One morning, almost 8 years ago after a wonderful day’s skiing in the Swiss Alps, I woke unable to move – or come to that walk, sit up or get out of bed. Very frightening. My husband managed, in appallingly icy conditions, to get me to the doctor. The lovely medic wanted me to get to a rheumatoid specialist immediately. I had, out of the blue, from God alone knows where, contracted some weird polymyalgia type condition. A long saga continued over several painful years. During that time I managed somehow to keep swimming. As soon as I was able to walk again (on medication), out came the hiking sticks!
I use them to this day whenever I walk. They are not just for mountain walkers. Hiking sticks are for anybody and everybody.
They make you walk properly and you are able to go faster and further. They exercise your body in the right way, particularly your upper arms. They take pressure off the knees and hips. They give you confidence on what I like to call ‘extreme’ walking ie – on steep upward slopes and they protect you from slipping on loose shale going downhill.
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago, when we were staying in a lovely golf hotel spa in Wiltshire, that I realised that I must pass this knowledge on to others!
I spent two lovely sunlit days (remember those?!) walking around a beautiful woodland track, whilst my husband was doing his thing on the golf course (losing countless balls no doubt!) I was stopped twice.
First was a young man who worked on the greens. He turned off the engine of his machine and waited for me to approach. “How great to see somebody walking properly with hiking sticks” he said, “I use them for events myself and am trying to persuade my mother to get them as she needs some support after an op.” I encouraged him to continue persuading and said to put us in touch, in case I could help.
The next day a second person stopped me on my walk. A charming lady. “Excuse me for disturbing your walk but do those hiking sticks really help, as you seem to go so fast and I actually have a fibromyalgia problem.” I told her my story.
These inexpensive lightweight, collapsible wonders can also, of course, be used by the elderly to give confidence and for anyone who needs support after nasty ops etc. But also they truly are for everybody and really do help you to get fit in the easiest possible way. I cannot recommend my two miraculous, comforting fitness props more. You can easily find a good pair of hiking sticks for under £25 on Amazon.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone, Ginny
Ps Nutmeg, my stoic little Dachshund now has a job keeping up with me!
Ginny is an author who writes ‘feel good’ fiction – more information about her books can be found on her website.