June 28, 2019

Nordic Walking is reported to be one of the fastest growing forms of fitness globally with its benefits being backed by over 260 independent studies. With a low perceived level of exertion, Nordic walkers boost their caloric expenditure by at minimum 20%, working nearly 90% of their body’s muscles, simply by adding specialized poles to their walk. Mandy Shintani, an occupational therapist, and Diana Oliver co-owners of Canadian based Urban Poling Inc., the leading Nordic Walking focused company globally, are coming to Urbandale Iowa on Monday June 24th to bring this fantastic form of fitness and rehabilitation to the local community! 

For anyone new to the game, Urban Poling Incs’ mission is to increase mobility for every age, ability and fitness level. Through their educational platform and uniquely designed poles, their mission is to help people realize that their full potential is not only achievable but also sustainable, by doing exactly what their body was designed to do – move. 

Launched in 2005, Urban Poling Inc. has come a long way in terms of impact and it’s no surprise as to why. A greater number of people are recognizing the severe limitations that tools like canes and walkers present. For instance, “Canes require you to lean to one side and then hunch forward which can lead to all kinds of other health problems,” says Lisa Dennis, an Ottawa- based occupational therapist. 

While Dennis says that walkers and canes “may be appropriate for some people with certain conditions and limitations, with new equipment advances I think we can almost eliminate them.” Her go-to mobility device are rehab walking poles, such as the ACTIVATOR ® Poles manufactured by Urban Poling Inc. These poles are designed similar to Nordic walking poles-the popular cross-country-ski-like poles that Europeans have used for decades for hiking in non-snowy months. 

ACTIVATOR ® walking poles have the same design but feature two large bell-shaped tips (as on a cane) that are attached to the bottom. The standard twisting system that locks the telescoping poles at the correct height is replaced with a button lock system (again similar to some canes), which is easy for weak or arthritic fingers to manipulate. 

Unfortunately, while being a support tool for people with walking concerns, canes do come with notable disadvantages. “Canes require you to lean to one side and then hunch forward which can lead to all kinds of other health problems,” says Dennis. The rehab poles, on the other hand, offer bilateral support and assist clients in improving their gait, posture and stability. 

Dennis has several young male veterans as patients who have injuries sustained overseas or during training. “These guys all love to exercise, but they say they’d rather sit at home than be seen using a cane. The rehab poles open up a whole new world for them.” They are colourful and sporty-looking and users walk with two of them. This eliminates the stigma of disability that is often associated with canes and walkers and thus, the rehab poles are seen as a means for ability

Shinatni echoes what Dennis and countless other healthcare professionals have asserted. Older adults with balance issues are also flocking to the poles. “Sales of our ACTIVATOR ® rehab poles have skyrocketed over the past few years. They are really revolutionizing the way therapists provide gait re-training. People immediately stand upright with them instead of shuffling, the poles let them lift their feet and use a heel toe gait pattern. People feel secure and confident, and the two poles don’t slip the way one cane sometimes does.” 

Come see what Urban Poling Inc. has to offer you or your loved one in terms of maximizing your mobility. If you are a healthcare professional – consider registering for their course which has been approved for Continuing Education Credits by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Physical Therapy Association. The course will be offered in partnership with local physiotherapist and community ambassador, Jon Schultz of Optimum Performance Physical Therapy. 

If the ACTIVATOR® Poles are not for you, have no fear, Urban Poling Inc has options for you too! Their high-performance line of traditional Urban Poles which can be used both for Nordic walking and hiking may be right up your alley. Whittle your waist with every step, all the while, walking your way to better health! 

ABOUT URBAN POLING INC.: Vancouver-based Urban Poling Inc. designs and distributes several types of unique walking poles, all with ergonomic and easy-to-manage strapless handles. It is the largest Nordic walking pole company in Canada, distributes their products within Ireland, the UK, Australia and the USA and offers the only Nordic walking instructor and healthcare professionals training program recognized by Canada’s largest ten fitness organizations, as well as by ACSM and the APTA in the USA.

Find your personal poles HERE at Body Relief Depot

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