Do you like to walk for exercise? Do you wish walking provided you with an upper body work-out? If you answered yes, start using walking poles like my “chicks with sticks” crew and on your next walk, get an upper body work-out while burning more calories. Many stores sell walking poles but you can make your own easily with items from around your house. With a hack saw, rubber tips, and tennis balls you can easily turn an old pair of ski poles into walking poles. Friends, it’s true: re-purposed ski poles help eliminate back fat!
Materials Needed to Make Walking Poles
Ski poles. Check your garage or basement. You probably have a pair that you’re no longer using. Check garage sales or Goodwill. Below is what I see in my neighborhood often – discarded ski poles with signs that say free. Look around for a used pair.
Hack saw. Hack saws are for cutting metal. You’ll need to get your walking poles to the correct length and cut off the sharp point and plastic thing-y at the bottom.
Utility knife. Use this for slicing a hole into the tennis ball.
Rubber tips. Purchase at hardware store. Get the 1/2” size, rubber, (not latex) works best.
Tennis balls. Preferably flat and not new. Again, re-use what you have.
Glue and duct tape may also be needed for this project.
How to Make Walking Poles
1. Using a hack saw, cut the bottom of the pole to your desired length. Cut it to a length that seems like it might work and do a test run. Remember, you can always cut more off later, but you can’t add it back on.
My walking poles are 46” long and I’m 5’7”, if that helps.
2. Glue rubber tips to bottom of ski poles.
Wrap duct tape around bottom first if poles ends are too narrow. Rubber tips help keep tennis balls on bottom of poles. You could simply use rubber tips only on the ends of your poles (and skip the tennis balls) but this is what happens.
3. Using the utility knife, cut a slit, very carefully, in the tennis ball. This is where the pole will be inserted into tennis ball.
4. Put tennis balls on bottom of poles.
5. That’s it! Stretch out, put on your running shoes, grab a friend or two and go!
Make a set of walking poles for a friend or neighbor, skip the gym, and make a plan to go together. My “chicks with sticks” crew goes early every Wednesday morning – rain or shine – year round. We head out very early and start the day with fresh air, exercise, and friendship. You can’t beat that combination – not even with a walking pole!
Inspired to try walking poles? What’s your workout routine? Are you an early morning exerciser or late in the day?
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