We are Marching, We are Marching. ESRA's Nordic Pole Walking program in Israel; less pain and more distance walked, more nature, more pleasure.
ESRA members are marching with Nordic Poles all over Israel. In the last year about 200 of us, from towns, cities, kibbutzim and moshavim from the north, center and south of the country have started Nordic Pole Walking.
We were given free instruction on how to use the poles, often by Alex Prejserowicz of Nordic Sport Israel, and we learned the technique easily, quickly, and in a single session.
Then off we've gone in groups or individually, walking everywhere. Walking along the Mediterranean shore such as in Netanya (where AACI members take part), walking through the Judean Hills as in Kfar Daniel, walking along the lake in beautiful Park Raanana, walking along the shores of Lake Kinneret in the north, walking on the sidewalks of Jerusalem and Beersheba - everywhere.
For many of us who for years could only dream of walking any distance at all because walking greatly worsened the pains in our bodies, from our shoulders to our necks to our backs, to our hips, knees and/or ankles, it has been a revelation. About 90% of us have reduced pain on walking and have increased the distance we could walk - often markedly. But even those of us who are without pain are walking much longer distances more easily because our physical condition has improved with time with Nordic Walking, and our muscles are stronger and working more efficiently. Also our gait is longer and faster. This is because of the poles which, when you push them downward and backward, thrust you forward faster. This thrust forward also straightens the spine and thus improves posture - further reducing the pain. The fact that the poles take about one-quarter of your weight off your back helps reduce the stress and pain in the back, hips, knees and legs.
In addition, the poles add two more legs to your body, giving more stability and thus reducing the chances of falling. And G-d knows - falling is a monster to avoid,
especially in the elderly 20% of all falls end up with a fracture, and this occurs in one out of six of the elderly.
Add to this the increased calories you burn with Nordic Walking by working the muscles in the upper part of your body (something you do not do with ordinary walking), the weight you lose if you are overweight, the better control of diabetes, Parkinsonism, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and depression, the good company you get walking with others and re-experiencing the joys of nature, and you have a package of incomparable gifts. Not bad for an investment of only S160-400 shekels - the cost of the poles. Join in. Join up.
Contact me at 09 866 5715 or 052 515 0375 or at email@example.comTo join the ESRA Nordic Walking group in Raanana, call Glenis 054 773 4392. Donald Silverberg is a MD, MSc, FRCP (C)