Nordic Walking Used as a Form of Physical Therapy

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URBANDALE, Iowa – A popular European and Canadian fitness activity makes its way to the states and is being used as a physical therapy activity.

Urban Poling is a form of Nordic walking using poles to correct how people walk.

Optimum Performance Physical Therapy Owner Jon Schultz said he rarely sees clients come in who walk the right way, causing problems to the body.

“That’s why you see so much lower back pain, knee pain, hip pain a lot of it is from not walking correctly,” Schultz said.

Studies show that Nordic Walking helps people who suffer from arthritis, diabetes, cancer, orthopedic injuries and more.

Co-Managing Director for Urban Poling Diana Oliver said, “At minimum when you add poles to your walk you are burning 20 percent more calories up to about 46 percent depending on how fast you go.”

An avid 20-year walker Cindy Swanson came across Schultz when she broke her wrist in the spring and needed physical therapy.

“He said something simple to build those muscles back up and to rehab my wrist would be urban poling,” Swanson said.

Using the poles while you walk focuses on the inner core muscles that stabilize the hip and pelvis as well as the upper body.

“The great thing about the poles is it gets them out of their mind and they start using their body how it was designed,” Schultz said.

Schultz currently has 20 clients that use the form of physical therapy as well as a tool to work out.

“I’m in love with these poles. I just think it’s the greatest thing because it’s low impact, it’s engaging more muscle groups, it’s a great way to be fit,” Swanson said.

There are different types of walking poles for a variety of stability that range in price beginning at $89 up to $140.

You adjust the poles depending on your height. It fits users beginning at 4’2 to 6’2.

Schultz said he is teaching clinics for how to use the poles if people want to add them into their workout routine.

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