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Hi [Name],

Want the latest pole walking news? Read on ...

Winter is definitely upon us in Australia, especially in the southern parts of this great land. This is obvious from the amount of weather reports & comments I've been getting from my fellow pole walkers. They talk of snow dumps, sub-zero temperatures and wind-chill factors, especially in areas that have not seen such weather patterns for so long. It seems we have all forgotten what winter feels like.

Now let's be honest, at this time of year, who amongst us is becoming like a ‘Pole-A-Bear' and hibernating under our warm doonas in the winter comfort of our modern caves - our bed???

Don't worry the warmth of spring is not too far away.

The ultimate personal life challenge - through pole walking

Well, for some keen Aussie pole walkers, hibernation was the last thing on their minds as they entered the winter months.

You have to ask yourself... ‘Who would want to pole walk for 24 hours non-stop'? Peter Oliver, that's who,

After promising his dying father only months ago that he would achieve a goal which appeared well beyond his capability, Peter commenced an intensive training program for the walk last November. His goal became a reality on Friday 4th & Saturday the 5th of May, this year. Peter (59 years) and his pole walking mate, Alan Travers (63 years), lived the realism of pain and suffering & conquered their 24 hour non-stop effort on a continuous loop between Kingscliff and Tweed Heads, in Northern New South Wales.

The epic walk was completed at 4pm the Saturday, when after walking 95 kilometres,114,923 steps, and with numerous blisters, the two men finally got to sit down and rest. Their efforts were not in vain. During the process, they raised more than $28,000 for the Pre-term Parents & Infants Association (PIPA) and Lions Children's Mobility Foundation.

During his training program, Peter lost 25 kilograms. He reckons pole walking "is the best all-round workout you can get." He says the sport has played a major role in his weight loss, as he walks 3-4 times a week recreationally when not in training.

Peter and Alan's training regime included intensive weekly pole walking sessions which built up from 3 hours to 6, 8, 12, 14 and 18 hours (2 weeks before the event). Their pre-event weekly training regime consisted of 2 x weight training circuits in the gym, daily stretching and weekly massages.

During their pole walking challenge, Peter and Alan had heaps of experience in their support team of Mike Gates, Jay Gates (Dual world record holders of 24 & 36 hours non-stop pole walking) and Meredith Pembroke, who also was the first woman in the world to complete her own 24 hour non-stop pole walk in Finland in May 2006.

Combating Type 2 diabetes " By Sticking it to your walking program"

Currently you turn on the TV, listen to the radio or pickup up a newspaper and what is the most common factor in health that keeps getting pitched at us as an individual, even as a community, and now, as a nation...The epidemic plague of chronic diseases brought about by our modern day lifestyles.

One of the fastest growing health issues we face in modern times is the number of people who are or will suffer from Type 2 diabetes. Current estimates are that diabetes affects about 194 million people worldwide. Experts say the number could rise to 333 million by 2025.

This illness increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney damage and nerve disorders that can lead to foot ulceration and amputation.

One simple solution ...control your diabetes – walk faster!

A recent study of overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes showed that people can get more out of their daily walk by picking up the pace, which can improve cardiovascular and blood sugar control, which in turn assist towards keeping diabetes under control.

So the thought I bring to the above study is what would happen if you also added poles to the walk?

Consider this:

  • Overweight individuals often find it hard to move, let alone at a faster pace. By adding poles to their program, I'm sure it will assist with picking up the pace.
  • When adding poles to your walking program, you activate more muscle mass by using upper and lower body muscles, hence more moving muscles use more fuel and oxygen, hence more carbohydrate usage. This leads to better blood sugar control and more oxygen uptake, delivering a greater improvement in cardiovascular health.
  • You also have the benefit of less impact and improved stability when using the poles while walking.

So, if you know of any loved one, friend or work colleague who could be on the verge or is currently suffering with type 2 diabetes, you may suggest to them they can ‘pace it up on poles' to aid in assisting with diabetes control.

Remember: Simply by adding poles to your program, it makes walking that much better. However, we recommend that, before anyone starts on a pole walking program, they should seek medical advice to confirm that this is a safe form of physical activity for them to participate in with their current health/medical condition.

Dressing for the occasion...

