By Jayah Paley
Our neighboring Loma Prieta chapter received a special grant from the Sierra Club Military Outdoors allowing the Sierra Club to provide free (otherwise fee-based) Pole Hiking and Pole Walking training for veterans and their families.
When you walk or hike with poles, you feel invigorated, taller, and more confident! Veterans (and their family members) choose the type of workout that best suits their abilities and goals.
Three types of training are offered:
- Walking pole for balance and maintenance of mobility (for people with walking or mobility difficulties, deconditioned people)
- Pole Walking for Exercise (for walkers or exercise beginners)
- Pole Hike (for hikers of all levels)
Registration is required to attend these free trainings. Find the calendar of upcoming trainings and much more information about this program online at www.sierraclub.org/loma-prieta/military-outdoors (more are added regularly). 2022 trainings are scheduled at Oakland Vet Center, Point Reyes, Mount Tam, etc. Poles will be provided to you at each practice, or you can bring and use your own.
Here are some of the benefits of learning the optimal use of poles:
- Improve uphill power and endurance
- Support your joints on the descent – save your knees!
- Reduce the risk of falling
- Achieving, maintaining, or even regaining mobility
- Use your upper body muscles to improve your strength and help preserve your joints
- Maintain and restore spine function
- Improve performance on a variety of terrains – expand your abilities and horizons
- Enjoy the outdoors, connect with your friends and exercise!
The goal of Military Outdoors is to enhance the lives of veterans and their families through connections to the outdoors and to inspire members of the military and veteran community to become outspoken champions in the conservation of environment and justice.