10 Benefits You Get from Using Trekking Poles For Hiking
By: Robin Shortt
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence
then, is not an act but a habit.
I remember watching my boys growing
up. They would go to their Scout meetings
and bring home a pole that they had
cut from a sapling. They made it into a pole
by stripping the bark and carving different
designs into it. They would talk about
how they used it for hiking and on campouts.
Today things have changed a lot. The Scouts
still make their trekking poles, but more hikers
are now going high-tech.
Todays poles have much of the same
benefits the scouts used them for.
Hikers also use two of them for
hiking. Which double the benefits.
1.This includes pack weight distribution
to the arms, thus increasing indurance.
2.Makes keeping your balance easier
as you cross rivers and streams as
well as rough terrain.
3.Lowers stress on the joints, knees, hips
and lower back.
4.Gives a more upright, hiking posture.
This in turn will make breathing
5.Helps you go up those steep inclines.
Also helps you keep your balance on the
6.Dispite some drawbacks concerning
them, the advantages far outweigh
7.Trekking poles today are high tech
in design and with adjustable telescopic
features make them ideal for summer and
winter. Most are made from materials
such as aluminum or titanium.
8.Trekking poles have adjustable wrist straps
and can have plastic or cork handgrips.
9.How to use your trekking poles
is done by keeping your forearm parallel to
to the ground on flat tarrain. If you're
assending the poles will need adjusting. You
will need to make them shorter, so you will not
over reach. The opposite is also true as well.
When going down a hill you will need to lengthen
10.Its very easy to use trekking poles. Just walk
naturally one arm forward with the opposite
leg. The poles will soon become apart of you
as you walk.
As you become used to using the poles you'll
find how easy it has become to hike and how much
faster and farther you can travel.
Check out your local Scout Shop for a good quality
set of poles. You'll also be financially helping out
the Scout troops in your area.
About the Author
Val and Robin Shortt are experienced campers and
own three outdoor websites For more tips like these
and to registerfor their Free newsletter visit:
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The Power of Stretching - Dave Snape
muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.
A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.
The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching.
it can't hurt, right?
So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.
Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
Why are stretching and flexibility considered
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy
know there are plenty of other benefits.
Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from
Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.
Here is some good
instructional material on stretching:
If you enjoyed 'The Power of Stretching' article, consider
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