There are numerous and varied benefits to using a walking stick in your daily life or when you are doing extensive hiking or trekking that most people don’t even realize. Walking sticks were not created for decorative purposes—they help people maintain their balance, walk with more confidence and help relieve tension on joints and bones. Although it is often a major misconception that sticks only benefit the elderly, this couldn’t be further from the truth. A properly fitted walking stick can help even the most able-bodied adult achieve maximum health and wellbeing. Hiking is fun and beneficial but adding a walking stick to the mix gives you an entirely different full body workout.
Fitting the walking stick to your body is directly correlated to how much the stick will help you. Using a stick on a hike or leisurely walk helps take the stress off your hips, thighs, back and ankles. Redistributing the weight helps take the tension away and leaves the muscles rejuvenated; not weak and sore after a day on your feet.
Another added benefit of a walking stick is mobility and speed. It might seem weird to think a huge stick can make you walk faster but the added “leg” will help propel you up steep inclines and steady you when you are going downhill. Think of them like ski poles—they can help move you forward when your own body weight has difficulty doing it on its own. Plus, speed equals quicker fitness results. The faster you walk the more calories you burn and lifting the stick, although lightweight, can also add to your strength training routine and help burn even more calories.
walking sticks are not only for outdoor hiking. Many people do use sticks in their everyday lives to get from point A to point B whether it’s going to the store or just to get around their house. Sticks can help you get objects that seem out of reach and give you added support on tired muscles and tendons.
Walking sticks are also great for balance and control. They can help steady you when you feel yourself slipping (especially if you are hiking in the wilderness) and can be viewed as a third arm. They are a prop that when used properly, can maximize your walk or hike, protect you from the elements and propel you to new heights of fitness.