Several of my neighbors walk in our neighborhood daily, and lately, I've noticed some of the walkers are walking with poles. I asked them about this over the weekend and they said it was called Nordic walking.

Walking is a great way to burn calories, lose weight, and keep your joints healthy. But if you have stiff joints or arthritis, it can be extremely painful sometimes to even move. But a lot of people are turning to Nordic walking.

Some people with joint injuries or arthritis in their lower body find that walking with poles — also known as Nordic walking — helps to minimize some of the load placed on the joints. That's because landing with the pole first before each foot touches the ground helps absorb some of the impact — and this can make walking feel easier.

Nordic walking not only helps support your weight, but the poles can be used to push your body forward. If you are walking downhill the poles can be helpful because they bear some of the body weight that is pushed into your knees when walking on a decline. When you're walking uphill, the poles can assist your climb.

Sometimes those who suffer with arthritis should try and stay as active as they can. Experts say you should keep on trying to walk or switch to another activity depending on the type of arthritis you have and how severe it is.

Be sure and talk with your doctor  before you start any exercise program, they can give you specific guidance.