The Pleasures of Pole Walking

Comment célébrer le 150e anniversaire du Canada?

A hobby – almost a lifestyle – that started in Europe is making its way to Canada, and with great results. It’s called pole walking, and if you aren’t a convert yet, you may have noticed folks striding along using poles not unlike ski poles.  What gives?

For starters, there’s a great health payoff.  Canadian Greg Bellamy gave up the executive life some seven years ago to run Nordixx Pole Walking Canada and spoke to us about the benefits of walking with poles.

“Pole walking originated with cross-country skiing, which is a great workout sport. When we’re walking, we use only about 50 per cent of our muscles, but we’re not doing anything for the upper body.  When you walk using poles, you incorporate 90 per cent – almost double the workout and you burn up to 45 per cent more calories.  So a 30 minute walk with your poles is almost the equivalent of an hour’s walk without. And yet it’s not tiring. We like to say it’s the smarter way to walk.”

Walking holidays are becoming more and more popular as a way to experience a country more authentically.  And there’s no need to leave your poles at home:  Poles telescope to a smaller size, some having three sections which will telescope to about 27 inches. When shopping for your poles it might be an idea to bring along your favourite suitcase to make sure they’ll fit in.

Walking poles start at about $80. Greg does counsel that when shopping for poles, make sure you buy ones for walking, not trekking.  The latter are more solid (i.e. heavier) and designed to bear your weight as you use them to lever yourself up slopes and hillsides. You can find out more at

Here at Vision, we can help you plan all sorts of walking holidays around the world. Go on your own on a pre-fixed itinerary or join a genial small group with fellow walking enthusiasts. There’s nothing to beat travelling at a human pace!