Health and fitness: Urban Poling, a low-impact way of improving strength and cardiovascular fitness

By , 25/04/2020 19:39

STRIDING OUT: Managing director of Urban Poling Mandy Shintani, left, and Merewether’s Marie Williams are spruiking the benefits of a new exercise phenomenon.Urban poling. Have you heard of it?

I hadn’t until the start of this year when Merewether’s Marie Williams, who has an extensive background in health education and discovered the form of exercise last year, invited me to give it a go.

Before I went, I quickly googled to see what exactly urban poling was.

According to urbanpoling老域名购买,it is also known as Nordic walking, like “cross-country skiing without the skis” and “has toning, calorie-burning and posture benefits that have made it popular in Europe for decades and a new workout favourite in Canada”.

It involves walking with the aid of two poles and reportedly gives you a much harder workout than standard walking.

Urban Poling is a Canadian-based company founded by occupational therapist Mandy Shintani, who discovered the form of exercise around 13 years ago.

It was a Swedish neighbour who introduced her to Nordic walking.

“There used to be an ad on TV that compared the health of a Swedish 70-year-old with a 40-year-old Canadian,” Mandy told me.

“I asked, ‘What are they doing to make them so much healthier’. She said, ‘We’re actually just walking’.”

Her neighbour observed Canadians and North Americans to be “a vehicular society”.

“She said, ‘We’re just walking to the store and everyone uses walking poles’,” Mandy told me.

That was everyone from everyday people to Olympians, meaning you could get a good workout, no matter what your ability.

Mandy was instantly sold when she gave it a go for the first time.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to try this out myself’. I had never seen it in Canada before,” she said.

“I don’t enjoy jogging but I found this so convenient.

“I could leave the poles in the car and do it when the kids were playing soccer or do it at night when the kids went to bed.

“It has the same perceived exertion as brisk walking and it appeals to someone who is sedentary right up to a marathon runner.”

Shetold me it forces a better posture and offloads pressure from your joints. Anumber of studies had also found it to beof benefit for people recovering from injury or from chronic conditions such as arthritis ordiabetes, among others.

It proved popular when Mandy showed it to a bunch of women she knew and from there urban poling escalated.

She has now developed a range poles to suit differing abilities and activities, from using them for rehabilitation to a form of fitness.

Marie was also an instant fan when Mandy first introduced her to urban poling and has now trained as an instructor herself and has been spruiking its benefits in the Newcastle community.

When she took me for a trial of the poles, I could definitely feel the muscles of my core, arms and shoulders being engaged without going too far and could see why it was being described by some as upright pilates.

Some of the other benefits I was told were:

It whittles your waist by engagingyour core with each step;It takes load off your hips and knees so you “can walk further, faster or even pain-free”;It is a proven fat burner, burning “up to 46 per cent more calories than standard walking”;It is a great arm and shoulder work-out because “urban poling uses 90 per cent of your muscles”;“The full-body urban poling workout helps keep blood sugars in a healthy range”;It is something for the whole family. Mandy told me she knew a lot of families who had all taken it up after one member tried it first.Find out moreat urbanpoling老域名购买orcontact [email protected]老域名购买 to organise a trial or demonstration.

Upcoming fitness eventsNewRun, Newcastle Foreshore, April 15:Newcastle’s annual running festival with a range of distances on offer, all with courses that hug the coastline and arguably one of the most scenic events around. Courses includes 2km for kids, 5km, 10km and 21.1km.

Maitland River Run, Maitland June 3:This eventis still 11 weeks away, which givesyou plenty of time to train for one of the distances on offer. The course isa picturesque 4km loop in and around the Maitland Mall and river bank. There is the4km, 8km and12km courses and this year an added half marathon, plus theclassic 1609m (one mile) sprint.

Autumn Workouts Week #3Time is one reason many people give for not working out. Circuits are a good, quickway to get a total body workout with strength and cardioall in one.

Pick out 10 or so exercises, combining strength with cardio, and set eitherthe number of repetitions or a time for each.

Try 2-3 rounds of: Alternating squat with single arm press, slam balls, skipping, walking lunges (optional overhead weight), deadlift with bent-over row, burpees, shoulder throws with light weights/punches into bag, short shuttle runs, box jumpfollowed by a push-up.

Finish with core work or add it into the circuit.

Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. [email protected]老域名购买.au.

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