By Gill Stewart at
Julia Houlton wrote to her local Instructor Sylvia Zugor in Chichester because she wanted to share her battle to regain her lung function, strength and mobility following Covid 19. Julia spent 18 days in hospital (St Richards Hospital Chichester), 6 of which were on a Ventilator.
” I came on the training session you organised on 13th November last year. (You’d kindly fixed me up with the Activator poles because my wrists objected to the straps on the Nordic ones) Since then I’ve just been going out on my own and have yet to join any organised walks.
Seven weeks ago I caught the dreaded Covid19 when skiing in France and ended up in SRH where I spent six days on a ventilator, and a week afterwards whilst the physiotherapists reminded me how to sit up, stand up and then walk! I was discharged home equipped with a Zimmer frame on wheels hardly able to stagger more than curb to front door. After a couple of weeks I’d built up to walking for about ten minutes a day.
Anyway the point of all this is that pushing the Zimmer frame caused both my arms to extend forwards to grip the handles. I then decided to try going out with my Activator poles and the benefits were immediate and considerable. Using the poles opens up my chest so I can breathe and walk at the same time! I’ve just come in from a 35 minute walk.
I seriously don’t think I’d be at this point yet without the poles. Being on a ventilator causes muscles to disappear- quite scary how fast they disappear- it’s a slow job to build them back again.
Is it worth a mention on Nordic Walking sites, because I’m sure there must be many others whose rehabilitation could greatly benefit?
Well done Julia and a massive thank you to the amazing NHS team at St Richards Hospital Chichester who helped her through this ordeal.
Note:- Julia used the Activator poles which have a moulded handle and a feature called a core ledge which helps the walker with stability but also to maintain an upright position with a forward gaze (rather than down) This also helps the walker open the chest which Julia explained, aids breathing. The technique used differs slightly from that achieved with Nordic Walking poles which have gloves which attach the user to the pole in order to gain forward propulsion.
For more information about the poles and training for rehabilitation specialists please contact us on 0333 1234 540 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For those working with COVID patients we will provide access to free webinars to explain the basics of the poles and techniques.
Many of our groups also have Instructors trained in Exercise referral or similar who can help with supportive walking for rehabilitation after lockdown for those signposted by a physiotherapist.