Why use hiking poles ?

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Did you know that only one in two hikers in France has poles? Yet several studies have demonstrated the importance and effectiveness of hiking with poles. They're as important as a helmet for skiing or cycling. This article shows how important poles are for hiking. It's mostly a question of safety and protection for your joints.

Hiking poles can make walking easier on you and keep the risk of falling or injury to a minimum. These are the main advantages:

- You achieve greater balance and avoid falling: hiking poles provide a certain degree of stability and confidence when walking. They will provide great support when crossing obstacles or walking over dodgy terrain (snow, ice, rocks, clay or deep water). When hiking, the top cause of accidents is slipping, so using poles helps you reduce the risk.

- Preserving your joints, by spreading the impact and load between your arms and legs. When descending, they can help absorb shocks, thus sparing your knees, ankles, hips and spine. It has also been proven that the use of poles reduces impact on your knees by 25%. They can also be really useful when climbing up, especially providing relief for your quadriceps and hamstrings.

- Reducing effort: your arms and legs share the effort, so you relieve your legs, especially when climbing up. Moreover, you can walk more steadily with poles. This pace also helps to reduce the fatigue you feel.

- They propel you along, especially during ascent, when you can use your arms to pull yourself up, thus reducing muscle fatigue and lowering your heart rate.

The advantages mentioned below are so obvious you will no longer be able to do without your hiking poles. There are two articles to help you choose and use your poles wisely: How to choose your hiking poles and Using and adjusting your poles properly for even more hiking pleasure.

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