I generally try to keep my kit to a minimum when out walking, however there are a few essential items that are always in my rucksack, I’ve also recently been persuaded of the benefits of using walking poles. I used to think that poles were just for the more arduous hikes, or for people in need of extra support, however that really isn’t the case. I was recently sent a pair of Prolite poles from Craghoppers so I roped in the whole family to test them out on some local outings.
The main thing we’ve learnt is that a good pair of poles bring so many benefits, even on short walks. First things first, if you do a lot of walking it really is worth investing in a good quality pair of poles. I liked the fact that the Prolite poles were lightweight whilst also being very strong and easy to adjust. They have three sections allowing the poles to be lengthened easily, but also making them very compact when not in use.
It’s also important to spend a bit of time getting used to the feel of the poles and making sure they are set up properly. To make sure they are the right height, hold your arms at a 90 degree angle and adjust so the poles reach straight down to the ground. I find that it helps to shorten trekking poles while going uphill and lengthen when going downhill to make sure that you maintain the correct posture. As you walk along your arms should be relaxed with only a slight bend, and don’t grip the handles too tightly.
5 reasons you should use walking poles
- Once you get used to walking with poles, they really help you to get in a good rhythm and cover the ground more quickly and efficiently.
- They are very beneficial for your posture, helping to keep you in an upright position. Just remember to make sure they are at the correct height and to alter them as you go up or downhill
- A pair of poles is really good for helping you to stay balanced when crossing uneven or unstable ground
- They are great at taking the stress off your knees when going downhill, making them ideal for people with joint issues
- They are perfect for testing the ground ahead if conditions are tricky. They can be used to test the depth of water, boggy ground or snow, or for checking whether that precariously placed rock can take your weight
I also found them very useful for knocking overgrown brambles out of the way and picking up my glove when I dropped it (very handy when pregnant!)
I didn’t expect to be so won over, but they’ve really been very beneficial. They’ve helped me to stay balanced and able to walk further than I would without them. They will definitely help me to stay active throughout my pregnancy, but I will definitely carry on getting lots of use out of them afterwards as well. In fact, I think that the whole family will be fighting over who gets to use them!
Do you use walking poles? Do you find that they help you? Let me know about your experience in the comments below.
I was gifted a pair of Prolite walking poles by Craghoppers for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own.