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Pole Walking

Intended Audience

All members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers.

Program Description

The style of pole walking utilized in this program is ‘Nordic walking,’ which combines cardiovascular activity with vigorous motion that engages the shoulders, core, arms, and legs. In an online forum, or in live outdoor sessions, members are offered tips and guidance so they can master the proper technique of this healthy exercise, while enjoying the social aspects of spending time with their Wellspring community.

Benefits and Impact

In cancer patients and survivors, pole walking and other modalities of aerobic exercise have been shown to improve many health-related outcomes including quality of life, fatigue, anxiety, and symptoms of lymphedema (Sánchez-Lastra et al., 2019; Zhang et al., 2019). For these reasons, the American College of Sports Medicine exercise guidelines for cancer survivors recommends regular moderate intensity aerobic exercise for people living with cancer (Campbell et al., 2019). In addition, nature may play a significant role in the lives of those with the disease; interaction with nature has been reported to improve fatigue, quality of life, and anxiety in cancer survivors (Blaschke, 2017; Ray & Jakubec, 2014). 

What to Expect at a Session

In online sessions, the instructor will demonstrate how to properly use urban poles in order to strengthen upper body and improve posture while walking. Participants are encouraged to use their own poles and try exercises either sitting in a chair or standing. There is also a variety of strengthening, stretching and balance techniques offered.

In outdoor (live) sessions, after a short introduction to proper use of the poles, participants go for a walk together, with the instructor continually guiding and checking proper technique. The urban walk lasts between 30-50 minutes. There is also time to stretch, socialize and enjoy the scenery.

*Note: Wellspring supplies the poles for this program. Members who wish to purchase poles are encouraged to check with program leader for guidance on the type to buy.

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