Hiking poles are not as popular in America as they are in other places around the world. Iíd like to encourage you to give them a try. They offer several benefits to walkers, hikers, and trekkers, including:
Improves balance: Poles improve your balance by adding additional stability points. Itís like having two extra legs to position our torso in an optimal position. This not only improves your sense of balance, but also your sense of confidence on tricky trails.
Reduces risks: While there are no guarantees, using poles often reduces the risk of hurting yourself from falling or tripping or slipping because you have extra balance and stability. Fewer slips leads to fewer falls.
Rhythm: Poles give you a sense of rhythm, which continues to propel you forward along your journey.
Stride: with improved confidence and balance comes a stronger stride and gait. Youíll find you move a bit quicker and easier once you get used to using your poles.
Using more muscles: Because youíre involving your upper body, youíll use more muscles, this takes some of the stress off of your lower body and improves how you hold your spine.
Helps your joints: Poles improve your muscle strength in your upper body and thus reduce the stress on your knees and ankles.
Improves endurance: when you add all these benefits together youíll discover that youíll begin to improve your endurance, both long distance and especially uphill.
Improves circulation: hikers and walkers frequently experience swelling in the hands and arms. Using poles improves blood circulation and thus reduces this swelling experience.
Measures distance: I frequently use my poles to measure depth and distances over pour overs. I hike in a lot of red rock and the sandstone can be deceptive. The poles help me judge.
I personally use REI Carbon Power Lock Trekking Poles. Their light weight, durable, and I can easily reduce their length to tuck them into the side loops of my backpack.