"There is no such thing as bad weather. It is just bad dressing".
(Quote: Original pole walkers of Finland)

7 quick tips on dressing to keep warm while pole walking:

  • Wear three layers of clothing on your upper body, so you can peel off as you warm up.
  • The clothing should be worn directly on your skin, snug fit, lightweight and synthetic to wick away body moisture.
  • The middle layer is the insulating layer and should consist of a sweater or vest, made of a fabric like Gore-tex or Polar Guard. Natural fibres like wool are also excellent.
  • The outer layer should trap heat but be breathable, and should be wind- resistant and water resistant/proof.
  • Beanies or hats are great to keep in body temperature as we lose a lot of body heat through the top part of our head.
  • Gloves are good, but be careful that they are not too thick to restrict finger movement. Cyclist gloves are quite good for pole walking.
  • On your bottom half, you may get away with one or two layers, depending on how cold it is. Thermal undergarments are good as they don't restrict movement.

Hope these tips keep some of you a little warmer, as warm pole walkers are happy pole walkers. Now there is no need to be like a Pole-A-Bear and hibernate!!

In the next issue, we will take a look at footwear, as we will be heading into the warmer months. As one of our very keen and dedicated pole walkers from the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Diana has some great advice on avoiding the foot & toe-rot you can get in the warmer months.

Where's... ‘The Walking Wizard' been?

Having travelled just over 15,000 kilometres via my trusty poles, car and plane, I've have just returned from an extensive pole walking awareness tour to many places in Australia. I have to say, it's so great to be able to share this simple but innovative and physically addictive activity with an ever-growing number of fellow Aussies.

In the month of May, I've spread the pole walking virus to many people throughout NSW. I started out in Sydney, with more pole walking coaches being trained, then had several meetings with government officials and community organisations. Then I went on to the cooler parts of Australia, taking in Albury. I enjoyed the sight of the first snow dump of the season on the Snowy Mountains as I was out ‘n about for an early morning pole walk with the Albury-Wodonga Community Pole Walking group, then into the café strip of downtown Albury with the girls for an awesome brew of coffee.

Next, it was off with the poles and back behind the steering wheel of the car and onto Ballarat to meet with community organisations, then on to some meetings in Melbourne, where the winter weather always challenges your mind and body for more productive pole walking meetings!

Next stop... back to Albury-Wodonga to conduct pole walking training for a group of physiotherapists. These professionals really love the pole walking benefits for a smart form of rehabilitation for their clients.

From Albury, it was time to point the car north to warm weather. I don't think so ....Canberra is just a wee chilly sometimes. I completed more training of physios in the Queanbeyan/Canberra region. This was followed by two days of training for Canberra fitness instructors to achieve Pole Walking Coach Certification. What great people and awesome pathways to pole walk!

Then it was time to really head north to some warmth and sunshine... going home to Tweed Heads. I made a quick stop-over in Sydney for my Mum's roast pork dinner (nothing tasted better than your mother's home cooked roast - have you ever noticed that?)

I had a brief visit to Tweed for a quick regrouping of my thoughts and empting of my suitcase into the washing machine. Then I flew off to Adelaide for my first visit, to spread this infectious virus of pole walking to more government and community organisations, and then two days of training with some of Adelaide's most switched on fitness instructors. What an inspiring group of individuals they were.

What's next for the ‘Walking Wizard'? Well you will just have to wait for the Spring E-Newsletter.

I wish to encourage any readers who would like to share their great pole walking experiences, knowledge or those who wish to know more about a particular topic about the pole walking way of life - please don't hesitate to send me an email at (email address), noting the email is for the next spring issue of our E-newsletter.

Up & coming event...

This may be of interested to you; it's the City to Bay Fun Run/Walk in Adelaide on the 16th September 2007. I know there is some keen Adelaide Pole Walking Coaches that are taking up the 12klm challenge and it looks like some of the PoleAbout UltraSport Walking Team from Tweed Heads –Gold Coast are going to try and make the journey down south, so if this is of any interest to you check-out the website:

Until Spring ... "Life is short, so pole well - play well – live well"

Warmest Regards
Mike Gates ‘The Walking Wizard'

P.S...Can you let us know that you received this E-Newsletter as we have no way of measuring readership unless we get some feedback? Many thanks.


If you have a question that needs to be clarified, the 'Walking Wizard' wishes to encourage any of you to just drop him an email: and he will endeavour to answer your question in the next issue.

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