a neighbor who bought a pair yet walks several pole-less miles a day and complains that she has no upper-body strength. When I suggest that she start using her poles, she just shrugs. My experience was just the opposite. When I first tried Nordic Walking poles, I felt the magic, took a couple of classes and now use them regularly. In fact, when I’m hiking in the high country and find a relatively smooth and flat section of a trail, I find myself auto-shifting into Nordic Walking style, even if I am using my hiking/trekking poles.