As we all know, due to the COVID-19 emergency, gyms, dance studios, indoor pools and recreation centres used for exercise are currently closed. Less physical activity, combined with social distancing, is making many people feel isolated, lethargic and anxious.
Fortunately, outdoor exercise is still considered a safe exercise option for most people. In fact, public health experts are encouraging people to get outside and move. The key is to maintain appropriate social distancing and, as per the most recent advisories, to stay relatively close to home.
Whether you choose to walk up and down your driveway, down your street, in a nearby park (if open), or in the hallways of your residence, the importance of maintaining movement is more crucial now than ever. Research supports how vital it is to maintain our immune systems during this time, and exercise is an effective way to do that.
Boost your exercise benefits
Nordic walking, aka urban poling, has actually been cited as one of the best types of exercise to build cardiovascular endurance, while also simultaneously providing an anaerobic- or resistance-based workout. Nordic walking is a suitable activity appropriate for a wide range of fitness levels.
For those of you who wonder why people with a set of poles are flying by you on your walk, allow us to explain. First and foremost, please note they are not using ski poles. Nordic walking poles are specially designed with rubberized tips suitable for walking on streets or sidewalks. They can also be used for hiking and trekking by removing the rubber tips and using the carbide steel tips provided.
By adding poles to your walk, you can burn a minimum of 20 percent more calories and up to a maximum of 46 percent, depending on how fast you. The poles help leverage nearly all your body’s muscles. Most importantly, you will also be engaging your core muscles to the tune of 1,000 abdominal contractions per kilometre.
For many people who experience issues with their balance, like those affected by a neurological condition, or who may have had a mild to moderate stroke, the poles can provide additional stability, improve balance and support, and restore a more natural gait pattern. Exercises with the poles can also be done from a seated or standing position to provide support in an indoor exercise program.
Stroke support through the March of Dimes
For those who have experienced a stroke, March of Dimes Canada (MODC) provides a wide range of support services. It is a one-stop service provider, helping consumers to achieve or sustain independence and remain active community participants. During this most challenging time, MODC continues to provide incredible resources and has started offering virtual support groups across Canada since in-person sessions have been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 emergency. These virtual opportunities showcase the organization’s ability and desire to adapt in ways to support the vulnerable community they serve.
Urban Poling donates 1 percent of all Activator Walking Pole sales to March of Dimes Canada on an annual basis to support its National Stroke Recovery Network. If you are interested in supporting March of Dimes Canada, you can learn more here, or email Natasha Matrosova (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
This article has been provided by Uban Poling Inc. in partnership with March of Dimes Canada and has been distributed by YouAreUNLTD as a courtesy to keep Canadians informed about the newest innovations, resources, and tools available to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.