Walking is a great way to get moving, whether you want to improve your overall body or burn calories. Though it is the best form of cardiovascular exercise, people think to take it to the next level. You can achieve your fitness goals by adding wearable weights.
You might be wondering whether wearing weights is a fruitful way to burn more calories or not. Right now, the research about wearable weights and walking is under consideration. Some studies have found it harmful to the health and stability of joints.
However, walking with wearable weights requires more intensity to increase your heart rate and burn calories which is why some people consider it best.
Let us discuss a few benefits and downsides of walking with ankle weights, hand weights, and backpacks!
Benefits of Walking with Wearable Weights
Are you wondering why wearable weights and walking has become popular in the fitness industry? Adding weights increases the intensity of your walk and helps you get a great workout.
You may walk to crush calories and build strength. But wearable weights will help you boost your workout routine to achieve your fitness goals earlier. It helps elevate your mood and boost your creativity. Adding wearable weights will mix much more benefits to this.
Here are a few perks of walking with weights:
- Carrying weights help increase the intensity of your walk
- Provide more resistance to your muscle workout
- Increase the amount of oxygen you breath
- Raises your heart rate per minute
- Help you burn more calories
Would you want to add wearable weights to boost your overall performance?
Popular Wearable Weights Options
Here are some popular wearable weight options that you can integrate into your fitness routine:
For short walks, the best option is to add ankle weights of 5 pounds or less. Before adding ankle weights, you might be thinking of its benefits.
It will help you strengthen your:
- calf muscles
- hip flexors
- core muscles
However, there are some drawbacks to adding ankle weights. It puts pressure on the knee and leads to tendonitis, joint issues, and worsening arthritis. Therefore, it is crucial talking with healthcare professionals before adding ankle weights. A healthcare professional or fitness trainer will help you identify the ideal ankle weight for you.
You might have encountered people walking with dumbells in their hands. It is one of the safe options for someone looking to add weights when walking.
Some fitness experts recommend walking with 3 pounds hands weight. It leads to higher calorie burn due to added resistance to your natural arms swing when walking.
Additionally, a few hand weights for resistance are helpful after a stroke or Parkinson’s disease. That is because it allows you to incorporate multiple functional activities while walking around. Also, little hand weights are easier to carry as they do not cause pain in your elbows and shoulders.
However, it may increase stress in your biceps tendons and elbows. And, gripping hand weights can increase the strains in your arms, which cam tennis elbows.
Ankle and hand weight may not be suitable for you. You can consider wearing a weight vest. It is the ultimate and nice option as it places weight near the body’s centers of gravity. Also, it leads to less strain on the joints, unlike ankle and hand weights.
It is the perfect option to add more uniform and controlled resistance throughout the body. Additionally, it improves:
- Cardiovascular efficiency
- Bone density
- Overall strength
However, a weighted vest requires core stabilization that can cause pressure on the knees and hips. It can increase the risk of injuries too.
Another option of wearable weights that you can consider is weighted backpacks. Unlike weighted vests that evenly distribute the weight to your front, back and sides, weighted backpacks place the resistance on your back.
You can carry 5-10 pounds weighted backpacks as wearable weights during walking. However, if you have decided to walk with a weighted vest, keep your body upright and avoid leaning forward.
Tips and Tricks – Walking with Wearable Weights
Are you ready to hit the road? Here are a few things to keep in mind before walking with wearable weights.
One of the critical things is to choose the amount of weight you carry when walking with weights. If you are a weighted walking newbie, start with one pound. When you got a bit more experience, feel free to try 3 to 4 pounds.
You can apply the same rule with a weighted vest, weighted backpacks, and ankle weights. Never start walking with weights more than 5% of your body mass.
Always start with a small walking routine when walking with wearable weights. When you are starting, a 10 to 15 minutes walk is a sweet spot. You can increase the length of your walk gradually.
Walking too fast with weights can wreak havoc on your joints. That’s why it is so important to keep a steady pace. As you adapt to your new weighted circumstances, you can opt to increase your speed slowly over time.
One way to lower your risk of injury when walking with weights is to make sure you’re maintaining proper form when walking. Good posture is always significant, but it’s vital when using weights to help ease the stress and strain they put on your joints.
Stand straight, relax your shoulders, and keep your footing light to keep your form from going down a slouched path.
The Bottom Line
Walking is one of the easiest and safest ways to exercise. Some people like to add weights to their routine to achieve intensity.
Walking with ankle weights, hand weights or a weighted vest, or a backpack is appropriate for some people but not all.
Before walking with any added weight, seek guidance from a healthcare provider who can provide tailored recommendations.
While the benefits of walking with weights are numerous, the added pressure on your joints can increase your risk of injury. As with any new exercise, start slowly and aim for sustainability over time.