Urban Poling

Urban Poling is a Canadian company based in North Vancouver, founded by Mandy Shintani, an occupational therapist in 2004.  After researching different Nordic walking companies, I decided to sign up for the Urban Poling instructor course in 2008 and like many of my clients, I was totally hooked the first time I tried Urban Poling.  My eyes opened wide in amazement as I felt my arms, shoulders, chest and abdominal muscles working with every stride I took.  The poling action was comfortable and the propulsion you get after perfecting the technique is amazing.  After years of hiking with hiking poles, I was blown away to discover the simple "plant, push, propel" technique that enables you to walk purposefully with every stride you take rather than bringing poles along to use when clambering over obstacles on the trail, or descending steep routes.

I suggest you view this very brief video to get an inkling of what I am talking about if you are new to Nordic walking.


I include Urban Poling brand poles for Quick-Start sessions and Nordic walking tours if you don't have your own. I prefer Urban Poling equipment for the reasons outlined above plus I love the safe and easy-to-use strapless handles. If you have your own poles, please note there are many different styles and qualities of Nordic walking poles. Some people are disappointed to learn that the poles they bring to my classes aren’t the best quality (e.g., they rattle, they're difficult to adjust, locking system doesn’t hold, boot tips are too hard, straps are cumbersome, and the lack of shock absorption leads to an uncomfortable action that is jarring to the body). Other people discover that they’ve purchased trekking/hiking poles, not Nordic walking poles.  One quick indicator: Nordic walking poles have angled (not round) rubber (not plastic) boot tips and specialized handles or straps that are very different from hiking poles. If you haven't already purchased a pair, I suggest learning about poles by using them in a session with me first. You can also loan a pair for three weeks from the Canmore Public Library, just like you would sign out a book. Then make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. Visit the Urban Poling website for details about the equipment I recommend and sell.

If you are keen to learn more before your Quick-Start session, then spend a few minutes on this webpage. Be sure to watch the "how to videos" demonstrating how to set up your poles and how to correctly urban pole/Nordic walk.

If you would like to learn more about the amazing health benefits of walking and Nordic walking/Urban Poling, visit this webpage: "Walking is a Wonder Drug".

Now you're ready to turbo-charge your walks!  Let's get to it!

Actively yours,

Mandy Johnson

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