In 2013, I was introduced to urbanpoling.com when I compared walking poles at Becky Farley’s PWR! gym in Tuscon, AZ. The Urban Poling Activator™ poles called out to me and I immediately ordered a pair online. The poles arrived quickly and they have served me well over the years. I have fondly mentioned them in many blogs. Check out some of my previous blogs:
Waving My Sticks: https://parkinsonswomen.com/2013/05/27/waving-my-sticks
Urban Poling a Most Efficient Exercise: https://parkinsonswomen.com/2013/11/01/urban-poling-a-most-efficient-exercise/
Tasmanian Devil Poling: https://parkinsonswomen.com/2014/03/09/on-tasmanian-devil-poling/
Since then, the creator, founder and designer of Urban Poling Mandy Shintani, BSc (OT), MA has traveled the world speaking about poling with Parkinson’s as a fantastic activity to stay active and to improve walking ability and posture. Her travels have included appearances at the 200 Years of Parkinson’s Disease (Aus), ACPIN Neuo conference (UK), and the national fall prevention conference (Canada).
Shintani quotes physiotherapist Dolores Langford who discusses pole walking in an article published in the British Columbia Physiotherapy Association newsletter called Directions. “Pole walking promotes a more normal gait walking than canes and walkers. The poles encourage an upright posture, rather than the forward lean of a walker or an asymmetrical lean from one cane. There is an immediate reduction in lower extremity pain when weight-bearing, as well as improved balance & walking confidence.”
Over 240+ independent studies in PubMed have shown the benefit of pole walking. The poles take weight off your knee and hip joints and transfer it on to the poles which is why so many therapists have prescribed it after knee and hip surgery.
Activator™ Poles Benefits
The Activator™ handles known as Coregrips sport right and left ergonomic handles. They are strapless for safety & injury prevention and feature ledge supports outside edge of hand for core strengthening, & weight-bearing & off loading. The ledge supports the wrist in neutral position. The tips are carbide steel tip for sand, snow & trails, and can be capped with bell tips or boot tips depending on gait preference and smoothness of the trail.
Happy customers realize that the Activator™ is a gift for people with Parkinson’s. Harry McMurtry, a 54-year-old retired lawyer with Parkinson’s walked 500 miles from NY to Toronto with poles. 500 Miles from NY to Toronto. “Instinctively you don’t want to move, but you have to keep moving,” he told CTV News. McMurty calls Activator™ poles a “game changer.”
Then there’s couch potato ME. I had been walking 45 minutes everyday with poles when I lived in a flat neighborhood. Eight months ago, I moved to the hills of San Francisco. I let exercise slide until every one of my joints was aching. Driven to consider exercise or be crippled, I arranged a pole walking date with my good friend Susan at Seal Point Park in San Mateo. We polled on the flat walkways along the Bay, and scaled a couple of rolling hills on a beautiful sunny day for an hour. I couldn’t believe how flexible and relaxed my joints felt after an hour of getting reacquainted with the benefits of pole walking.
We noticed another perk while poling when we heard a faint but pleasing sound of a flutist as the wind whipped the grass around our feet. Upon inspection, Susan and I realized that my Activators were singing. As I walked in the strong wind, the holes in the poles that serve as button-locks for height adjustment and the tops of the Coregrip handles were channeling the wind like reed instruments. I’m singing praise for the Activator™ as the Activator™ praises me for exercising!
Bonus: If you mention Parkinson’s Women, UrbanPoling.com will take 10% off your bill! Just call Urban Poling at their toll free number 1.877.499.7999 or use the coupon code Parkinson’sWomen!