An $11.36 Parkinson's Solution with 30+ Uses

Affordable Parkinson's walking poles

To say that a Parkinson's diagnosis can be an expensive endeavor is an understatement. When you add up the cost of medications, doctors visits, and the like, your pocketbook can take a serious hit. 

When I started working with my Parkinson's clientele, I knew I would have to find some way to provide a challenging, diverse exercise program that they could continue on their own after they "graduated" from our program that required little to no financial strain. Even the cost of a monthly gym membership could be too steep for some of my clients who are on a fixed income and tight budget. I had to put my thinking cap on... 

Walking Poles on Steroids

Because of the great research published on Nordic Walking for Parkinson's and the power of using poles during a walking program, I knew that walking poles would be a great addition to anyone's daily routine. However, since an official set of Nordic Walking poles can run $60-100, I decided to create my own for a fraction of the cost. $11.36, to be exact!

These new homemade poles have slowly became one of my favorite pieces of Parkinson's equipment. Over time I've slowly built a database of 30+ different exercises and activities (beyond just walking) with my clients and I want to share them with you.  By adding even just a few of these exercises to your existing plan, you'll start to see noticeable improves your arm swing, balance, strength, stamina, and coordination. While it doesn't happen overnight, you can start to see major improvements in as little as a few weeks of dedicated practice. 

In this 2-Part Series, I'm going to walk you through:

1) How to build your own poles in 5 minutes for less than $15

2) Walking - 5 Drills to Incorporate on your Daily Walk to Improve Arm Swing and Decrease Shuffling

Let's get started!

Part I - How To Build Your Poles

What You'll Need:

  • Two 1-1/8" x 48" Dowel Rods

  • Two 1-1/8" Steel-reinforced Rubber Cane Tips

I purchased my dowel rods at Lowe's hardware store for $3.98 each and a 4-pack of rubber cane tips at Walgreen's for $6.79. After a quick search, Amazon also sells cane tips for a similar price (link here).

My recommendation: I've found that one set of cane tips can be worn down in 4-6 weeks of regular daily use, so I'd suggest getting having an extra set on hand. Also, double check to make sure the diameter of your dowel rod (in my case, 1-1/8") matches the diameter of your cane tips! 

Dowel Rods 1-1/8" x 48" from Lowe's

Dowel Rods 1-1/8" x 48" from Lowe's

1-1/8" Cane Tips from Walgreen's

1-1/8" Cane Tips from Walgreen's

Once I bought my supplies, I simply slid the cane tip onto the end of the dowel rod, and ta-dah! 

You're Ready to Rock!

Now that you have your homemade poles ready to go, you can head on over to Part II of this series where I'll show you the 5 walking drills you can start with immediately.

Part II: Walking - 5 Drills to Incorporate on your Daily Walk to Improve Arm Swing and Decrease Shuffling

One of my clients, Jennie, working out with the poles.

One of my clients, Jennie, working out with the poles.