Pole Walking offers healthy ‘change of pace’

Walking Poles

Have you or someone you know had a stroke?

Exercising is a good way to promote your recovery. Exercise can also maintain your physical and mental well-being and reduce your chances of having a second stroke1. In fact, why not exercise from the comfort of your home?

Going on walks for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week2-3 has shown improvements in one’s quality of life, physical fitness levels, and endurance levels.

Walking can give your legs a good workout; however, incorporating your arms while walking is a great way to use more muscles, work on our coordination, and promote more movement4.

How can we do this? Consider starting up pole walking or Nordic walking! Nordic walking is brisk walking using specially designed walking poles that works your upper and lower body5!

Karishma Patel, a student occupational therapist from the University of Toronto, completed her 8-week placement with CARP. During her time at CARP, she examined the benefits of pole walking within the stroke population and has created a guide. Her guide will provide you with information about pole walking to assist your decision-making process around participating in pole-walking and how to choose walking poles that best fit your needs!

To read more, take a look at her downloadable guide: Exercising with Walking Poles.

You can download the guide as one combined resource or as 6 separate guides.

Start with Guide 1 and work your way to guide 6 (click each link below to download):

  1. Combined Guides 1 through 6: Exercising with Walking Poles (Combined)
  2. Guide 1: Exercising with Walking Poles
  3. Guide 2: How Walking Poles May Help my Balance
  4. Guide 3: Balance Exercises
  5. Guide 4: How Walking Poles May Support my Hands
  6. Guide 5: Hand Grasping & Strengthening Exercises
  7. Guide 6: Walking Poles: How do I get Started?


1. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. (n.d.). Exercise after stroke. Heart and stroke. https://www.heartandstroke.ca/stroke/recovery-and-support/stroke-care/rehabilitation/exercise-after-stroke
2. Gordon, C. D., Wilks, R., & McCaw-Binns, A. (2013). Effect of aerobic exercise (walking) training on functional status and health-related quality of life in chronic stroke survivors: A randomized controlled trial. Stroke, 44(4), 1179-1181. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.000642?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed
3. Heart and Stroke Foundation. (n.d.). Aerobic exercise after stroke: How aerobic activity can help you after a stroke. https://www.canadianstroke.ca/sites/default/files/resources/CPSR_Guide_Patients-English_WEB3.pdf
4. Scherba, D. (2017). 10 powerful benefits of using walking poles. Healthcare Solutions. https://healthcaresolutions.ca/blogs/news/the-benefits-of-walking-poles
5. Nordic Walking Nova Scotia. (n.d.). What is Nordic walking? Nordic walking nova scotia. https://nordicwalkingnovascotia.ca/NPW.htm