Urban poling, also known as Nordic walking, is growing in popularity in North America thanks to groups like Medicine Hat College’s (MHC) Be Fit for Life Centre (BFFL) who are providing the community access to this full body workout, while helping to raise awareness of its health benefits.
Urban poling combines the upper body movements of cross country skiing through the use of poles, with the lower body technique of regular walking.
According to studies this exercise engages up to 90 percent of the body’s muscles and provides up to a 25 percent increase in cardiovascular activity while reducing stress and fatigue.
“The health benefits are so vast it doesn’t matter your age. If you are perfectly healthy or have a health condition there are benefits that can be gained just by taking part,” says Lisa Karpinski, wellness outreach for BFFL.
Karpinski mentions that urban poling has proven to help alleviate symptoms for individuals who are dealing with health issues such as diabetes and arthritis as well as those with mobility challenges.
Until the end of August, BFFL will be offering sessions on Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. around MHC’s Sunrise Rotary Trail. In September, the group will meet on Thursdays. The drop-in fee is $5 if you have poles or $10 if you would like to rent a set.
“Our urban poling group is open to everyone. We welcome all fitness levels and encourage individuals to walk at their own speed and comfort level,” says Karpinski. “It’s a great way to meet new people, while working on your fitness and improving your quality of life.”
This fall the sessions will also be offered on Fridays to members of Strathcona Centre.
For more information on urban poling and other fitness services offered through BFFL contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403.529.3839.
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