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How Nordic Walking using Urban Poles can replace canes, walkers and rollators

“Why would I ever pay good money for those Urban poles?!”

Anyone with Asian parents will likely relate to this phrase and it sure made me belly laugh when I heard that even Mandy Shintani’s own mother uttered these very words! 

Mandy Shintani is an occupational therapist, gerontologist and the founder of Urban Poles.

She developed this upgrade to traditional Nordic Walking poles after being inspired by her European neighbor 16 years ago.

At that time, her mother didn’t fully understand the value of something seemingly so simple.

“They sell much cheaper ones in Chinatown!”

But little details make big differences in function.

Her patented handle is the only one on the market that can activate the core with every motion, making them ideal for improving balance and sit to stand motions.

The increased weight limit of the Activator Poles makes it a no brainer for use with my rehab patients who can use them rather than walkers, cane or rollators!

The cross country ski elliptical-like motion promotes whole body motions with big strides which is ideal for Parkinsons patients.

The natural reciprocal motion helps to address back pain by promoting rotational motion and avoiding constant forward flexion over a walker.

These poles are also endorsed by the American Arthritis Foundation as they are joint friendly, do not require a strong grip to control or a strap to get tangled up in AND have an alternative grip available for arthritic hands.

Currently, the Activators are used in the rehab of surgeries and the Series 300 are geared towards a whole body cardiovascular workout.

There is so much potential for the poles to benefit the people in between these 2 uses.

Mandy and I are excited to work together to find a way to use Urban Poles build confidence in those who are healthy enough to live at home but not confident enough to be out striding hills just yet! We would love to hear ideas on what you think would be helpful to you!

If you’re interested in trying something different, you can get the Activators or Series 300 for yourself at

If you’re interested in trying out free videos I created that combine Urban Poles core work with Becky Farley’s 4 primary movements used in her Parkinsons Wellness Recovery program, @ Parkinsons wellness recovery they are on my YouTube channel