Most importantly, trekking poles minimize the effect of walking on the knee and leg muscles. The arms and chest muscles help and relax the muscles of the body. In the simple “hands over the head” posture provided by the poles, the breathing is increased and the heart rate is the. The “rhythm” of walking with trekking poles contributes to calm, more frequent breathing and increased stamina.
Seminal research conducted by Dr. G. Neureuther in 1981 found that the use of “ski poles” when walking reduced the burden on the opposite leg by nearly 20%. In comparison, when walking on level land, poles the bodyweight of the legs by approximately 5 kg per move. Switch to the incline, which rises to 8 kg. This translates into tons of weight — yes, loads — for just a two-hour walk.
Jacquie Hunt, the editor of the famous hiking newsletter, weighed in with potential health benefits: “The difference I noticed after I began using poles is that my palms no longer swell when it’s humid. Keeping your arms straight so that the blood doesn’t collect in your palms is way better than holding your hands upon packing straps and risking a split face when you’re running.”
Finally, poles support a lot of people with balance problems. We also have varying degrees of ease when walking near puncheons, crossing lakes, etc.; for some travelers, trekking poles are worth their weight in gold. They can definitely help when navigating uneven terrain, so they would be invaluable for activities such as river crossings so scree racing.
Troubles with Trekking Poles:
There are two types of pitfalls to hiking poles — the actual ones, and the supposed ones. One of the key issues with my remarks in the LA Times article is that my “over the top” attitude has stopped me from mentioning the clear disadvantages of using poles. And here it is.
Not only can the poles have hands and weapons do what they’re not supposed to do, but they also block the hands from being paws! Open the map, eat a snack, wipe your eyes, find a rock, take a snapshot, read a compass … both of them would be sloppy and time consuming with the poles in hand.
The last “legitimate” con is that many people just don’t use the poles correctly. Clinch says, “Judging by the people I see in the UK use poles, most people get little to no gain by them.” Without adequate training, poles are clearly in the way. And that takes us to the “gotten” disadvantages …
Most of the pole users are road hogs. They flail around madly, so you’d best get out of their way — even if you’ve got the right-of-way uphill. “It’s all about me” seems to have been their credo on the trail. Just like there are disrespectful, thoughtless drivers on our roads, so there are disrespectful hikers on our trails. Let’s be specific about this: not all consumers of trekking poles are unconsidered, that’s evident. Yet it seems like all greedy hikers use every possible trail hogging tool, and the poles are part of their arsenal.