Benefits of Walking
Walking is an ideal form of exercise. It requires no equipment or expense and is one of the best ways for you to become more active. Regular walking can improve confidence, stamina and energy, and help control your weight. It can also keep your heart strong, give you more energy and help reduce stress. And, a nice walking stick can quickly become a good companion as you go on your hike and health walk.
Why use a walking stick?
Walking sticks are regular companions to people of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the type of walking. Anything from a simple afternoon stroll to a rigorous multi-day hike through the woods can be aided by a walking stick. Such aids range from a simple stick made from a tree branch to specialized, ergonomic sticks purchased at high prices from outdoor-gear stores. Regardless of the stick you use, there are several ways they can help you.
(a) Improved Upper-Body Workout
Using a walking stick requires lifting the stick, placing it ahead of you and helping support your body’s weight with your arms as you move. Over the course of a long walk, this can be a good workout for your arms and shoulders, helping you burn more calories as you exercise. You shouldn’t find yourself exhausted while using a walking stick, but the Mayo Clinic says the stick will increase the intensity of your workout.
(b) Back and Joint Health
Walking sticks help redistribute your body’s weight–instead of all your weight coming down on your back, hips and knees, a walking stick displaces some of your weight from your back and lower body and supports it through your arms and the stick itself. This can reduce wear and tear on your joints and muscles, which can help people with arthritis or back problems. Walking poles also foster proper posture as you use them, particularly in your upper back. Proper posture helps distribute weight evenly and safely, reducing your risk of injury and improving your back health.
(c) Improved Stability and Balance
When you walk over trails or other uneven surfaces, various obstacles or objects can make it difficult to maintain your balance, such as when you are going uphill, walking on soft or loose dirt, or stepping on rocks as you walk. Walking sticks help stabilize your body and reduce your risk of falling or slipping. The sticks also assist on hills by providing stability, especially as walkers become fatigued and their muscle strength and stability becomes less certain.
(d) Self Defence
Carrying a walking stick gives many a sense of added protection and personal safety. Aggressive dogs are less inclined to cause problems if the walker is in possession of a walking stick. We have added an article on the use of a walking for self defence which was published way back in 1901 and which makes for amusing reading today. To read the article click here.