(The following review/opinion is strictly my own. Urban Poling provided the walking poles and accessories to me at no charge and allowed me to keep the poles, after the review was completed. I was not compensated monetarily for this review. In no way, did receiving the poles at no charge, influence what I have written.)
When Urban Poling contacted me several months ago, I was open-minded, unsure, and hopeful, that I might see a benefit from walking with their poles. Nordic walking, pole walking, power walking, or whatever you may call it, the exercise is popular around the world, for good reason. Pole walking forces the walker to move with purpose and intent. Walking can strengthen, restore, improve balance, help with coordination, and force your body to connect with your thoughts. Using poles when walking made me more aware of my posture and my overall motions.
Years ago, I tried to power walk with some no name brand inferior poles. The experience was a let- down. The poles felt flimsy, the handles were uncomfortable, sizing the poles was a nuisance, and the combined experience was less than motivating. Thanks to Urban Poling, my new experience with their poles has been incredibly positive!
Sizing the length of the poles is easy and quick. The poles are telescoping with a push button locking system that should be simple for anyone concerned with setting up the length.
Thank goodness for Urban Poling for teaching me that Nordic Pole walking can be an enjoyable exercise. I also discovered several other benefits—benefits that I had not predicted.
My first day with the poles, as I unpacked the poles, I was pleasantly surprised at the packaging, the poles, and the whole presentation of the product. Too often, I order a product and find it is sloppily packaged, only to find it to be damaged or in poor condition—this was not the case.
The walking poles, made of airplane grade aluminum felt like quality, looked sleek and shiny, were sturdy and just crying to be used. The handles were made to be comfortable. The feet fit well, are snug, yet I found them to be easy to interchange with the optional feet that the company allowed me to try. Both sets of feet worked well, but I preferred the original feet (bell shaped tips), probably just because I practiced primarily with those that were pre-fitted. The poles are made for rugged wear and tear, should you need to put them through their paces.
On my first try I noticed that I needed to build a little coordination to remember to match my step with my opposite arm. It took some time to get it down pat. I think the poles help keep me moving, or at least moving with new options, when and if, I have need for them. I tried running with them for a brief period and enjoyed the stability of the poles.
I noticed from the very first use, the stability that the poles provided. I walked more upright and at a more controlled pace. Using the poles forced me to walk more intentionally and focus on every step. I discovered that by using the poles that I was able to avoid or at least reduce stutter stepping. I also noticed that when I “festinate” or feel like I want to move uncontrollably forward, the poles helped to keep me from forward momentum.
The day after my first use of the poles, my core was a little sore from the long walk and the side to side rotation from pole use. I box three days a week with my local Rock Steady Boxing group, but I was using muscles that had not been used in some time—I felt it.
I foresee myself using this new exercise, for as long as I can do it. I feel stable using the poles and I feel like it is building my body’s coordination between my hands and my feet. I found this exercise to be fun and beneficial. These poles are new tools that I can add to my daily routine. I now have an additional choice to strengthen my body and practice mindfulness at the same time. My thanks to Urban Poling and their patience for my delay in finishing this evaluation!
For another perspective on poling, my friend and blogging colleague, Twitchy Woman just posted her review on Urban Poling’s walking poles.