Walking is a great weight-bearing/low impact exercise. I am always interested in assistive devices that are free from the stigma of canes and walkers. Also, there does seem to be some evidence that poles might be helpful for people with chronic knee pain.
To be clear, the poles aren’t a substitute for a balance assisting device– rather their use would seem to help people maintain strength and balance.
The second half of life is all about “use it or lose it.”
“The Pole Lady” discusses how she first discovered pole walking while visiting family in Europe. After losing 30 pounds and achieving a level of health she hadn’t seen in decades, she developed her own pole and a mission to share this amazing fitness discovery with all of North America.
“From the data analysis, it was concluded that (a) the telescope-style running poles altered the lower-extremity running kinetics by decreasing the knee flexion during the swing phase and increasing the maximum hip hyperextension, and (b) the running poles generally reduced the foot-ground interaction and provided a source of propulsion during the push-off phase of the running gait, decreasing the amount of force and impulse imposed upon the foot in subjects with chronic knee problems.”
Young-Hoo Kwon, Lori R. Bolt, and Jackun Shim
Mechanics of Pole Running in Subjects with Chronic Knee Problems
Ball State University, Muncie, Indianna, USA