Walking Poles

I bought my first set of walking poles a few days ago.  I did it because I wanted to get my upper body in on my workouts.  For some reason, I think these look less geeky than pumping my arms like a power walker.

What did I think of them?  I really like them!  Did they do everything they bragged about?  Who knows.

They claim that they help you burn more calories.  I would guess that was true.  I seemed to be breathing harder and I know I produced more sweat than I have in a long time.  However, I also did the walk faster than ever before.  Now, I have no idea what caused what.  Did I sweat more because I was walking faster?  Was I walking faster because I had the poles?  Did I sweat more because my upper body was working too? 

It claims that it eases pressure on your joints.  That I can believe.  As I went downhill, I put a bit more pressure on the poles, easing the forward pressure.  It made that descension much more comfortable.

However, I also put more pressure on them going uphill.  It made my climbs much easier on my legs, which made the walk easier to do since the work was spread out between my upper and lower body.  I can easily see putting even more pressure on them more regularly and using them to build upper body strength.

I really appreciated them going over bridges.  I was out on a really cold morning, and the bridges were a bit frosty.  On any other morning, I would have slowed down to make sure I didn’t slip and fall.  This time, I felt more sure-footed because of the poles.  I had at least three points on the ground at all times, which made me feel more stable.

I do still have questions about them, though.  On them is printed, “Expert”.  Does that mean that you have to be an expert walker in order to use them?  If so, what is an expert?  Do my 35 years of walking make me an expert?  Or, do you walk like an expert when you use them?  If you’re able to coordinate the poles without tripping over them, you’re an expert?  Not quite sure about the “Expert” thing.

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